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US Marines Make a Direct Appeal to Women

The US Marine Corps is taking on its recruiting challenge the American way — with a targeted advertising campaign. Moving away from its nondescript demographic of "young men," the Marines launched sophisticated ads specifically appealing to women, Latinos, and Arab Americans.


The New York Times advertising section profiled the women-focused campaign:

In the latest campaign, a print ad shows a female marine striking a martial arts pose in front of a crowd of men who are looking up to her as their leader. The tag line: “There are no female marines. Only marines."

These ads run in magazines like Shape , Self, and Fitness, titles likely to be read by young athletic women. Instead of the usual commercials during a NBA game, female-friendly TV spots appear during American Idol. The Marines admitted women for clerical duties in 1918, and today women make up 6.2 percent of the Corps. As seen in this historical gallery, the appeal to women has become much more complex over the years, moving away from flowery brochures.

According to the NY Times, ads running in the La Raza Spanish-language newspaper emphasize family, with the slogan “Each unit in the Corps is a family, and each member knows they never stand alone." The message to Arab Americans? — “I am American. I am Arab. I am a Marine ... I know where I stand.”

Will an appeal to nontraditional demographics change the culture of the military? Do you think the type of woman who would join the Marines needs a direct appeal?

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