Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Two-fer Wednesday!

This post is a two-parter, how exciting! First, I praise a pretty cool ad unit. Then I rant about the advertiser.

First Part:
So to your right is an ad unit by the US Air Force. If you attempted to roll over the ad unit, I'm sorry, it's just a capture. However, you can check out the ad unit here. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Back? Cool. What did you think? Not bad. It's a good use of video and pretty smooth (The tech vendor, Eyewonder, does a fantastic job on video ads, if you happen to be shopping for one).

Overall, I think it's a great ad execution. There's a clear call to action telling you to roll over. When you do, it's very simple and engaging. The text button on top of the ad unit that says "Click here to see who's behind our technology" could have been done a little better, but it's ok. The message comes across very simply, you can play with cool toys in the Air Force.

Second Part:
I found this ad on several game sites. Now I know the military has been heavily recruiting through the game industry (America's Army, for instance) for several years now. Reaching through an industry that shares your same target audience makes sense. What bothers me (I think the above ad succinctly demonstrates this point) is that the recent recruitment campaigns for the military have entirely focused on war as a game. It's one thing to sponsor an actual game like America's Army, it's something else entirely to try to make real warfare seem like a game.

If you look at the ad above, that feels like a capture from a game. There are other ads out there that shows soldiers punching glowing buttons and staring at cool displays. It's too much to ask for ads that would actually show what really happens in the military. I know that a "Saving Private Ryan" carnage scene is not going to be an effective recruitment ad. But I'm wondering what happened to joining the military for patriotism, duty, honor or cash?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a supporter of the military, I just think it's really unfortunate that the military has to borrow from our industry. I can't think it'd be a positive thing for us. As a society, isn't it slightly hypocritical that we demonize games because supposedly kids play them and then shoot each other in schools while our military gleefully uses games to recruit kids to shoot other people?

Grrr... Sorry, I need to count to ten.....

Ok, I am done with political ranting for today. Apologies. I'll get back to fluffy videos tomorrow.

No comments: