Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a great place to start. Sadly.

Earlier this month, an Army Experience Center (AEC) opened in the Franklin Mills Mall. Yeah, you read that right. Experiential marketing at its best, where aimless youth can experience — virtual-style — what it’s like to fly a Black Hawk chopper or cruise in a Humvee.

When I was sixteen and feeling full of angst, I would head over to a music store and plug in some electric guitars. Today’s teen can do that, too — but when HE leaves Sam Ash, the AEC will be waiting for him just across the way. And when he’s done playing in this dubious virtual arcade, he’ll be invited to hang out in the AEC CafĂ© and have a mochaccino with some big-toothed Army recruiter in a Polo shirt, who raps with him about how awesome military life is.

Sound like a place you’d want YOUR kids to hang out? Me neither. (Oh, the kicker: the AEC cost $200M in taxpayer — i.e., YOUR — money to build. I didn’t even know this shit was going on, did you?)

McCann-Erickson spearheads this military branch’s “Army of One” branding. Far as who handles the direct and interactive marketing ... it’s pretty hush-hush. Guess no agency wants to assume that polarizing identity. I’ve heard various rumors: one pins the account to Avenue A/Razorfish, another has it at Gillespie, another slates Roska as the owner.

Anyone know for certain?


Jerry Aldini said...

Yo, Frank! Ever hear the phrase "be ALL that you can be?" Jeezis, homos like you give Bin Laden a woody in his cave over there on the Iraq/Packistan border.

Frank the Insider said...

I honestly don't even know what this is supposed to mean.

Richard said...

Ha! Jerry Aldini, where you been man? Haven't snorted coke with you since 1978.

Listen: Candy Slice was the greatest. Patti Smith had nothing on her. Tragic, the way she died drunkenly choking on semen.

Jerry Aldini said...

Frank: It means you seem to be whining like a little girl about our United States Army's efforts to recruit fine upstanding young men to defend us from terror (aka Bin Laden). If you had your way, every kid in the Army would be back home, f-ing up "Smoke on the Water" at Sam Ash, instead of driving around Baghdad in a HumVee (which may or may not have sufficient underbody armor to protect them from that IED up ahead, I will concede)tracking down terrorists THERE so we don't have to buy our cigarettes from them at 7-11 stores HERE.

Richard: That was YOU!? Awesome, baby! On the Candy Slice choking thing, all I'll say is that I'm glad DNA testing was an inexact science back then.

Frank the Insider said...

I'm going to assume "Jerry" is joking, a la Stephen Colbert.

If not, all I can say is: Enjoy that ephemeral rush you get when the McCain/Palin ticket comes out victorious on Nov. 4th (which is almost inevitable, at this point). 'Cause after that, the dark clouds hanging over this country will start to unleash some truly nasty shit.

If you need me, I'll be in Montreal.

Jerry Aldini said...

Of course I'm joking. Except for the "Smoke on the Water" thing. I mean, who doesn't hate it when you stop in to Sam Ash for a new set of strings and there's some teenager mangling an okay song with all the knobs set on 10?

Awesome strip joints in Montreal, btw. I'm calling shotgun and springing for gas money if JayMac and the GILF take the electrical college next month.