Glory

I thought that I had originally posted this in February but apparently there is a difference between the publish post and save post buttons.

I began taking a look at recruiting commercials for the United States Marines. I found a couple that interested me. USMC Commercial #1 interested me because of the 30 second commercial; there are no words until the 25 second mark. Before that it is images glorifying the Marines. There are drill lines doing fancy things with guns, planes taking off from a battle ship, marines walking across a rough terrain and breaking into a run down house. Then the words come across the screen “We do not accept applications, only commitments.” Following more images of Marines doing ‘cool’ things. Following the words, an announcer saying “The few, the proud, the Marines.” I think this commercial is very effective because it makes the Marines look like all they do is cool, manly stuff.

USMC Commercial #2 has all spoken words. It shows images from WWII and the beach of Normandy. It then shows a Marine surrounded by kids in an apparent other country. The narrator talks about “freeing countries, protecting the weak and defeating the strong.” This is another commercial glorifying the Marines. This makes me think that someone has found glorification to be the best recruitment method.

This then made me think of the WWI poems we read. Rupert Brooke’s poem, The Soldier, can also be argued that he is glorifying the soldier.

“If I should die, think only this of me: / That there’s some corner of a foreign field/ In that rich earth a ricer dust concealed;/ A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,/ A body of England’s, breathing English air,”

Brook is glorifying the death of the soldier just like the Marine videos are glorifying being a solder. This obviously must be the most effective way to recruit soldiers.

New USMC Commercial.  April 7, 2007

USMC Recruiting Ad.  December 5, 2007

Rupert Brooke, The Soldier

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2 Comments »

  1. meg3212 said

    I agree with with your theory that military commercials glorify war as a motivational tool to recruit young men and women. I remember some of the commercials we watched in class and they all had a lot of images of men and women in uniform performing great and hero-like tasks. Some show images of previous wars-but the ‘good’ images of men doing brave and noble things. I believe that this motivational tool works, but I wonder how decienving it really is? The commercials make you feel like, if you do not join the marines, army, navy, etc. then you will be a failure and weak to your country and family. They also neglect to tell you about all of the negative aspects of war. They only show men climbing ropes, on ships, rescuing people in villages, or in training, receiving their medal, etc. War has always been glorified and romantisized, even in Brook’s poem, he believes that he will be a hero if he dies for his country.

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