The United States Marine Corps (USMC) will run recruitment ads for the NFL’s Superbowl Sunday, but not on the television broadcast most football fans will watch.
Instead, the Marines will run an action-packed 30-second spot only on the various online streams popular among younger Americans in what the Associated Press (AP) says is the first time the Corps has advertised at the Superbowl in thirty years.
The USMC’s top recruiting officer, Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy, spoke with the AP’s Lolita C. Baldor about the ad, that features an exciting mock-battle scene with some of the air-land-sea fighting force’s most advanced weapons.
“I’m not trying to enlist fathers or mothers, I’m trying to enlist 18- to 24-year-olds,” Kennedy told Baldor, although he explained it was also cheaper to play the ad online that on broadcast. “And they tend to be cord cutters. They take in entertainment differently and they tend to do it on a device rather than a television.”
“I don’t have unlimited funds,” Kennedy added. “And this is probably the most-watched event, as we move into the toughest months of recruiting.”
“This ad talks to the fighting spirit of young people that have come up through high school,” Kennedy said. “We want young, tough, smart warriors that want to continue to seek challenges, and we’re seeking them from men and women from all walks of life.”
“Generation Z,” the post-millennial group born in the late 1990s and the 2000s, is the age target Kennedy describes, just entering their prime military recruitment years. It is not yet clear how this rising generation of Americans will shake out politically, but some early indications show they may be significantly more right-leaning than their millennial and Generation X predecessors.
The decision to re-engage with the NFL now, while the league faces a festering controversy over some of their players refusing to stand for the National Anthem, may upset some Americans. Families with conservatives and veteran members among them have been particularly incensed by the players’ displays, ostensibly held to support the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
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