UPDATE: To watch the 60-second version of the ad, see the bottom of the article.
The Navy will debut its latest recruiting commercial to TV and web audiences Friday night, but it's likely to take viewers a few moments to figure out what's going on in the arresting spot.
Mixed with stunning visuals of Navy ships and submarines, aviators, SEALS, boarding parties and the like are giant red spheres around which the aviators must fly or which hang motionless in the background as sailors board a vessel.
Aliens, you say? Not quite.
As the ad eventually makes clear, they are the giant red heads of push pins in a worldwide map, highlighting the service's ability to operate around the world, on the sea and below, or in the air.
A 30-second version of the ad, appropriately titled "Pin Map," will premier during ESPN's coverage of the Aspen 2015 X Games, beginning at 10:30 p.m. EST. A 60-second version will be unveiled on the America's Navy YouTube channel, and other social media sites.
"Pin Map" is designed to build awareness of the Navy's many unique roles, and the wide array of jobs that service personnel perform.
"Our creative team did a great job of creating suspense that encourages the viewer to use their imagination — asking themselves what could this be?" Cmdr. Chris Servello, spokesman for the chief of naval personnel, told Navy Times. "Anyone who uses Google or Apple map apps is familiar with "dropping a pin" on places they've been or intend to go.
"The commercial does a great job of clearly pointing out all the places our Navy operates, day in and day out."
The second commercial to be released in recent months, "Pin Map" complements "The Shield," a more people-oriented commercial that debuted in 2014.
The ads represent "a pretty big departure from the themes and images of the early 'Global Force for Good' commercials,'" Servello said.
"We believe these two commercials will have broad appeal among potential recruits, those serving in the Navy today, and with vets," he said. " The simple take away from both commercials: America's Navy keeps us safe at home and protects interests abroad through our ability to be present around the world — where it matters, when it matters — with the latest technology and top notch sailors."