Check out the BSA’s new National Recruitment Campaign

Ever wish you could see the future?

Now you can. You’re looking at next year’s slick, new National Recruitment Campaign — in your hands a full two months early.

In the past, marketing materials were released after the first of the year. But the days of “just-in-time delivery” of these vital tools are over.

“We want to provide councils with resources that meet the needs of their markets,” said Martin Walsh, department manager for Membership Impact.

Everything you need for the campaign, which bears the theme “Badge of Honor,” is available now. That means professionals and volunteers like you can perfect next year’s marketing strategy before you even replace your wall calendar.

What’s the message? Like last year’s “Scouts Meet Here” materials, the new campaign targets today’s youth not by telling them why they should join Scouts but by showing them.

The materials employ gritty, wish-you-were-there images of youths having the kind of rewarding fun they’ll only find in Scouting.

You’ll see mud-caked Scouts participating in once-in-a-lifetime outdoors experiences. But there’s one thing you won’t see: uniforms.

That’s intentional.

As the theme’s name implies, the materials embrace the importance of badges in the BSA, but they don’t hit potential recruits over the head with Rockwellian images of Scouts in long socks and campaign hats.

“One key element of this program is the badge,” said Michael Ramsey, marketing director of marketing and brand.  “The research shows that our audiences identify badges with Scouting.  So we’ve used the badge concept as a window into the exciting world of Scouting. Through that window potential Scouts and their families see the adventure and accomplishment of Scouting.”

The new campaign’s genius surely comes from what I call “the Kix approach.” Like that puffy breakfast cereal, the BSA’s new “Badge of Honor” materials are “Kid-Tested, Mother-Approved.”

And I mean that literally. The Marketing Group actually asked the boys they’re targeting, and nine out of 10 liked the ads. Need I say more?

Click here for the National Recruitment Campaign page, where you’ll find printable and customizable fliers, billboard images, posters, yard signs, door hangers, bookmarks, Web site banners, e-mail templates, and public service announcements for TV and radio.

And because Scouting embraces diversity, everything’s available in three versions: English, Spanish, and bilingual.

Check out one of my favorite TV ads below, and then see some more print materials in a slideshow below that.

You’re getting tomorrow’s message, today. Now that’s Scouter-approved!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

8 thoughts on “Check out the BSA’s new National Recruitment Campaign

  1. On the recruiting campaign website there is a Venturing ad (but no Sea Scouts). And it, too has the message that there are “hundreds of fun badges to earn” in Venturing. Since merit badges and rank advancements are not a part of Venturing, there aren’t hundreds for Venturers. And most of them are not the embroidered kind shown in the ad.

    Maybe I’m too picky, but I continually meet and talk with Scouters who don’t seem to understand Venturing, and I see this as perpetuating the idea that Venturing is just more of the same.

    I do like the ads, though. They are certainly enticing. But I also miss the image of Scouting given to us by Norman Rockwell.

  2. Telling the youth to join never worked, and Im glad National got away from it. Recent years the ads have improved and as a Graphic Designer I love that aspect. However, the recruiting as far as visually appealing has to be more aggressive.

    and can we finally make the move to fully embrace social media? kids arent watching tv in houses anymore, they are watching everything online and are more on the go as ever before.

  3. It’s always the boy’s future! Next will they be ready, Do what it takes to get them ready for anything’ just helping each one to become a group into one force helping each other for today and a life time ahead they can benefit from. Thank You Bryan For taking the time with every boy and helping out to better each and everyone that wants to join and many that have not will still learn from us former scout’s , Will

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