The Marines' new ad campaigns will feature more women
By Jeff Schogol
Captain Karla Cumbie is featured on the cover of the Marine CorpsÕ advertising campaign that shows more of women Marines in the fleet and at war.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — The Marine Corps’ next advertising campaign will show more of women female Marines in the fleet and at war.
Marine Corps Recruiting Command recently teamed with a major advertiser and market researchers to find out what drives women to want to join the Corps. The task forceOne company interviewed female poolees at recruiting stations across the country and women training to earn their eagle, globes and anchors at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, to get their feedback.
The recruits and poolees they interviewed said there's not much information in Marine ads about what women do in the Corpsa Several female poolees and recruits recently interviewed asked to complete a survey recently said they felt most Marine Corps recruiting promotional material show women training to be Marines instead of serving as Marines, said Jonathan Chavez, the co-founder and chief analytics officer with of the analytics company Social Sphere.
"One of the things that we heard in particular is that depictions of females up to that point in Marine Corps advertising had largely depicted females in training environments," Chavez said. "Male advertising — or general market advertising — also featured Marines actually in service, in fleet, doing their jobsas well."
The survey was conducted between November and January. Chavez and the others involved asked as part of a research project into why female poolees and recruits decide to join the Marines, Chavez said. One question asked the women to evaluate how female women Marines are portrayed in television advertisements, billboards and other recruiting materials.
The decision to feature more information about the military occupation specialties female Marines serve in follows the January announcement that the Pentagon would open all combat arms jobs to women, creating new career opportunities for some troops.
"One of the things that we heard in particular is that depictions of females up to that point in Marine Corps advertising had largely depicted females in training environments," Chavez said. "Male advertising – or general market advertising – also featured Marines actually in service, in fleet, doing their jobs as well."
The feedback they collected is pushing them to think differently about their next ad campaign. That’s about to change.Set to launch in spring 2017, the Marine Corps next round of commercials and other materials advertising campaign will seek to show more of female Marines in operational environments, said Lt. Col. John Caldwell, MCRC's national director of advertising for Marine Corps Recruiting Command.
"As we develop the next campaign materials, we are going to do our best to ensure that those operational depictions are very authentically communicated," Caldwell said.
MCRC also plans to use combat camera Combat Camera and Marine public affairs officers to allow women in the Marine Corps to tell their stories online, Caldwell said. That will include highlighting women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.
"Understanding the value and reach of social and digital channels, to have authentic stories told by Marines, about Marines, for sharing will be in direct support of the campaign," Caldwell said.
The command The Marines may begin posting vignettes from female Marines online before the next advertising campaign kicks off, he said. "Definitely wWe’ll [definitely] be looking for many after its launch," he added.
Ahead of this new venture new advertising campaign, the Marine Corps has started to test ill is testing new forms of direct mail, including one mailing that is solely focused on women, Caldwell said.
In January, the Marines sent out nearly 200,000 direct mailings specifically to women, said Capt. Travis Cooper, lead generation officer at MCRC.
The mailing features several female Marines, including Capt. Karla Cumbie, a UH-1Y Huey pilot, and it lets women know they can "learn how to build bridges on foreign soil," a nod that women can serve as now become combat engineers.