JWT Atlanta creates app to gear up Marine recruits

The app aims to get candidates physically and mentally ready.

JWT Atlanta has created a new app for longtime client the U.S. Marines, which seeks to help recruits prepare for training and candidate school.

The new USMC Squad Bay app is available to individuals who are signed up to become a Marine and are on their way to go for entry-level training. It includes a mix of physical and mental training plans, as well as Marine Corps history and trivia, study guides and a resource library. Users can also take physical fitness tests with others in their recruiting office and compete against on another on local leaderboards within the app.

"For years, the important information new recruits need to prepare for their initial training was shared through printed 'Welcome Aboard Kits' which were costly and lacked interactivity," said Lt. Col. Christian Devine, marketing and communication lead at the Marine Corps Recruiting Command.

He added: "Now that most of our recruits and candidates are in the digital space, we wanted to communicate with them there, using a tool that would help them plan workouts and learn foundational information about the Marine Corps so they will be better prepared to succeed in training."

Sean McNeeley, executive director of JWT Atlanta, said the app fits perfectly into the Marines’ systematic recruiting process while meeting the target audience where they spend the most time – their mobile devices.

At the end of last year, the U.S. Marines issued an RFP for its advertising business, which has been with WPP’s JWT - now Wunderman Thompson - for more than 70 years.

According to a government document, the "purpose of this contract is to provide full-service advertising agency support to furnish the supplies and services to enhance the USMC’s recruiting efforts."

The estimated range for the work associated this account is between $32 million and $40 million per period of performance, the document states, adding that "historical prices paid for paid media and other direct costs range between $48 million and $68 million per year."

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