The U.S. Marine Corps will air an ad during the Super Bowl for the first time in 30 years, using an online-only spot Sunday to target a young, tough, tech-savvy audience for potential recruits.
The 30-second ad – which can be viewed at www.marines.com – shows Marines deploying off ships in amphibious vehicles, dropping bombs from aircraft and hurling a shoulder-launched drone into the air, simulating real-life combat missions.
The goal, said Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy, head of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, is to reach young men and women who have faced and conquered challenges in their lives.
"I'm trying to enlist 18- to 24-year-olds," Kennedy said. "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'm trying to enlist 18- to 24-year-olds. 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."
Military recruiters have historically found February through May to be the toughest period for finding new enlistments. By this time, many high school seniors have decided what they will do after graduation, or which college they will attend.
Kennedy hopes the ad will reach some who may still be open to serving in the Marine Corps. Targeting the streaming broadcast has now become a more effective option as viewership online grows, he said, and is the best way to reach more young people while spending less money. The ad is expected to reach 20 million viewers.
"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."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.