The U.S. Marine Corps takes the Leap, supported by Breakthrough strategy.

Part of the U.S. Marine Corps mission is to have diversity in its ranks that matches that of the population. The opportunity was to develop communications that were relevant and compelling to diverse audiences, while being consistent with the overall marketing and communications strategy.

Taking the LEAP with Multicultural Marketing

Our Tool: Depth Interviews; Exploratory Groups
Our Approach: Analysis and Innovation
What We Did: Communications Strategy Development

In support of that objective, Breakthrough designed and executed multiple stages and types of research, including

  • Interviews with Marines to document their stories and identify potential themes
  • Testing those themes with the target audience
  • Pre-release research with Marine candidates and their parents/guardians to gauge response and make adjustments

Seamless dialog was maintained with UniWorld Group (now UWG), who ultimately developed the creative.

Breakthrough identified insights to develop the commercial Leap, which was the anchor of the “Real Talk” African American Targeted Campaign for the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Recruiting Command. The commercial tells the story of the personal transformation of an African American Marine who conquered his fear of water. There is a much higher incidence of African Americans who do not how to swim, although the overall theme is universal. The commercial was reclassified for general market based on the strength of its cross-cultural appeal. It received the 2010 Effie Award in the African American category.

Watch the award-winning commercial below:

About Us

Breakthrough Marketing Technology is a business and strategic marketing consultancy serving clients looking to innovate and grow. We work across business sectors, leveraging a common set of unique tools, analytics, and processes to generate actionable insights, recommendations, and processes to improve business growth. Our onsite diagnostic gets to the bottom of the barriers stalling business growth.


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