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The United States Has the Best Military Advertisements

Cohu (via German Joys) compares recruiting videos from the German, Austrian and Ukrainian military and also includes a beer company's video ad that is promoting the US military.

While the Ukrainian video is ridiculous, the Austrian copy-cat version is just stupid. The Bundeswehr clip is a typical commercial highlighting the fun aspects of serving in the military, while ignoring everything else.

The American clip is by far the most effective advertisement in my opinion (and cohu's) and did not cost the taxpayer anything. The video shows how Americans appreciate the service and sacrifices of their troops and shows how glad they are that the soldiers made it back home. No triumphant atmosphere. The clip is so low-key and appears authentic and honest. All the mess the soldiers had to live through is somehow included in the atmosphere. That makes it honest and patriotic and an effective promotion. Just my opinion, of course.

Does Germany need such videos showing appreciation? Would such messages work in Germany and increase support for the Bundeswehr's mission in Afghanistan?

Can you imagine a German beer company making such an advertisement with soldiers returning from Afghanistan? (BTW: The Bundeswehr consumed 990,000 liters of beer in Afghanistan in 2007.)

The NY Times's Nicholas Kulish writes that what is happening in Germany is the opposite of what the US commercial shows. There are "no parades for Hans":

Often, as I have passed through the main train station here in the German capital, I have seen the sad, lone figure of a soldier, heavy pack on his back, waiting for a train like the rest of us, but separated from the crowd by the uniform he wears. No one would stop to thank him for his service or to ask whether he had been deployed to Afghanistan. The loneliness was obvious, but at times I even sensed what I thought might have been fear, at the occasional hostile looks the soldier would receive alongside the impassiveness of the broader masses on the platform, who just tried to pretend he wasn't there. (.)

The German men and women in Afghanistan set off for war without the support of the populace, and they know that when they return there won't be crowds cheering in the streets, ready to make heroes of them. Germany has turned its back on hero worship. The soldiers fight alone.

What are the most and the least effective military advertisements you have seen? I am most interested in honest, authentic and or funny ones, like the Danish Norwegian KFOR Boys. Yes, sure, post anti-military advertisements as well, if you like, but no gory stuff, please.

Endnote: This is a great photo contest to increase public support: Why Afghanistan Matters

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Pat Patterson on :

Though this one seems ominous it does convey the message of the neccesity of fighting and that Canadians receive a direct benefit of having a military as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZhGx3AREcw

Zyme on :

It has been a while due to my internship abroad, which has consumed a lot of time - but here is some recent info on how to promote the military I would like to share (don't know whether Americans do this too): http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/886/507051/text/ It is in German (couldn't find an English report on it yet), but I can summarize it in a few sentences. The German Army in the past has rarely ever visited German pupils at schools. I recall only one such event during my entire school time, and it was one among many possible employers promoting themselves back in those days. The schools had to invite them first, which obviously not every one was comfortable with. This is changing now. According to the article, the German Army has signed a contract with 5 out of 16 German states (which are responsible for education), which allows "youth officers" to come to the schools to speak to pupils as a recognized "partner in education". The contract also lays the groundwork for teachers to be educated by officers in matters of security policy and pupils to make excursions to military bases. Two further states are currently thinking about signing such a contract, too. This has reached the public (or more accurately the press) after it has become public that a class of minors was taking a trip to a base and then being granted the opportunity of having fun at the digital shooting simulator. This is a vital step to promoting the Army I believe. Which youngsters would not like to have such an excursion and have a first hand view on the equipment, take a seat on a tank and drive around ? Also bringing the Army as an equal partner in education to the schools by signing contracts with the ministry of education has the benefit of excluding old fashioned headmasters, who stick to the pacifist ideas of their student days, from decision making.

John in Michigan, US on :

"don't know whether Americans do this too" Yes, US military recruiters visit high schools (students age 14-18) often. There is no national or state-by-state policy on this issue. As usual in America, it is a local question for each each school to decide. Most schools treat the military as just another potential employer for their graduates; some have a special relationship with the military, and a few discourage or even ban the military from visiting. Most school guidance counselors (who help the students develop a plan for after graduation) prefer that a student goes to college (uni) instead getting a job or joining the military. If a school sends a higher percent to college, it increases the prestige of the school.

Pat Patterson on :

Does Germany have something similar to the JROTC or the ROTC on campuses? Quite a few kids, somewhere around 20% for the former and 80% of the latter, join the military eventually.

Marie Claude on :

It's going to change CIA paper reveals plans to manipulate European opinion on Afghanistan http://www.prisonplanet.com/cia-paper-reveals-plans-to-manipulate-european-opinion-on-afghanistan.html http://file.wikileaks.org/file/cia-afghanistan.pdf

Joe Noory on :

The report says things like -demonstrate success- in one way or another. Where populations have a specific interest, and you show your success in it, how is that manipulation? They will merely -present- issues to people that matter to them. It doesn't mean they're fabricating anything, or concealing anything that doesn't need to be classified. I'm sure the antis will construct a narrative around it, but what, fundamentally, will change in the choices European populations have here? None! The French, German, and Dutch governments have ALWAYS made a point of saying that they were there to advance the virtues that their societies' deem important! HOW IS IT do you think some memo-writer at Langley would even KNOW what a majority of Germans, French, or Dutch are asking or thinking about? By LISTENING TO THEM. Are yoy trying to make the argument that THAT is "manipulation"? Why don't you go back to worrying about 'the great UFO cover up', or looking for American gangsters under your bed, or something.

Marie Claude on :

OK Joe, your subtility is still at me, but in case you'd really read the article that talk about manipulative CIA, it's from an american conservative blog, so don't allot me this invention for once !

Pat Patterson on :

Prison Planet is a conservative site only because they claim to be not in reality. They are to the conservative movement as much as Le Pen speaks for French conservatives. This document is interesting, hardly surprising in that I thought that what France24 was attempting to do and unsourced.

Marie Claude on :

WTF where is France 24 ? anyway, it just shows how bad faithed you are

Pat Patterson on :

France24 is online and also available on You Tube. And if France wants to present its version of the news then fine but I would expect that it be judged with the same consideration as any American attempt to explain its side of the story. Plus I still would like to know what was racist about Joerg's original comment?

Marie Claude on :

N'importe quoi !

Joe Noory on :

I read the memo, you -read into- the memo, and the article you cite is from the passive-agressive and conspiratorially obsessed website "prison planet", which is not a conservative blog at all. It's run by Alex Jones, and his "truther" followers, who have thrown so many theories out there about "who did 9-11," that they overlooked the people who really comitted the attack. He has earned praise from far-left flunky and "journalist" Greg Palast, the man who claimed two weeks before the 2008 US presidential election that McCain "already stole" the election, and the BBC aired it without questioning a single claim. I have never met anyone as intellectually incapable as you.

Marie Claude on :

you sure are a respectable person that operates onNO PASARAN ! L'HÔPITAL QUI SE FOUT DE LA CHARITE so, is the CIA document a conspiracy invention !

Joe Noory on :

No, it isn't a conspiracy invention. I said PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE. Did you even READ IT, or are you just hoping it's implying something that isn't there? You look to neo-Nazis writing in the 70's for information on the Fed, you look to 9-11 Conspiracy freaks for information on what you want a CIA memo to say... you think that Germans not wanting to shovel money that they will never see again at the Greek government "racist", the list goes on. You keep throwing one silly assertion after another, and when it doesn't make any sense, it's "N'importe quoi ! N'importe quoi !"

Marie Claude on :

LMAO, silly is as the silly is too blah blah, blah, Thierry Messan ain't of my cup of tea, uh bizarre he is hiding in Lebanon at the moment since he was banned from france !, So there are many ME populations that buy his scenarios !

Pat Patterson on :

Banned in France? That's interesting as The Big Lie is currently listed as available on the Amazon France web site. And if Thierry Meyssan is hiding out in Lebanon, doubtful, then that makes sense as his biggest supporter has been the Arab League. But to echo Joe there really is nothing in the document to even remotely suggest that this new public relations push by the US is anything more than a "...what if?" Also since Joe didn't even mention Meyssan but was talking about the nutcase and truther site Prison Planet what exactly then is MC on about?

Marie Claude on :

"Banned in France? That's interesting as The Big Lie is currently listed as available on the Amazon France web site." so ? you can write on a german site too, is it a proof that your living in Germany ? No journalist, even the lefties want to hear from him, and as medias are his business, so he is dead ! And if Thierry Meyssan is hiding out in Lebanon, doubtful, in one of his articles on Voltaire, he said it he doesn't hide his syympathy for HBZ and Iran your attempts to drown the fish are pathetic, and finally, did the CIA wrote or not the quoted paper ? that is the subject of the topic, that you don't want to discuss !

Pat Patterson on :

No, as I explained the Red Cell is not part of the CIA but the name given to groups of consultants brought in by both Homeland Security and the other intelligence services to brainstorm. A few key strokes and you could have found out this information yourself rather than relying on the utterly unreliable Alex Jones. Merely putting a CIA symbol on the paper does not make it a CIA document. You claimed, or at least via garbled syntax that either Meyssan had been banned or his book. Obviously The Big Lie has not been banned and I can find absolutely nothing to indicate that Meyssan has been banned. One wonders at your knowledge of the French legal system to even suggest such a thing. And as I and Joe have pointed out so what? The US government has every right, as does the French government, to study perceptions in other countries and then try to craft an effective response that at least explain their position and maybe even change a few minds. Now this is normal except in those cases where the people have so little faith in themselves that they constantly believe the wildest conspiracies to explain the world rather than acting to shape it themselves.

Marie Claude on :

" The US government has every right, as does the French government, to study perceptions in other countries and then try to craft an effective response that at least explain their position and maybe even change a few minds" yeah, et mon cul c'est du poulet ? people like you (not all the Americans fortunately) you are so far the conspiracy makers, ie Plame, WMD .... and you're responsible for the bad opinion of the US around the world, not only in France, though, sure some French aren't trustful, but the majority don't trust people like you ! if we were alone I could question myself, but the whole world would be idiot according you, sorry, even your best scientists aren't born american, you bought them with your universities dollars, things are going to reverse, since your economy isn't at the top anymore ! uh, I'm betting on Israel, Russia, India Brazil for now !

John in Michigan, US on :

"[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsfV-ZL4rUo]et mon cul c'est du poulet[/url]?" Wow, I had to look that up. CRTIDF apparently has the best videos illustrating French idiom.

Pat Patterson on :

Are you trying to argue that neither the US or France has the right to present itself in the best possible light to the world?

Joe Noory on :

While I'm sure it gives many a good laugh, I've seen several times, people simply clapping when they see a large number of troops getting off of a plane or train. It just happens, and mostly the troops look embarassed and thankful, and some of them look like they could just as well start crying or clam up. I'm not aware of any part of government that enouraged this. It just happens. It's not a political message, it's just a "thank you". I nearly started a riot at Charles De Gaulle Airport when I started other passengers clapping. It seemed as though the bystanders clapping were almost relived that it was okay to do it. Look, mostly they're young people. They need to know that when they do a job, that someone recognises it, and thanks them. [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plp1aueAf5U]Even in Lebanon[/url] they run ads, in this case encouraging simply holding these young men in some esteem. My favorite ad, though, isn't even really an ad. It's features the United States Marine Corps shown silent drilling [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-73lJv9ltK0]across the landscape[/url] from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

John in Michigan, US on :

The music in the Ukranian ad ROCKS. Makes me think of folk music but 2x speed and all the players have had way too much coffee. But then, I have strange tastes... That outstanding ad from Budweiser, with all the people clapping for the soldiers, was aimed primarily at the public, secondarily at beer drinkers, and only indirectly at military recruitment. In my opinion.

Joerg Wolf on :

Yes, indirectly, but even then more powerful for recruiting than the other ads. In my opinion.

Joe Noory on :

Tohn - while that ad aired first at the 2005 Superbowl, there was much that clapping going on in 2002 when the first troops rotated back from Afghanistan appeared in visible numbers.

John in Michigan, US on :

I didn't spend any time in airports during that period, but from what I heard and read it was fairly common for troops to be applauded or otherwise thanked. If it were a (very) short film, one could easily say it was based on actual events.

John in Michigan, US on :

Not a military advert, but a [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-8PBx7isoM]great ad from the UK in favor of seat belts[/url]. Not an advert at all, but still very, very cool. [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4g930pm8Ms]Animation of 24 hours of global air traffic.[/url] By the way, most days this massive, winged migration happens without a single fatality. Enjoy.

Pat Patterson on :

Ah, if only my last flight to Australia had been that fast. I'd be very curious if that could be done showing how many of the flights from US to Europe and vice versa were the same planes within that 24 hour period. Thanks for the link.

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