Advertising agencies love the military – because Americans do. Among average Americans, there is a characteristically pro-military sentiment. Americans love watching sappy military homecoming videos, and advertising agencies have been capitalizing on this for years.
Yesterday was Veterans Day, and it was obvious to me how many organizations and corporations use this pro-military sentiment for capital gain. Military-themed advertisements pull on Americans’ heartstrings – and purse strings.
I first started realizing the way I was being manipulated during last year’s Super Bowl with the Budweiser, “A Hero’s Welcome” commercial, which was one of the most popular commercials of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Jeep also used the military homecoming theme in a Super Bowl commercial, attempting to sell a military-themed Jeep Wrangler with the tagline, “When our troops are home, we are more than a family. We are a nation that is whole again.” Bag News called out this blatant capitalization on the pro-military sentiments in a 2014 article, accusing the commercial of playing on the vulnerability of returning troops and the hearts of American sports fans and media consumers. Can a combat veteran ever feel whole again, especially while sitting in a combat-vehicle inspired Jeep?
Ad Age begged another important question – why is the U.S. military, one of the most respected brans in the country, selling troops for such a low price to any beer company to use as a selling tool?
According to a Huffington Post article, advertisers are smart to try to capitalize on veterans, because the market is so huge. With 25 million veterans experiencing a military affinity in America, this market cannot be ignored.
Advertisements that I once thought were tributes to the military, I now see as downright manipulative, and I remain wary about these types of advertisements that capitalize on the Armed Forces and their families.