The United States Marine Corps has been defined by their fighting spirit for 243 years. But for today’s youth who are ambivalent about the military, the question is which battles today are worth fighting? As technology and media have changed consumption habits and limited the effects of advertising, the Marines enlisted the help of those voices most prevalent in their lives today—YouTube content creators—to help answer that question.
This unique program developed from a need to reach the youth audience that spends most of their time on YouTube, and share the story of how Marines are trained to overcome any challenge. The Marine Corps created a 3 day version of their legendary boot camp, set at Parris Island, South Carolina, and challenged 4 content creators to make it through the entire 3 days. The moment the creators set foot on the island they were met by their drill instructors and escorted through a grueling schedule of activities that included all of the most feared recruit training challenges: the Confidence Course, the Rappel Tower, the Gas Chamber and the Crucible Hike.
Each creator told their own story of their time on the island and shared the videos with their YouTube followers. The authenticity of their experience – including the reality that not everyone makes it through Marine Corps recruit training, as demonstrated by the fact that one creator quit mid-program – plus the quality of their storytelling led to a phenomenal 159 mm organic impressions within the first month alone, as well as 6.5 mm views across all of the videos.
Content advertisement created by JWT, United States for United States Marine Corps, within the category: Public Interest, NGO.
Executive Creative Director: Alan Whitley
Creative Director, Writer: Yirayah Garcia
Senior Art Director: Andrea Overstreet
Senior Producer: Heather Haley
Executive Director: Sean McNeeley
Business Director: Andrea Villa
Account Supervisors: Aparna Joshi, Marjanee Shook
Regional Supervisor ERR: Chad Isom
Account Executive: Lauren Hill
Director of Strategy: Randy Shepard
Senior Planner: Liliana Vazquez
Executive Director, Communications Strategy: Sunni Thompson
Content Supervisor: Sydney Busby, Holly Hefner
Editors: Adam Rust, Brian Hilaire
Social Media Strategist: Gabriela Benitez
Social Media Coordinator: Mason Havens
Production Company: Compulsive Pictures
Executive Producer: Jack Turney
Executive Producer: Donald O’Connor
Director/DP: George Weiser
AC/2nd Camera: Nicholas Kuhn
Production Coordinator: Nora Gahagan Clark
Sound: Whitney Ince
Brand Partnership: Studio 71
Senior Manager of Brand Partnerships: Brett Cabrera
Producer: Matt De Persiss