United States Marine Corps
USMC / J. Walter Thompson Worldwide
For more than 65 years, JWT has partnered with the United States Marine Corps to accomplish one mission: identify the best and brightest of our nation’s youth and challenge them to discover if they have what it takes to earn the title “Marine.”
The relationship between the United States Marine Corps and JWT dates back to 1864 when J. Walter Thompson enlisted in the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps in turn enlisted the help of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency nearly a century later in 1946 with their first war-time assignment; provide help designing uniforms for female Marines. JWT helped develop the Marine Corps “brand” as the most tough and elite branch of the United States military, attracting only those who want to and can succeed at whatever the institution requires. Through the development of recruiting posters in the first half of the 20th century, the agency began to portray the Corps as a prestigious institution in a patriotic, military context; an attribute still integral to the brand today. After the onset of the all-volunteer force in 1973, JWT played a crucial part in maintaining the tough and elite brand attributes, not promoting the tangible assets that other branches used to recruit (such as paid employment and job training) but the intangible; the fact that only the best would earn the title “Marine.”
In 1977, the Marine Corps launched their first television commercial inclusive of the time-honored and nationally recognized tagline, “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.” They were the first of any military branch to utilize regular paid television advertising for recruiting efforts. In the decades following, JWT helped further strategic efforts that added “smart” to the tough, elite persona of the Marine Corps and promoted the process of transformation all recruits undergo before becoming a Marine.
Throughout the tenured history of working with the Marine Corps, specifically Marine Corps Recruiting Command, JWT has augmented the services provided to include strategic planning, creative design and production of national campaigns, online interfaces and recruiter support materials, database management and lead generation tactics (including but not limited to direct mail, database reporting, email campaigns and analytics), maintaining a sharp focus on recruiting only “the best” prospects.