PR tools used for military recruitment and what PR students can learn from them
By: Hanaka Fischman
A man on the ground clutching his knee, a quick assessment and a young woman runs into her home to retrieve a medical kit. On her way back to the injured, she finds herself in a makeshift medical tent, wearing a military uniform and attending to other soldiers - she found her calling.
A woman spills the contents of her purse when trying to exit the bus, a young man assists in picking up her items. When he picks up her bottled water, he is transported to the aftermath of a terrible storm, watching himself in a military uniform assist families who were victims of the disaster.
Both of these scenarios end with the slogan, “You have a calling. We have an answer.”
With a strong emotional appeal, this commercial by Today’s Military attracts those who act upon instinct to help others. This commercial, and several similar ones in the series, have been released and promoted across various social media platforms, from Facebook to Pinterest. Their memorable images have hit thousands of TV screens across the nation. Through these commercials, the U.S. Department of Defense aimed to show that there is a need for people who react quickly and instinctively and that, through their skills, they will provide assistance to those who decide to join the military.
Many people have yet to discover a place for themselves - a place where they can find their true calling. This campaign appeals to those who are struggling with their purpose and the military wants to be the go-to place for these people. By showing different scenarios that are relatable, and comparing them to real scenarios that could occur in the military, it enables a person to view themselves in those situations. This leads people to sign up, join the military and fulfill their place in the world. In other words, they “find their calling.”
Throughout these commercials, we feel a wave of emotions: shock, fear, determination, relief and satisfaction. We are scared for the injured, we are determined to help, we are relieved to see that these people are being taken care of, and we feel satisfied with their accomplishments.
So what can PR students learn from these military commercials? Emotional appeal is a powerful tool to persuade your audience, and by using nonverbal communication with music that pairs well with the scenario, the audience can be captivated. The military knows how to represent itself well and the “Finding Your Calling” campaign is a great example of a successful recruitment strategy.
Do you feel moved by these commercials? Why? Tell us in the comments.
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