With recruitment levels sagging, the U.S. Army is going the hyper-interactive route with an experimental new store that's right out of the Apple playbook. That is, if Apple Genius Bar employees greeted customers with Apache attack helicopter simulators, full-scale Army vehicle mock-ups, and wrap-around 270-degree video screens, instead of those paperless receipt scanner things.
"If you think of a classic recruitment centre, [all of]its forms and brochures are about as exciting as the post office," said Marc Babej, partner at marketing consultancy Reason Inc. "Why talk about it when you can demonstrate it."
So instead of campy handouts, potential Army recruits will get an accurate, interactive representation of what awaits them on today's battlefields. By the Amy's definition of "realism" that includes battle simulators, replica firearms and America's Army, the 2002 video game that lets players act out battlefield scenarios DOOM-style. In a word, games—not maiming and killing. The first interactive Army store location has yet to be established, a spokesperson said.
All I ask is, when this doesn't work, what's next? Never-ending WWDC Baghdad keynotes? Black turtleneck body armour? iPhone controlled UAVs? More "BOOMs?" What? [BrandWeek]