U.S. Army Deploying Immersive Ads to Engage Gen Z

by Jackie Davis

As marketers, we know it can be difficult to connect with the right consumers. A lost sale or a flaw in the customer experience can be a big issue for marketers, but what happens when engaging audiences goes beyond these stakes?

For the United States Army, connecting with the right audience isn’t just missed engagement, it can impact the future of our country. In 2018, the Army fell short on its recruiting goals, highlighting the dire situation our military could face in the future if this trend continues. Recently, Brig. Gen. Alex Fink, who heads the efforts to recruit Generation Z within the Army marketing branch, joined Kai Ryssdal on Marketplace, to discuss how the Army plans to engage potential soldiers.

“We have a relevance issue,” said Fink. “Research shows that youth know little or nothing about military service,” because fewer people around them have served. Competing with a strong economy and low unemployment rate also makes recruitment difficult.

To engage Generation Z, the Army has launched the “What’s Your Warrior?” campaign that showcases the vast career opportunities within the branch. “We have over 150 opportunities for careers in the United States Army that we think the Gen Z population may want to do,” said Fink. Instead of focusing on the action-filled jobs like jumping out of planes and combat, these ads showcase the different opportunities the Army offers from security to medicine and communications.

These ads will be deployed on social media, T.V., podcasts, and other digital venues. “We have to have a thumb-stopping experience,” explained Fink. These ads aim to be immersive with epic storytelling that speaks to targets on their terms, in their domain.

Watch one of the ads below: