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Army Guard Ad Campaign Features Kid Rock, Earnhardt

By Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 27, 2008 – The National Guard has enlisted two superstars to attract new members and remind those already serving what the Guard is all about through a new nationwide theater advertising campaign that made its debut last week.

The new “Warrior” campaign includes music from Kid Rock and features Dale Earnhardt Jr., the National Guard-sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.

Over the next two months, the “Warrior” video will appear in more than 3,000 theaters and on more than 27,000 screens around the country. The video and pre-show slides will air before every movie except those rated G and PG.

Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, director of the Army National Guard, said during an Aug. 20 screening that the new campaign will make an impact.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we’re going to attract a lot of folks that are interested in serving,” he said. “Obviously, we think we are really, really strong in all the communities around the country based on the things we did last year. We think we have irreversible momentum right now.”

Kid Rock wrote a song, “Warrior,” specifically for the Army National Guard. He was chosen for this project because of his popularity among the 17-to-24-year-old market and his demonstrated support of the military, Col. Mike Jones of the Army National Guard’s strength maintenance office said.

“He is as real as it comes,” Jones said. “And he was unapologetic about supporting the Army National Guard recruiting program.”

The new campaign will highlight the Army Guard’s relationship with Kid Rock and Earnhardt. “They did a magnificent job,” Vaughn said. “Folks need to know that they are doing a lot for this country. They are real patriots.”

The campaign is a multi-dimensional marketing approach consisting of the new two-minute music video, lobby stands, popcorn bag advertising, pre-show slides, a lobby presence, an interactive micro-site, a free mp3 download of the “Warrior” song and print advertising in national magazines.

“Our approach has been really unique,” Jones said. “We really tried to set the bar and set the standard for this type of advertising.

“We really tried in the last few years -- starting with Three Doors Down -- we wanted to get music that really engages people,” he continued. “Not just a song about the National Guard, but a cool song that young adults would like to have in their Ipod. I think we have done that.”

The two-minute video was created for theaters featuring three parallel stories, including Kid Rock performing a USO-type show, Earnhardt overcoming adversity on the racetrack and a National Guard soldier serving heroically in the face of danger.

In addition to the video, the Army Guard will place ads in Blender and Spin magazines.

The official “Warrior” microsite will be hosted at www.NationalGuardWarrior.com and features free downloads of the “Warrior” commercial for mp3 players and of computer screen wallpaper as well as behind-the-scenes videos and photos.

“You have to hit them in many, many different outlets,” Jones said.

The Army Guard’s first music video, “Citizen Soldier” by Three Doors Down, was very popular in theaters around the country last year. The song is included in the band’s current self-titled album, “Three Doors Down.”

(Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke serves at the National Guard Bureau.)

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Related Sites:
National Guard Warrior
National Guard Bureau

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