By Sgt. 1st Class Jon SoucyNovember 5, 2009
WASHINGTON (Nov. 4, 2009) - Guard members assigned to the National Capitol Region got a chance this week to preview the Army National Guard's new recruiting advertising campaign, which is scheduled to launch Nov. 13.
Dubbed "At this Moment," the campaign uses significant moments in a person's life, such as high school graduation, as well as those of national or historical significance, to showcase the role of the Guard and what it offers to potential recruits.
"The 'Moments' campaign focuses not only on the personal specific moments in time but as a nation, some of our most important issues or moments," said Lt. Col. Ron Walls, chief of the recruiting and retention division for the Army National Guard. "As we were developing this, we all asked ourselves what (are some) of the most important moments that (we are) most proud of."
The centerpiece of the campaign is a mini-movie that showcases Guard Soldiers performing a variety of roles and missions. Shot over a two-month period in more than 35 states and featuring real Guard Soldiers, the video piece features high-end production and cinematography that gives it the look and feel of a movie, said Walls.
The movie was debuted at a downtown movie theatre here along with a documentary about the making of the movie. It is scheduled to be shown in more than 950 theatres across the country.
It will also be featured on You Tube, Facebook and other social media Web sites, said Walls.
The Army National Guard's print advertisements will get a makeover as well.
"The look and feel of the Army National Guard (print ads) has moved away from the old, drab presentation that we've had," said Walls, adding that the changes will give them a sense of energy and vibrancy.
But for some, the video and the new print ads highlight other things.
"(The movie) portrays the professionalism that all of our Soldiers have and how they are able to go about doing their job to their highest abilities," said Chief Warrant Officer Richard Earnest, the command chief warrant officer for the ARNG. "I think it portrays the Soldiers and the roles they play very well, whether it be in a civilian disaster capacity, or the training and preparation for actual combat."
One key element of the campaign is the focus on the Guard's state and federal missions, Walls said.
The campaign debuts at a time when the Army Guard is reducing its recruiting staff.
"The Army National Guard will not have as many recruiting and retention NCOs as we have in the past," said Walls. "Our overall foot print has shrunk significantly, so how can we continue to maintain that overall presence without having the total number of recruiting and retention NCOs in boots'"
For Walls, part of that answer lies in the video spots in movie theatres and utilizing Facebook and YouTube. The Army Guard will also use kiosks in malls and other high traffic areas to showcase the Army Guard, said Walls.
The campaign may focus on "Moments," but the Army's Guard's focus is personal readiness.
"That's what this campaign is all about," Walls said, "developing a ready, reliable force."
(Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy serves at the National Guard Bureau.)