Army Ads Get an Ironic Facelift

Army Ads Get an Ironic Facelift, David
Corn, Alternet
Be all you can be? Not anymore. Trying to appeal to an
individualistic generation weaned on Doom and Streetfighter, the
U.S. Army has a new advertising slogan. Welcome to ‘an Army of
one.’ In a recent article on the Alternet news
service, columnist David Corn dissects the Army’s new marketing
approach (and a $150 million ad campaign to back it up). ‘Like its
predecessor, this pitch fixes on the individual — an odd choice
for an organization in which recruits are supposed to sublimate
themselves to the larger good of the institution.’ Sure, the Army’s
ad agency — Leo Burnett USA — ‘had to concoct a nifty way of
selling their client to Generation Y, many of whom have been raised
on a diet of Internet individualism.’ But ironically, says Corn,
the new slogan may be closer to the truth of how the Army treats
its soldiers than they realized. Corn points out the Pentagon’s
denial of responsibility for soldiers’ health problems resulting
from Agent Orange in Vietnam, nerve gas in the Persian Gulf,
depleted uranium in the Balkans, and pesticides sprayed on
Colombian coca fields — all of which, he says, are evidence that
the U.S. military has long ‘treated its grunts as armies of one
that could be disavowed or tossed aside.’
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