Burnett, Army alter buying

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Officials of the U.S. Army and Leo Burnett USA, unveiling the Army's new ad campaign at a Pentagon news conference this morning said they have been working to extensively alter the upfront buying of former Army ad agency Young & Rubicam, New York. Burnett officials said they recommended the Army concentrate much more of its advertising on the 18 to 24 segment and that the Army will be buying less NFL football and other sports activities that reach large adult audiences to focus more on programming with heavier youth audiences. The Army debuts its first new "Army of One" ad tomorrow on NBC's "Friends" and Burnett officials say MTV will be another focus. (The Hispanic campaign will have a slightly different tag line of "I am the Army."The new campaign replaces Y&R's "Be All You Can Be" and Army Secretary Louis Caldera today said that while the old line was familiar, it had stopped working. Though the Army met its enlistment goals last year, he said three times in the last five years the Army had failed to meet recruiting goals. "'Be all you can be' will be part of how the Army will be talked about forever," he said, "but it was not working. It got tired and dated. It go so when you saw a commercial start, 'In the Army"' you would tune out." He said the new advertising featuring a focus on what an individual can do would be presented "in a fresh and contemporary manner." Burnett officials including CEO Linda Wolf said the tone of "Be you can be" sounded preachy and tried to tell people what to do, when youths want to be in control to make their own decision. The new Army campaign which is also being produced by Cartel Creativo, San Antonio, and Images USA, Atlanta., tells stories of six enlisted soldiers and shows the opportunities available in the Army. The ads never mention the $50,000 college bonus that has been repeatedly mentioned in past Army ads. Burnett officials said their research indicated that the $50,000 message got so strong that students asked about why they should join the Army could offer no other reason besides the money. Burnett was hired by the Army last June to handle the Army's $150 million a year marketing and advertising budget, with most of the money used for media advertising. Burnett today also unveiled a new goarmy.com Web site and a new Army logo that will be used in advertising.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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