U.S. Army – The Army Experience Center: Showcasing Today's Army
Category: Brand Experience
Brand/Client: U.S. Army, Office of Chief Marketing Office
Primary Agency: Ignited
Contributing Agencies: The Scenic Route
The challenge to recruit Army soldiers runs much deeper than the impact of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan–it runs to a legacy brand experience that hasn't changed in decades. Across the country, Army recruiting stations are hidden in the leased space of low-rent strip malls, tucked between storefronts for check cashing and nail salons. They are anything but showcases for today's Army.
Beyond their already stark locations and exteriors, Army recruiting stations, on the inside, do nothing to convey the true brand proposition of a career in the Army. The reality is lost that the U.S. Army is one of the most technologically advanced organizations in the world – and that Army soldiers have daily access and personal control over those technologies. Nor do legacy stations provide recruiters with much more than tri-fold pamphlets and the occasional display of Army TV commercials to accurately convey the tremendous diversity of career and education opportunities. This makes it difficult for visitors to understand how an Army career may/may not suit their personalities and long-term objectives. Indeed, the majority of recruiting stations are eerily reminiscent of the ones depicted in the movies Private Benjamin or Stripes almost 30 years ago: unwelcoming and intimidating, with an inaccessible recruiter on the other side of a desk, holding all of the critical information a prospective soldier needs to make an important decision.