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Marine Corps Shelves Iconic “The Few, The Proud” Slogan for New Commercials

The Marine Corps is rolling out some new television spots next month, but anyone who has ever paid attention to the Corps’ commercials in the past will notice something conspicuously absent: The iconic recruiting slogan “The Few, The Proud.”


So, is this change a bow in the direction of those who take issue with the idea of exceptionalism, particularly American exceptionalism?

Not at all, says Lt. Col. John Caldwell of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, who told the Marine Corps Times that the decision was based on analyses of what is particularly effective when it comes to marketing nowadays.

“The Few, The Proud” tagline that historically closes out recruiting commercials for the Corps will be replaced in the new commercials with the word “Marines,” as well as an image of the eagle, globe and anchor emblem. Caldwell briefly explained the advertising “science” behind the change:

“Nike, a lot of their advertisements now end with the swoosh – or the swoosh and the word ‘Nike’ – but the tagline ‘Just Do It’ or something like that isn’t there. A lot of advertisers … punctuate their advertising products with their brand. That’s effectively what these new TV ads you’re going to see do. They end with our brand.”

Still, as evidenced by the tenor of visitor comments made at new sites reporting on the change, many are suspicious about the real motive behind the Corps’ decision to leave behind one of the most recognizable slogans in the history of advertising.

Nevertheless, Caldwell emphasizes that not only was the decision made solely to serve the best interests of the Corps’ newest advertising efforts, but “The Few, The Proud” slogan will remain Corps property and may well be used again in the future.

“’The Few, The Proud’ still belongs to the Marines, along with all previous taglines used,” Caldwell said. “It will be used when and where needed and most appropriate.”

 By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large