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In the end, just as the team reached its conclusion through intense brain- storming and by bouncing ideas off of active and former Sailors, the new slogan was born: Forged by the Sea. "e Navy is now recruiting young men and women of the Centennial Generation, who have different goals, expec- tations, and media-consumption habits than their Millennial predecessors," said RDML Peter Garvin, commander, Navy Recruiting Command, Millington, Tenn. "As such, the Navy recog- nized the necessity to develop a new marketing campaign and digital-heavy media strategy to more effectively reach, educate, and inspire the best and brightest prospective recruits." "e process was long," said CAPT Dave Bouvé, the marketing and advertising director with Navy Recruiting Command. "e campaign centered around [developing] a tagline that was inspirational, thought-provoking and authentic." Forged by the Sea prevailed over a series of also-rans, Bouvé said, because it was validated by Sailors and veterans taking part in focus-group exercises who saw that it was true to their expe- riences. e campaign was the first of its kind in which the Navy chose to garner input from present and former service members. "It represents both the process and the aspi- rational outcome of every individual Sailor in uniform," he said. "Individuals, teams, life experi- ences and friendships are all forged. We think it is a very powerful message we can use for a long time. You're shaped, transformed and toughened into a stronger and more capable version of yourself." He also believes that Forged by the Sea is "scalable," that is, applicable beyond the scope of a single Sailor. It could apply to the Navy as a whole — toughened by 242 years of history on the seas — as well as the entire nation. e United States was founded and shaped by the oceans that surround and protect it, as well as provide the commerce and livelihoods upon which it depends, Bouvé said. Phrases that were rejected did not stretch enough, or in testing did not sound particu- larly authentic or unique to the Navy. While Bouvé acknowl- edged that not everyone would like Forged by the Sea either, he and his colleagues are confident enough to move ahead. e campaign's goals are fairly clear. e Navy primarily wants to educate and inspire the very best and brightest recruits possible. Even though the service continues to meet its monthly recruiting goals, drawing young people in remains a challenge. e economy is on the uptick, which makes the task all the more difficult. "e bottom line is this is not a static enter- prise. It's getting more challenging. is is a really good time to reshape the message, and talk to our audience in a new way. We want to increase awareness, engagement and the number of leads in the short term. Over the long haul, we want to clearly identify and distinguish the Navy as a distinct brand," Bouvé said. As the project began with input from Sailors and veterans, the goal was to create a slogan that could be used for a long time. All of the marketing and communications initiatives are going to be consistently and logically integrated across all of the Navy's platforms throughout the process, to clearly separate it from the other services. Forged by the Sea generates a positive perception of the Navy as an esteemed and smart force, its creators believe. As the team moved forward with Forged by the Sea, the Navy conducted a so-launch exercise — essentially a test conducted before a select audi- ence — to gauge reaction. ey sought responses from focus groups among the general populace — not just present and former Sailors — in Boston, Denver, San Diego, Chicago and Dallas. e feeling was that the most important ambassadors the Navy has are the men and women in uniform. Encouraged by the results, Recruiting 17 Association of the United States Navy 'e bottom line is this is not a static enterprise. It's getting more chal- lenging. is is a really good time to reshape the message, and talk to our audience in a new way.' — CAPT Dave Bouvé

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