Tyndall featured in new AF advertising campaign

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The Air Force unveiled an innovative television and online advertising campaign Sept. 18 aimed at giving teens and Internet users a realistic view of life in the military. 

Tyndall Airmen were filmed for the Air Force Recruiting's Web site, www.dosomethingamazing.com. Click "Raptor" to see Tyndall's air traffic controllers, engine mechanics, pilots, crew chiefs and aircraft. 

Friends back home let Airman 1st Class John Hahn know he was seen on TV.
"I've never seen myself on screen before, so I guess it came out well," said the 325th Maintenance Squadron jet engine mechanic who is featured in one of the ads. "It's an honor to be chosen, and I'm glad that the aircraft maintenance field is getting some well-deserved attention." 

Each commercial ties directly into the newly created interactive Web site featuring Air Force videos and information, according to Lee Pilz, Air Force account director at GSD&M, the service's contracted advertising agency in Austin, Texas. 

"The idea behind the campaign is that Air Force people are doing amazing things every day all around the world," said Mr. Pilz. 

Unlike previous Air Force television commercials that were highly scripted and produced with special effects in Hollywood, the new spots were shot with a hand-held camera or used existing Air Force footage featuring Airmen performing their jobs in real-world environments. 

"There wasn't much acting involved ... just the things I do on a daily basis," said Airman Hahn. "The most challenging part of it was trying not to laugh while being filmed." 

The commercials allow viewers to experience the thrills of Air Force life such as jumping out the back of a C-130 Hercules at 10,000 feet with a special-operations team, calling in air strikes with joint terminal attack control Airmen or flying with the Thunderbirds aerial photographer through corkscrew spins. 

"The documentary style makes the messages more convincing and authentic, especially to skeptical and media-savvy teenagers," Pilz said. "They want to see what it's really like in the Air Force. That's what we're providing." 

Since the commercials are less expensive to produce, GSD&M plans to develop more of them. 

"In the past, we produced eight commercials over a four-year period," Pilz said. "We can now showcase more career fields and have a better variety of TV spots and videos for the Web." 

GSD&M developed the DSA concept after conducting focus group research among 16-24 year-olds in Chicago and Phoenix. 

Filming for the commercials began in May and continued throughout the summer at Charleston AFB, S.C.; Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Lackland AFB, Texas; Nellis AFB, Nev.; and Schriever AFB, Colo. 

Career fields such as aircraft mechanic, security forces and explosive ordnance disposal are included in the campaign. Each commercial is voiced by an Airman in that career field and ends with the call to action "Do Something Amazing." 

The Web site allows visitors to search, view and download video clips featuring on-the-job interviews with the Airmen. Teens will also find links to www.airforce.com to request more information, find a recruiter location or chat with an online advisor. 

"It was a fulfilling experience to know that I helped the world's greatest Air Force appeal to the young men and women of the United States," said Senior Airman Chris Allen, 325th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller featured in a commercial. 

Although initially only enlisted career fields are featured in the commercials and online videos, GSD&M plans to add officer and health-professions careers to the lineup. 

"We're excited about the new campaign," said Tim Talbert, deputy chief of the Strategic Communications Division, Headquarters Air Force Recruiting Service at Randolph AFB. "It's a lot different from what we've done in the past. 'Do Something Amazing' does not replace our main campaign theme, 'Cross into the Blue.' It complements it."