January 05, 2001

Continuing the launch begun last month of the new "An Army of One" advertising campaign, the Army will unveil its second phase of advertising. The latest advertising will continue communicating the dual message of the "Army of One" campaign - a message of teamwork and unity, as well as the strength and importance of every person.

The new phase, referred to as "Basic Training," uses the intriguing reality-based television format captivating viewers across the nation. Unlike most dramatized reality-based programs, the "Basic Training" advertisements are candid, unscripted and genuine.

"Basic Training" ads begin with brief television profiles highlighting six actual Army recruits as they progress through basic training, giving viewers a glimpse of their personal experiences and opinions as the recruits transform from civilians into soldiers. The television ads encourage prospective recruits to visit the Army web site at to experience a complete, in-depth multimedia "webisode" presentation including commentary from the recruits as they develop into soldiers.

"We want people to have an accurate look into what it means to be a soldier in today's Army," said Col. Kevin Kelley, director of advertising and public affairs for U.S. Army Recruiting Command. "There's no better way to show the teamwork, camaraderie and personal commitment that the Army develops than to show real soldiers going through this process."

The Army and its lead advertising agency, Leo Burnett USA, designed the latest ads after thorough research and interviews indicated young adults often have some misconceptions about basic training experiences.

"There are inaccurate perceptions of what Army life is like, and we need to correct that," said Ray DeThorne, executive vice president, account director, Leo Burnett USA. "This new advertising will show the power of the Army team and give a closer look into the individuals who define the Army. Yes, the Army is about teamwork and unity. And yes, that team is comprised of individuals. This phase of the campaign will provide a closer look into why young men and women seek out the Army for opportunity and what they get out of it."

While the television commercials are an integral part of the "Basic Training" advertising, their main purpose is to encourage prospective soldiers to visit the Army web site for more detailed information. Each week at the site, new web videos will be unveiled coinciding with the nine weeks of basic training. While surfing through the "Basic Training" section of, visitors can watch videos of the recruits' first-hand experiences and read their profiles to learn about the person behind the soldier-to-be. Also at the site, visitors can search through more than 200 Army occupations, chat with recruiters and other prospective soldiers, and meet the soldiers introduced in the initial television and print advertisements.

"The web-based portion of the campaign not only will relate the relevant personal experiences of recruits in basic training, but it also will provide a forum to ask questions and interact with other people," said Chris Miller, co-CEO at chemistri, Leo Burnett's interactive and online subsidiary. "Visitors to the site will see how these recruits have grown and developed in a short period of time."

In addition to the recruit web videos, the site also will include narrative spots from the recruits' drill sergeants explaining the challenges the recruits faced that week as well as in the weeks to come. By clicking through an interactive map, visitors can take a virtual tour of Fort Jackson, S.C. - the place where many recruits go through basic training. A digital jukebox of military cadence calls will be added when the recruits learn to march.

This phase of the campaign also will address the Hispanic market through Spanish-language television by broadcasting spots which are directly tied to a particular recruit in the campaign. These TV ads and web videos will be slightly different from the general market segments. These ads will include commentary from the parents and families of the soldier.

The new campaign will make its national network debut on Saturday, Feb. 3, during the Xtreme Football League (XFL) premier on NBC. Beginning Feb. 2, high school students in classrooms across the country will have the opportunity to preview each "webisode" every Friday throughout the campaign on the in-school television network Channel One.

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