US Army recruitment website relaunches
How about this for an army recruitment website? Relaunched today, goarmy.com, includes all sorts of video from soldiers deployed in Iraq. (Interestingly there are also strong video elements on the British Army recruitment website.)
In an introductory montage, the site proclaims that in the past information about the war in Iraq was in the hands of the print and broadcast media. But not any more.
In this advertisment, Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commanding general of the Army Accessions Command in Fort Monroe, Va., said the aim is to provide â€œverifiable information about what being a soldier is really like, what combat is really like.â€
In an attempt to engage with 17-24 year olds, the site, consciously or otherwise, mixes real and virtual elements, including film, games, and a virtual ‘Sgt Star’ to act as an online guide. There’s also the promise of interactive webcasts where serving soldiers will answer questions submitted by users of the site.
The investment in new media has meant cutbacks in other areas of recruitment activity.
For a domestic audience, it looks like a master piece, but it’ll be interesting to see whether any of the videos are picked up by ‘enemy’ websites or posted on Youtube.
In one video, a soldier describes how he enjoys getting ‘paid to blow stuff up’. You’ve got to wonder whether that sort of thing is going to be twisted by the Al-Qaeda propaganda machine.
After all, the war isn’t merely being fought on the ground, it’s taking place on the Web too.
Picture: US Army advertisement