Sunday, February 03, 2008

This is My Rifle

In today's climate, selling a career in the military to young men and women has to be a tough job. But the USMC has put together a very elaborate (and effective?) campaign featuring the "Silent Drill Platoon."

This is the same commercial production that caused a stir in San Francisco last November when city officials refused the Marines access to the Golden Gate Bridge. It started airing late last month. I couldn't find any agency related to it, but MTLB thinks JWT had a hand in this.

Unlike the usual military recruitment ads, this one has no scenes of combat training, no one in battle dress uniform yelling orders to warriors with painted faces, no screeching planes or helicopters. Starting in Rhode Island, we see scenes of America in a veritable sea to shining sea depiction of amber waves of grain, alabaster cities gleaming and purple mountain majesty, with this silent drill team showcasing their precision skills, culminating in a nice shot of the very bridge they were denied access to.

Here's the "official extended version."

They've also put together a bunch of "on location" videos of the various shoots.

Times Square, Kentucky, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, San Francisco, Rhode Island

And of course, there's a companion website.

Will this increase recruitment? I don't know. But it sure is pretty. And I think even the most dyed-in-the-wool San Francisco pacifist can appreciate good film-making, even if you deem that film propaganda. You might even feel a slight hint of patriotism stirring in your cynical heart.

Previously in Military Recruitment:

(Holland) Wars and Rumors of Wars
(Georgia) Georgia on My Mind
(England) Breadfruit, Rum and Scurvy
(Czech Republic and United States) Czechs Kick Our Cinematic Butts
(Russia) Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin
(Australia) Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbed Wire
(Japan) Adventure's Waitin' Just Ahead

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  • Okay, how about we take this footage (and maybe some VO) and recut it so we hear the story behind this -- the San Franciso treatment. Actually it would be nice to have all the Marines footage from the SF shoot. Surely there has to be some audio and video news coverage of the issue as well, with Stefanie Coyote quoted, I'd hope.If not, we can just read some of the print news stories and editorials over it. If it really was done in-house, would be have a right to the unedited footage as taxpayers?

    Actually, though, I have to wonder if it was in-house. If so, there's a director in the Marines who will have no trouble finding commercial work...and now the idea of Marine Film School is kind of cracking me up.

    By Anonymous captain flummox, at February 4, 2008 at 9:21 AM  

  • I searched for some sort of agency relation, but all I could find was a LTC something or other who is assisatnt chief of marketing for the Marines. He must've hired a production company - but as far as I can tell - no agency involvement.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at February 4, 2008 at 9:28 AM  

  • I’m pretty sure it’s JWT.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at February 4, 2008 at 9:46 PM  

  • Nice to know the contigious 48 are protected. Better luck next time Alaska and Hawaii. ooo-rah!

    By Blogger Chris Houchens, at February 5, 2008 at 11:40 AM  

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