I can’t believe I’ve gone two weeks without mentioning the new USNA ads on TV. Gone are the high school AV club, public access-quality gubmint ads with 20 year-old footage. In are snazzy new productions that might be a tad cheesy, but they’re professional looking. At least they aren’t downright embarassing anymore. One thing about the Ram Vela ad… Why would he think about Coach Niumatalolo? Niumat was the offensive line coach! Meh. Creative license, I suppose.

Anyway, the main ad shows a varsity football player, a singer in the gospel choir, a volunteer in Mids For Kids, a varsity soccer player, and some kind of shipdriving simulator. My question is: how many of these things would be considered “secondary, optional, and conditional?” Only one of them looks related to warfare training. The rest appear to the same kind of “distractions” that the Superintendent railed on a year ago. Funny how now they’re what’s being used to get candidates interested in the Naval Academy in the first place. Maybe ECAs are a bit more important than you gave them credit for, eh, Admiral? Shocking.

12 thoughts on “I ALMOST FORGOT

  1. BCR9751

    I miss the old footage of Ruben Brigatty (sp?) the BC from my day. Every time the commercial came up my wife would comment on how piss-poor it was. I will say I’m glad they didn’ t have a ship-driving sim when I was there. Mo-Boards were hard enough for a future Marine.

  2. 150Punts

    I am ecstatic they’ve updated the commercials, I can’t believe it’s taken us so long.

    I do have a disagreement with the commerical highlighting the opportunity to become a doctor upon graduation when in reality, only 1% (15 total) even get Med School slots. Nothing like the ol’ bait and switch: “Oh, you wanted Med Corps? Sorry, here’s your (SWO/NFO/Pilot/USMC) slot but thanks for signing the 2 for 7 commitment anyway.”

    I love the Ruben reference, BTW.

  3. BilltheGoat

    Navy has only exceeded demand for Med school one time since the program inception. The demand was 16 and 16 were accepted. Most who come wanting to be doctors find out flying upside down or eating snakes is more fun.

    This is no more out of line than advertising that you can be a Seal. The quota is 20.


  4. 150Punts

    Bill – USNA exists to produce URL bubbas, not Staff/RL so we should focus on that – anything else is misleading to high schoolers looking to come here (it’s not an outright lie to show the doctor “estiny”, it’s just bad advertising). And the SEAL numbers are up to 28 max for FY09 – you can’t tell me

    Besides, I only like doctors once a year when they give me my upchit. Just kidding.

    There’s enough “WOW” factor w/ all the warfare communities that we shouldn’t need to devote time in a 30 second commercial to 15 Staff Corps.

  5. football dad dan

    150Punts, … When I was serving as a volunteer USNA B&G Officer (from 2002 thru 2006) I was somewhat taken aback just how many (>50%) of the kids I interviewed really homed-in on the Med School/Law School “post-Academy” option.
    Not surprisenly, none of these candidates came from military background families –> Obviously very (scholastically) smart kids who must have been told (by some source?) that the Naval Academy was a great opportunity to obtain a future Med/Law degree (for “free”).
    The reality of military service + extra service committment (if accepted into these very few/highly competative quotas programs) was not a “big hit” for some of them, when I explain the facts.

    GO NAVY!!!

  6. 150Punts

    Dad – I know, I’ve heard the same thing from several others in your B&G role. The price we pay going after top-notch valedectorians et al who, more often than not, seek out the med/law professions. Let’s face it, when we “recruit” a prospective mid, we’re competing with other top civilian schools who dangle the post-grad options in front of them (and rightly so because they can offer it). I’m just leery of us doing the same thing. Granted, this commercial only implies it but aren’t we above that? It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth that we are misleading people.

    This is by no means taking away from the service of a Med/JAG or any other RL job, God knows we need them every single day, but USNA is tasked with producing only 1% of the RL/Staff Corps in USN Officer Accessions. Our “face” to the public should reflect that.

  7. football dad dan

    Onboard 100% with your sentiments 150Punts.

    That’s why I used to always talk-up the “whole man concept” … and the greatness/challenge of being a part of the Fleet to my candidates … and “leaned” towards those who seemed most receptive in my recommendations.

    GO NAVY!!!

  8. thebirddog

    I kind of agree, 150Punts. Although I would point out that even “big Navy’s” recruiting ads have taken a turn for the humanitarian. USNS Mercy, South Pacific, Disaster relief, New Orleans, etc… Want to make a difference in your world, spend some time in ours!

    I find the doctor bit a little more realistic than the “SEAL Team rescuing a kid in the middle of the night” bit, actually. But that’s something we can work on in the next ad. Right now we should probably be thrilled that we have ANYTHING new and professional looking. Seriously, two mids burping “The Goat Is Old And Gnarly” into a microphone would be an improvement over the the old ad.

  9. 150Punts

    Yep, you’re right about the gentler face being portrayed…although the coolest ad ever is the SEALs one with the disappearing footprints in the surfzone.

    Bottom line, USNA is doing a great job keeping mids around to graduate and serve in a warfare capacity even if they didn’t come exclusively looking to pull the trigger or fly a jet. Testament to the kids and the mentors around them (plus all the opportunities from coming here). Otherwise, there’d be a lot more punching out and heading to a civilian schools.

    I think we all agree the new ads were needed and I don’t mind them since they’re snazzy…but give it a few years and we’ll be looking for a retro clip for nostalgia sake (should we ask PAO to put one on Youtube?).

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