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JWT Atlanta Launches More Work, New Website Under New Brand Platform For U.S. Marine Corps

Posted March 30, 2017

The United States Marine Corps is debuting new creative and a new website celebrating the irreducible essence of the Marines: their fighting spirit.

Anthem, created by J. Walter Thompson Atlanta and produced by The Mill, is an ode to the battles Marines have faced and won throughout history. The spot is cinematic in style, employing traditional camera movements within a CGI environment, where iconic battle scenes are sculpted as monuments making up a larger Marine statue. It’s launching digitally today and on TV next week.

“We wanted the final results to feel as real as the epic moments in history we were depicting,” said Ben Smith, Executive Creative Director, The Mill, in a statement. “We strived to faithfully recreate the craft and material finishes of bronze sculpture work, and used lighting and cinematography to underpin the sense of realism.”

A new website was also launched, the new Marines.com boasts strong imagery and clear calls-to-action to inspire, educate and motivate prospects to take the next step by completing the Contact A Marine form to connect with a Marine recruiter. The responsive site features dynamic content, including five cinemagraphs on the homepage and more than 50 videos, a dozen of which were filmed earlier this year.

J. Walter Thompson, the AOR for the United States Marine Corps serves as the lead creative, research and strategy agency and worked with Mirum on the development of Marines.com.

Anthem launched via paid digital and social media on March 28.  It will be on paid TV as well as PSA placement beginning next week. Anthem also includes OOH and radio elements.

DIVERGE talked to the team behind the ad to find out more: 

Where did the idea of the campaign come from?

Tom Wilson, JWT Atlanta’s Creative Director:

The idea for Anthem came out of the fact that since their creation, Marines have passed down many beliefs, values and traditions that are imbued into every Marine. This includes every lesson learned from all the battles Marines have faced and won, as well as the fighting spirit within every Marine.

J. Walter Thompson Atlanta developed the Battles Won campaign and Anthem concept. [JWT has supported the United States Marine Corps account for nearly 70 years.] The creative team of Brian Steele and Daniel Prado concepted the script and a poster series that brought a literal representation of this idea to life.

We were looking for a collaborative partner for this production not just a vendor. The Mill was ‘all in’ with us. The level of effort and dedication to even the smallest details brought our initial vision and script to life in a way we never thought possible.

Why did the creative team decide to focus on fighting spirit?

Wilson: The fighting spirit is what separates Marines from all other branches of service. A Marine’s entire orientation is to fight and win battles – whether that’s the battle to overcome fear and self-doubt to earn the title, Marine, the battles to defend our country, or those to improve their communities after service. Marines refuse to lose and will not stop until the battle is won. It’s the original story of the Marine Corps told for a new generation.

Why is this campaign significant? 

Wilson: To help separate the Marine Corps from the other branches, we pursued the innate truth about the Marine Corps, which is every Marine has a willingness to engage and the determination to defeat any opposing force. We call it the fighting spirit. This is their main weapon in winning all battles: literal or figurative. We believe this will appeal to those prospects who know there is something special about themselves, something they possess deep inside that can be best cultivated by the Marine Corps.

What do you hope to gain from the campaign?

Gunnery Sergeant Justin Kronenberg: The ultimate goal of the campaign is to assist in recruitment efforts by enabling Marine recruiters to contract the highest-caliber people to become U.S. Marines.

Why is this campaign significant?

Lieutenant Colonel John Caldwell, National Director of Marketing and Public Affairs, Marine Corps Recruiting Command: Marines have more battles to face than ever before, and it’s important that all of America’s communities understand how we as a Corps are committed to winning them. With the passing of generations who remember or participated in the wars of the 20th century, and in recognition of the battles won and sacrifices made in this century, we’re shaping how we communicate who we are and what we do to our audiences today.


Agency: J. Walter Thompson Atlanta

Chief Creative Officer: Vann Graves

Creative Director: Tom Wilson

Copywriter: Brian Steele

Art Directors: Daniel Prado, Michael Powell

Producer: Brad Powell

Strategist: Randy Shepard

Group Account Director: Sean McNeeley

Account Director: Andrea Villa


Production: Mill +

Director: Ben Smith

Executive Producer: Chris Kiser

Senior Producer: Nick Strange Thye

Research & Story Development: Tom Basis, Tyler Richardson, Eve Grissinger


Editorial: The Mill 

Editors: Ryan McKenna, Alex Trierweiler


VFX & Design: The Mill

Executive Producer: Chris Kiser

Senior Producer: Nick Strange Thye

Creative Director: Ben Smith

2D Lead Artist: Kyle Cody

3D Lead Artists: Tom Bardwell, Olivier Varteressian, David Fleet

2D Artists: Molly Intersimone, Dae Yoon Kang

3D Artists: Arman Matin, Paul Liaw, Ivan Joy, Nick Couret, Ylli Orana, Yong, Chan Kim, Jimmy San, Jackie Liao, Adam Dewhirst, Zed Bennett, Will Atkin, Alex Allain, Aton Lerin, Rachel Start, Navdeep Singh, Mike Garcia, Juan Carlos Barquet, Anna Cardillo, Justin Miller, Christina Ku, Jonathan McCoy, Incheol Jeong,

Art Department: Anthony Dodero, Ian Bradley

Production Coordinators: Elena Orlova, Michael Brown

Animation Lead / 3D layout: Josh Frankel


Color: The Mill

Executive Producer, Colour: Dee Allen 

Colour Producer: Natalie Westerfield

Colour Coordinator: Evan Bauer

Colourist: Fergus McCall 


Media: Mindshare