Uncle Sam Wants Your Parents

Last month we noted that one of the obstacles facing U.S. military recruiters is "parents who are reluctant to see their kids enlist." Now the army is responding with an advertising campaign targeting parents directly with the slogan, "help them find their strength." Seth Stevenson analyzes the ads and their new slogan, in which "The Army has at last been repositioned as a finishing school. You've done the best you can, Mom and Dad, but it's time to let the service raise him right." Of course, the ads completely sidestep the possibility that their kids will get killed. "Most other ads paid for by the government have very different goals," Stevenson notes. "In PSAs about drugs, drunk driving, smoking, and teen sex, parents are unfailingly urged to shield their kids from danger. Here, they're being asked to throw their kids right in harm's way."


The commercial (for the Army Reserves) that really gets my goat is the one where the father and son are playing pool and the father is totally against it, until his son explains that he'll be eligible for good training and be able to stay close to home until he's called up (which seems to be ASAP these days). Then the father changes his tune. I suppose if he's well-trained and he dies, then it'll be ok. Jeffrey Brown 6-year veteran, United States Navy, North Las Vegas, NV