A Nation's Call, Creative Campaign Interview

"This reinforced to us the dedication and sense of pride found in every Marine that is indescribable to the average person."

 

Doug D'Arrigo
Executive Creative Director J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
 

Sean McNeeley
Executive Director, Account Management J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
 

What was the original brief for this campaign?

 

“A Nation’s Call is part of a trilogy of campaigns that fall under the Battles Won strategy. This campaign showcases the greatest weapons in the Marine Corps arsenal for winning our Nation’s battles: the fighting spirit found inside each and every Marine.” – Doug D'Arrigo, Executive Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
“The launch of this trilogy deserved more than just the airing of a TV spot. We created a full social / digital-first campaign teasing the spot through retargeted content telling the story of the battles each Marine must face and win in order to defend our Nation, all leading up to the launch of our TV spot Super Bowl weekend.”  – Doug D'Arrigo, Executive Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
What inspired you to approach the campaign this way?
“Working daily with active Marines gave us a unique perspective on not only what they do, but why they do it. It was important to honor the legacy of the Corps as well as the dedication displayed by every Marine. To reinforce and celebrate what drives them was our way of honoring their commitment to our country.” – Doug D'Arrigo, Executive Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
How difficult was it to sell the idea to U.S. Marine Corps?
“The Marines wanted an ad that demonstrated who they are and what they do operationally, so they were ready to make this work from the get go. They were collaborative throughout the production process with ideas on how to integrate aspects of innovation and technology, and they were committed to depicting a modern and authentic representation of a ship-to-objective assault. The Marines are tremendous partners to work with.” – Sean McNeeley, Executive Director, Account Management, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the process?
“Everything about the work we do for the Marine Corps is 100 percent authentic. There are no actors and no creative liberties taken outside of metaphors. Staying true to how things are actually done from the deployment of aircraft, to the number of vehicles as part of an assault, to how Marines would actually take an objective was carefully crafted and checked for realism. What’s portrayed in our spot and accompanying campaign videos is reflective of how it would actually happen, down to the tiniest detail.” – Doug D'Arrigo, Executive Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
What did you learn from the experience?
“This reinforced to us the dedication and sense of pride found in every Marine that is indescribable to the average person. Their hard work and discipline is something that most take for granted. What they do and how they go about doing it inspires our creative teams to approach every assignment with a sense of humility and reverence out of respect for them.” – Doug D'Arrigo, Executive Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about?
“To film the scenes aboard the aircraft carrier, we actually lived aboard the Essex for a few days, mixed in with Marines. We ate when they ate, and slept in their sleeping areas. The sight of a bunch of creatives and teamsters walking around seasick and lost gave every Marine, officer and enlisted a good laugh.” – Doug D'Arrigo, Executive Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
 

 

Doug D'Arrigo
Executive Creative Director J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
Sean McNeeley
Executive Director, Account Management J. Walter Thompson Atlanta