The partnership with Twentieth Century Fox puts Army recruiters on the front lines of the promotional push behind “Independence Day: Resurgence,” the sequel set to hit theaters June 24. In the movie universe, the forces of a united Earth prepare for the return of aliens that laid waste to much of the planet in 1996, before being dramatically defeated at the last minute by heroes who looked remarkably like Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum.
The Army’s involvement – which includes both Army- and film studio-produced commercials, as well as a website with interactive games for potential recruits – came about as movie marketers attempted to bridge the gap between the two films.
JoinESD.com no medicine ball throws necessary Cross-platform playThe campaign launched last week with an Army-produced television commercial featuring the proud father of an ESD soldier. A veteran of the first alien encounter, he explains over soft music that the “planet is safer because she’s defending it” before viewers are directed to JoinESD.com.
an Earth Day spot
That clip, which has more than 110,000 YouTube views, was put together by Roland Emmerich, director of both films in the franchise. Viewers are directed to JoinESD.com as a flight suit-wearing William Fichtner (“Armageddon,” “Black Hawk Down,” “The Longest Yard,”) looks at the camera to say, “When the world was brought to its knees, the Army was there to fight back.”
The Army paid about $2.4 million in production costs to attach themselves to the “Resurgence” marketing machine, an AMRG spokeswoman said, not including pre-existing ad-time purchases that were redirected to the program.
It’s part of an ongoing effort to correct what Ortiz called “misperceptions” about the Army by the general public.
“We constantly hear America talk about the Army in a very detrimental way, in that we are low-tech, we are low-skill, and for the most part, because of those first two, we are the institution of last resort,” he said, adding that the responses from the public became so familiar that “two years ago, we stopped asking.”