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Sunday night inspiration: The new Marines commercial

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 20, 2008 09:13 PM

You may recall the uproar last year when San Francisco denied the Marines permission to film footage for a commercial. John Noonan alerts me that the Marines must have eventually prevailed* (update below), because the ad–which is majestic–has been released and it includes shots of the Marines’ Silent Drill Platoon with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background (update – thanks to John Piedmont for posting the vid). Take a look:

The Marine Corps Times reports that the ad debuted this week in a marquee spot during American Idol on Fox:

A new and elaborately produced television commercial dubbed “America’s Marines” was unveiled Wednesday night in a marquee time slot during FOX TV’s “American Idol.”

The 60-second ad portrays real-life Marines in dress blues in scenes from coast to coast, starting at a lighthouse in Rhode Island; running through several small towns and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains; and ending with Marines under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The Silent Drill Platoon is featured.

The ad underscores a shift in the way the Marine Corps markets itself. For years, the emphasis was placed on “personal transformation” in the process of becoming a Marine, highlighted in the longtime slogan: “The few, the proud, the Marines.”

“Our strategy has evolved beyond transformation,” said Lt. Col. Mike Zeliff, assistant chief of staff for marketing and advertising. “With this generation of young people, you have to go beyond what it is for them. … They really are concerned about the greater good.

“They may not know whether they want to join the Peace Corps or the Marine Corps,” Zeliff said.

The evocative images of the American landscape are designed to emphasize “the intangible benefits of service to country,” he added.

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*Update: Gerard at The American Digest reminds us how the San Francisco footage had to be edited (hat tip – see-dubya):

Film Commission Executive Director Stefanie Coyote would only allow the Marine’s production crew to film on California Street if there were no Marines in the picture. They wound up filming the empty street and will have to superimpose the Marines later.

Commenter fred5676 adds: “I believe that the city refused to let them use a city street.
The scene with the GG bridge in the background was taken from, I believe, the Golden Gate NATIONAL Recreation Area, which is (fortunately) owned by the Marines’ CinC. Looks much better than a mere SF street scene (i. e., Folsom Street Fair) anyway.”

San Francisco values at work…