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Storyboard 58—Ads aren’t all they could be

SB 58 ad guy super hero 41664403Per the "Uncle Sam Wants Who?" WSJ article: military recruiting ads are not "all they could be." In fact, the reporter added, "they aren't even close."

As discussed in the next storyboard (59), the DOD commissioned a study to look at the poor results by the military in attracting recruits. Unfortunately or not, the "consultants" commissioned were ad guys. And being admen their recommendation was . . . more ads, better ads, etc.

● In any event, the Leo Burnett ad agency and its lobbyists won the Army's recruiting-by-ads contract. It's superman! No, it's a whopping $400-million coup.

● The results four years later? As noted in Storyboard 59, marginal volume still and four more years of MRM failure.

● Soon after spending the $400-plus million, one of the ad guys was interviewed by Time. Undeterred by his firm's results, the fellow spouted the flowery phrase "higher aptitude test scores." But where had he heard that? And what had the Leo Burnett agency ever done to cause an increase in, say, SAT-, academic- or AFQT scores? As it turns out, the ad agency had read [GMnavy.go] literature that used that pretty-sounding string of words, "higher aptitude test scores," but GMnavy.go had held back the how-to's and all discussion of MRMs.


Also noted by Mr. Flood, the interviewee, his company had decorated two Hummers, one with a basketball hoop to visit black colleges and the other with an all-terrain look for another audience. (OK, perhaps a bit of a reach to link the agency's Hummer tact to the GMnavy.go "Humvee" in exhibit "I.")