It was not until about a hundred years ago that the Marines had an organized recruit training program. Since then, though, the Marines innovated recruiting.
The sweeping changes gave the Marines an edge in finding quality recruits, and these changes include Marine Corps commercials.
Over the years, the Marines have taken their innovation and applied it to technology, including amazing Marine Corps commercials such as the ones below.
Today, the Marines beckon to those who feel the calling of the Corps.
#10. ‘Making Marines’
The Making of Marines commercials is a hard-hitting and fast pace thirty seconds into the process of creating Marines.
It begins in boot camp with the new Marines in Dress Uniforms and continues the Silent Drill Platoon practicing with their rifles.
The movements are sharp and precise. At the same time, the background music rises, meeting the actions of the Platoon.
Next, you see flashes of various Marines and equipment, including aircraft, tanks, and the glint of the sunset off of a Marine’s binoculars.
After, you see the green and dim view of something at night that explodes before flashing to more Marines at work in gritty environments while flashing back to Marines in training.
It is clear from the commercial the Marines want you to feel as though cool Marine jobs are in reach for us, and all we have to do is turn up with some determination.
In the end, the words flash across the screen, telling us, “We don’t make compromises; we make Marines.”
#9. ‘For Us All’
This Marine Corps commercial begins with Marines raising the flag while other Marines salute. The narrator tells us that the “Marine Corps way of life is to defend the American way of life.”
As the camera pans out, we flash to a train station full of people going about their lives to a rancher with picturesque mountains framing the background.
Next, you are sitting in a family-owned diner with regular people having breakfast before the commercial moves to Marines riding a tank with the American flag flying in the background.
As you continue to have images of regular people living their lives, you see Marines living theirs. Although, the Marines are pilots taking off from a flight deck, running tanks, or guarding an embassy.
Then you hear, “No matter where we serve, every day…” while a soldier on deployment opens a card crayoned by his young child, “…we take a stand for our nation, for each other, for us all.”
At this point, the camera lands on the statue at the Marne Corps War Memorial that is a daily reminder of the Marines who lost their lives.
The few. The proud. The Marines.
This 1990s Marine Corps commercial cuts to the chase with a giant-sized chessboard with knights charging on horse top.
On top of that, you have swords, flames, and lightning bolts adding to the display.
You might think of dungeons and dragons, which came out a good 25 years before this commercial, but with a medieval feel.
At first, do not even realize it is a Marine commercial, but then it dawns on you. The voices in the background are saying “Semper Fidelis,” potentia,” and “virtus” over and over again.
As it all sinks in, you realize this clever commercial is for the Marines as long as you are familiar with the words.
Then, as two knights fight, you hear, “To compete, you’ve got to be strong.” As one knight is the victor, you hear, “To win, you’ve got to be smart.”
As the lightning comes from the night sky, it strikes the sword of the victorious knight, and the bolt travels down the sword to the knight revealing a Marine.
Then the voice-over comes through and suggests, “Maybe you could be one of us. The few. The proud. The Marines.”
#7. ‘America’s Marines’
The Marine Corp’s Silent Drill Platoon is the highlight of this commercial.
This Platoon is an incredibly disciplined group of 24 men who perform precise drill movements with rifles that include fixed bayonets. You need to be precise with bayonets, that is for certain.
The performance of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is meant to represent the precision and discipline that embodies all Marines.
At the beginning of the commercial, you see a Marine holding a sword in his hands. As the camera pans away, you see a lighthouse lighting up the fog with its beacon.
As the camera pans out, you see the Drill Platoon in formation. Next, you see the line of Marines in Times Square before moving on to the line of Marines in front of everyday places and towns.
You quickly realize the metaphor is not just what that the Silent Drill Platoon represents Marines, but that they represent how the Marines work together to protect Americans from all over.
As the commercial goes through the locations and the steady movements of the Platoon, the voice-over discusses “honor,” “courage,” and “commitment.”
Next, the narrator tells us that Marines have “always defended this nation,” as the camera pans to the Marines in a line in front of majestic mountains. This moment brings to mind the line ‘From every mountain sight’ from My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.
As the Marines stand their silent guard throughout the United States, you understand a Marine’s depth of commitment to let freedom ring.
#6. ‘For Country’
The opening shot of the Marine Corps commercial ‘For Country’ is a helicopter over some wetlands. Next, you see Marines in full gear and with rucksacks loading single-file into the back of a plane while the music gains in volume.
At this point in the commercial, the scenes get faster. You see a member of the Silent Drill Platoon before seeing Marines running across the sand, clearly in combat with helicopters flying above them all.
From this moment, the scenes flash to Maines in training, with their expressions full of determination, to men and women jumping out of planes and pulling themselves out of the water into boats.
There are no voices, but you do not need them.
The bolded words ‘For Honor” flash onto the screen.
Next, you see more flashes of Marines, with pride evident in their expressions.
As each of these phrases flashes on the screen, you see Marines working, sweating, and never giving up on the multiple jobs they have to courage to complete.
As helicopters fly off towards the sunset, you see the famous Marine words, “The few, The proud. The Marines.”
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In 1987 the Marines released a widely successful ad called ‘Knight.’ At the time, the effects were cutting edge, and it made the jobs of recruiters a lot easier, judging from the video’s comments.
The commercial begins with a sword with lightning starting at the sword’s hilt and making its way up. At this point, the music begins, and you see a medieval knight making his way on horseback.
While the knight is riding towards a smiling king, people are standing on all sides of him.
As the knight arrives in front of the king, and he walks up to the king. At the same time, the voice-over tells us, “Once there were a few proud men,” as the king begins the knighting ritual.
Then, “Men of adventure. Men of Courage.” As the sword taps down on each shoulder, the bit of lightning energy wells at the tip of the sword.
As you hear the words, “Men who knew the meaning of honor,” the king hands the knight a sword. As the knight takes the sword, the lightning flashes again, and the knight becomes a Marine.
Your final thought is the voice of the narrator, “The Few. The proud. The Marines.”
#4. ‘America’s Few’
This Marine Corps commercial is one of my favorites. Not only is the camera work fantastic, but it also highlights the determination, sweat, pain, and camaraderie that it takes to make a Marine.
This commercial has an exciting start, as it begins with a young man at a dead run through a cornfield. After some excellent camera points of view and transitions, you see men playing basketball, and one of them turns and takes off running, as well.
One by one, people stop what they are doing, turn, and begin to run, and they show up and stop in unison.
At that moment, a drill instructor materializes as the camera angle changes. At this point, they are no longer civilians, and the frontal view is in uniform. The instructor yells while the Marines respond, ‘Yes, sir.’
From then, the commercial is shot after shot of Marines in training.
Some of the points of view appear to be with a helmet-mounted camera, but you see the effort and pain that comes with training in all cases. This pain includes the natural physical reaction intense activity has on the stomach.
After throwing up, being yelled at, rained on, swimming, climbing in the mud, the Marines engage in a jousting competition.
As one Marine falls to the ground, he is helped up by his competitor. Marines do not leave other Marines behind.
#3. ‘241 Years of Battles Won’
As the camera pans speeding over water, it rises above a city. “For a place,” the narrator says.
Next, the camera focuses on a family standing and smiling in front of their home. “…a people,” the narrator continues. The next shot is of a statue of Abraham Lincoln, and the narrator continues by saying, ‘…an idea.”
The following scenes show Americans outside and standing in front of flags. Sometimes it is outside, while other times it is school-aged children with a parent smiling for the camera.
As the commercial continues to show other proud Americans, the narrator discusses the ideas that Marines swore to defend.
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2. ‘A Nations Call’
The Marine Corps commercial begins with the cockpit of a plane closing before panning out to see Marines running across the flight deck.
Next, the camera pans around a busy flight deck where several helicopters are taking off and landing. Among the helicopters is what appears to be an Osprey, which is half-helicopter and half-airplane.
The camera then switches to show small boats releasing from the ship and are on the verge of arriving somewhere together as machine guns are locked and loaded.
Then, the voice says, “it’s not just the ships,” as the ship itself dematerializes into nothing.
“The armor” triggers the tanks to vanish, too. Next, we see missiles released from planes as the voice says, “the aircraft.”
The narrator tells us that “It’s something more,” as a Marine tosses a drone in the air with other Marines running. It all seems chaotic, but the Marines seem to know exactly what they are doing.
As the commercial winds down, it is clear the value is in the Marine themselves because they answered the nation’s call.
#1. ‘Towards the Sounds of Chaos’
The beginning of this Marine Corps commercial is pretty intense. You have a shot of a huge cloud of smoke, and you hear screaming. The camera is lower to the ground and rushing towards the screams and the smoke, and the camera view is jumping around a bit.
After a few seconds, you realize it is to simulate running because the boots of running Marines overtakes the camera.
“There are a few who move towards the sounds of chaos,” the narrator tells us. At the same time, planes bank a hard right seemingly turning toward the chaos, as well.
As amphibious tanks roll onto the beach, the hatch opens, and more Marines take off, and the scene continues to unfold as, what appears to be, all the Marines show up.
Seconds later, you see trucks roll in with boxes marked ‘AID,’ which serves as a reminder that Marines show up during humanitarian crises all over the world, not just during combat.
As the commercial winds down, there are fantastic show motion shots of aircraft as the narrator tells us that Marines are forged “in the crucible of training” who are “The few. The proud. The Marines.”
References / Resources
Marine Corps official site – https://www.marines.com/
Marine Corps Recruiting Command – https://www.mcrc.marines.mil/
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