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U.S. Army Launches "Starting Strong"

Army moves beyond traditional TV advertisements to reach 18-24 year-old recruits with new branded content series

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With 18-24 year olds finding more and more ways to elude commercials, the U.S. Army is creating innovative ways to tell the Army Strong Story to that key demographic. On June 2, the Army and partner Ricky Schroder Productions will premiere "Starting Strong," a 10-episode branded series airing on FOX affiliates in 16 local markets and online. The reality-TV inspired program tracks the recruitment and hands-on experience of a prospect interested in becoming an Army Soldier. 

To adapt to 18-24 year-olds' content consumption patterns and use of multiple platforms, Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) began exploring innovative ways to engage prospects and influencers with branded content that realistically portrays the Army, Army life and the benefits of service. "Starting Strong" gives civilians interested in becoming a Soldier a chance to immerse themselves in an Army career field, or Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), for a week to determine if the Army commitment is for them.  

"We have always known that our Soldiers are the best advertisement for our Army," said Mark S. Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. "But it is difficult to show the life-long benefits of joining the Army team, while countering the many myths about our Army, in a 30-second commercial. We needed a new approach that allowed a deeper unscripted discussion with our key audiences."

Produced with Ricky Schroder Productions the series was shot at Army installations like Fort Bragg, N.C. and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. By filming on location at actual installations and pairing prospects with currently serving Soldiers, the show is an authentic approach to educating prospects about the breadth of Army opportunities and demonstrates Army values and the mental, physical and emotional strength needed to be an Army Strong Soldier.

"I have such profound respect for the Army, the Soldiers that serve, and the families that support them and I wanted to find a way I could use my creative skillset to help tell the Army story," said Ricky Schroder, producer and narrator for "Starting Strong." "I'm thrilled with the result of this project and hope it inspires others to serve our country in any way possible."

"Starting Strong" will air Sunday mornings between June 2 and August 4 on FOX affiliates in the following markets:

  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth
  • Boston (Manchester)
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Atlanta
  • Detroit
  • Phoenix
  • Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Orlando
  • Austin
  • Memphis
  • Gainesville

Check local listings for times.

Beginning June 2, full episodes will be available after each airing at www.youtube.com/goarmy.   Starting May 28, five-minute webisodes will be available at www.goarmy.com/startingstrong.

About Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG)
The Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) was created by order of the Secretary of the Army in April 2011 and is tasked with connecting the Army with America through a strong Army brand and establishing the Army as the desired opportunity for service for the most qualified candidates. AMRG, along with the total Army force, including Civilians, and Families, former Soldiers and veterans, exists to create brand equity and solidify what the American people think about their Army.

About Ricky Schroder Productions
Ricky Schroder Productions is a film and television production company focused on telling positive, uplifting, inspiring American stories that stand the test of time. Operated out of a state-of-the art production and editing facility in an historic red barn in Topanga, California, the company is run by Golden Globe ® winning actor and award-winning director and writer Ricky Schroder and award-winning television host, writer and producer Andrea Schroder.

SOURCE Army Marketing and Research Group

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