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Starting Strong

Wednesday May 29, 2013

What is it?

“Starting Strong” is a reality-TV inspired branded television series created by the U.S. Army to engage its prospect audience and those that influence them. This series is the Army’s first test of what is called “episodic branded content” that delivers the Army Strong story to those audiences that typically skip or aren’t exposed to traditional advertising.

“Starting Strong” leverages the best of unscripted productions from Hollywood and blends it together with unfiltered views of Army life. In the 10-episode series, prospects go through the entire process from considering an Army career and Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), to training for that MOS with current Soldiers and an Army mentor, to considering whether or not they want to join. Each episode ends with the participant deciding if the Army is right for them.

The series will begin airing on FOX affiliates in key media markets throughout the country on June 2: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston (Manchester), Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota), Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando, Austin, Memphis, and Gainesville.

What has the Army done?

Due to the changing media habits of 18-24 year-olds, the Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) began exploring new and innovative ways to engage prospects and their influencers with content that realistically portrays the Army, Army life and the benefits of service. With the understanding that Soldiers are the Army’s best advertisement, the Starting Strong long-form commercial format maximizes audience exposure to Army life and furthers the conversation between the Army and those who want to serve. It also works to counter the myths and misperceptions about the Army in a way that a 30-second commercial can’t.

What efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

AMRG continues to find innovative and cost-effective means to market the Army and counter negative narratives about the Army experience. A new Army marketing regulation - AR 601-208 - will be published in the coming weeks to further the Army’s enterprise brand strategy and ensure that the entire Army is not just heard, but is seen and perceived as one team.

Why is this important to the Army?

The objective of marketing is to man and preserve the high-quality All-Volunteer Army and directly contributes to the readiness and capability of the Army today and tomorrow. Marketing programs like “Starting Strong” are critical to sustaining the all volunteer force by increasing America’s understanding of their Army.


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