Saturday, October 14, 2006

Air Force Long

I received this from a friend, who received it from another. The iconography on the side of the fuselage knocked me out.

For a full size photo, go here.

Here's the original caption:

A pic of the Global Hawk UAV that returned from the war zone on Monday under its own power. (Iraq to Edwards AFB in CA) - Not transported via C5 or C17. Notice the mission paintings on the fuselage. It's actually over 250 mission (and I would suppose 25 air medals). That's a long way for a remotely-piloted aircraft. Think of the technology (and the required quality of the data link to fly it remotely). Not only that but the pilot controlled it from a nice warm control panel at Edwards AFB. I worked on Global Hawk several years ago during it's OT&E out of Edwards. It has really long legs- can stay up for almost 2 days at altitudes above 60k. They flew it via satellite control to Australia, and we flew missions during OT&E that went from Eddy to upper Alaska and back non-stop.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Army Strong

Hessian Bob (who was actually in the real Army in addition to being in several fake ones) tells me that the US Army has a new recruiting slogan. Apparently, "Army of One" wasn't cutting it. You can read about it and see a video here.

I'll watch this at home. I can't seem to get sound on my computer at work. Sight unseen, I'll say that I don't like the slogan: "Army Strong." It sounds like:

"Me Tarzan. Tarzan in Army. Army strong. Strong like Tarzan."

But I'll reserve jugement. Just pay the soldiers more. Soldiers should be paid at least as much as tradesmen like plumbers and electricians for the same levels of experience.

UPDATE: Okay, I watched the video and it's really pretty good. The imagery is effective, even moving. The score is stirring without going over the top. My only complaint is that constantly breaking away to show title cards to move the narrative along keeps taking me out of the experience.

Or as Butthead once scoffed while watching a video: "Words. If I wanted to read I'd go to school."

One of the most effective TV commercials out there right now is a great ad from Dow. (I know, I know, Napalm sticks to kids.) But this is a really beautiful spot called "The Human Element" with some striking, National Geographic-like video images set to a moving, Ken Burns-esque violin score. The narrative about the importance of the human element is sustained by a voiceover.

I like this much better. Now, of course the Army would want to strike a different tone than the Dow spot. But I think that the combination of imagery and music is so powerful that breaking it up with title cards reduces the impact. Have a voice, or a couple of voices tell us what Army Strong means to them as soldiers.

Also, I'm still not sold on "Army Strong" as a slogan. The context is: "There's strong (as defined by Webster's) and then there's Army Strong, as exemplified by the US Army." I don't know. Now it sort of sounds like a color-safe bleach.