After more than 18 months of research, development and focus group testing, the Navy has announced its newest recruiting slogan: “Forged by the Sea.”
“Forged by the Sea” is being rolled out as part of a new ad campaign set to debut during Saturday’s annual football game with rival Army.
“For more than 200 years our Sailors have been tested and shaped by the sea,” Navy Recruiting Command leader Rear Adm. Pete Garvin said in a release. “Our new tagline perfectly captures the transformative impact the Navy and the sea has on our Sailors.”
The new slogan and campaign aim to reach “centennials” in the 17-to-21-year-old bracket.
“Forged by the Sea” began to be forged by the sea service last year, when the Navy enlisted an effort led by marketing and communications agency Young & Rubicam, “to create an enduring and authentic brand identity, tagline and unified marketing strategy to inspire and motivate potential recruits to join,” according to the release.
Young & Rubicam won a recruiting command contract in 2015 worth up to $457 million over five years. The new campaign’s commercials and other work cost about $10 million.
“Forged” is the 10th tagline adopted by the sea service in the past 45 years, according to the command, and was “unanimously selected” by focus groups.
“The taglines and brand elements were tested not only with Centennials but also current enlisted Sailors, officers, Navy veterans, and key influencers,” the release notes.
It replaces “A Global Force for Good,” a slogan thrown overboard about three years ago after Navy officials said it failed to properly convey all things Navy to the target demographic.
“It’s not that we aren’t a global force for good, but rather that the tagline alone doesn’t capture all of who we really are,” then-spokesman to the chief of naval personnel, Cmdr. Chris Servello, told Navy Times in 2014.
While a full campaign will not roll out until March, the first Navy recruiting ad featuring “Forged by the Sea” will air during the second quarter of Saturday’s Army-Navy game.
Two new ads available online are slickly produced segments aimed at showcasing the diversity of jobs on offer with the Navy.
Navy Recruiting Command’s Facebook page will also host “Sea It Live” throughout game day, featuring segments hosted by Naval Academy alumni as part of the new campaign’s social media focus.
Saturday will include “a wide range of social media initiatives before, during, and after the game, including five augmented reality filters on the Navy Recruiting Command’s Facebook platform that allow fans to creatively celebrate the Navy,” according to the command.
“After the game, a street team will capture Sailors’ reactions and feelings about the new tagline and commercials in real time, and post on NRC’s Twitter page, while calling on followers to share their own thoughts,” the release states.
The Navy release states that, while the Navy has consistently met or exceeded its annual recruiting goals, the recruitment market is tightening and the service must evolve.
“Over the years, we have changed our tagline several times to capture everything our great Navy represents in just a few simple words,” Garvin said. “After much research and creative development, we emerged with a deep understanding of our organization’s purpose and potential—all of which tie back to the sea.”
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at email@example.com.