Star of Army Recruitment Ad Killed in Iraq. The Army should face up to it.

Posted by: Burth Helm on May 23, 2007

NPR broadcast a story this morning about a young soldier named Astor Sunsuin-Pineda. He was the focus of an Army recruitment commercial on Spanish language TV, who was killed earlier this month in Iraq from a roadside bomb. Since his death, according to the report, the army has stopped running the ad. Here it is:

All of Army’s advertising, even somber commercials like this one, tip-toe over the two most important aspects of the serving in the military — killing and getting killed. We’re in a world where PR experts say to take the toughest obstacles head on. So why can’t the Army make ads that persuade young recruits to join while honestly presenting the possibility of fighting and dying for their country? Shouldn’t the Army have to do this?

Too many recruitment ads make the military seem like adventure camp. I’m even more disappointed that when one of the stars die, they quietly discontinue the spot. The Army should run a new ad commemorating Sunsuin-Pineda. If it can’t honestly make the prospect of fighting for the U.S. and possibly dying in Iraq seem worthwhile in that ad, then it doesn’t deserve new recruits to fight this war.

Reader Comments

Alec

May 23, 2007 2:37 PM

The military ads have been sickening lately. Not only fo they harp on "learning job skills" and "making money for college" while glossing over the reality of killing human beings and being maimed or killed yourself, but have you seen the ads aimed at parents? The "You made them strong, we'll make them army strong" bit.

They repeatedly feature young people overcoming their parent's objection to joining the army. This is a tacit admission that the army knows no adults want their children serving in this military any longer. I agree that if you want people to join the army, you should be honest with them. Don't fool them into thinking they're going to get a nice cushy job in Iraq and never be in danger. No matter what the MOS, soldiers killa nd get killed.

L NASSE

July 14, 2007 7:01 PM

THESE ROAD BOMBS IN IRAQ MUST BE ABLE TO BE LOCATED BEFORE THEY ARE APPROACHED?
IT IS SO OBVIOUS THAT I MAY BE CONSIDERED A STUPID IDIOTIC OR EVEN MAD TO MENTION A SUGGESTION. IF I CAN THINK OF IT, A HUNDRED OTHER FAR SUPERIOR PEOPLE CIVIL/ARMY MUST HAVE TRIED IT WITHOUT SUCCESS. I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW SOME OF THE GADGETS/IDEAS THAT HAVE BEEN TRIED SO I CAN GET THIS LUNATIC DREAM OUT OF MY MIND.
IF SOMEONE KNOWS PLEASE SEND ME AN E-MAIL. THANKS®ARDS

Emanuel Sanchez

July 25, 2007 1:14 PM

i knew astor since age 7 we grew up in the same town we went to the same church i knew his whole family he was a cool guy had a great family but 1 thing is 4 sure he will always be in our hearts ur brother in arms army Pfc Emanuel Sanchez

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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