In 1999, Senator John McCain introduced National Military Appreciation Month, a month dedicated to recognizing and appreciating our former and current military service members. For decades, Refuel Agency has worked closely with the military. This month, we’re sharing our guide to advertising during Military Appreciation Month.
Advertise Your Military Benefits in Appreciation During Military Appreciation Month
May, a month dedicated to celebrating all segments of the U.S. military, is the perfect time to advertise your brand’s military benefits and discounts in appreciation. Military audiences are 22% more likely to be loyal to brands that they like, and they are 26% more likely to show loyalty to brands that are supportive of their community.
Military Appreciation Month actually includes six military holidays, all celebrating different members of the military and their unique and vital contributions to our country. One of those is a major holiday in May, Memorial Day, and part of its significance comes from the fact that most people consider it to be the official beginning of summer. Unfortunately, too often many people don’t recognize the meaning behind holidays, which can lead to brand messaging that translates as insensitive or out-of-touch.
As a brand, approach Memorial Day with care and respect. Memorial Day allows us to collectively honor the service members who have lost their lives protecting our country. If you’re going to post on Memorial Day, keep your post simple, respectful, and relevant. Don’t use the holiday to promote your brand, and if you’re looking to promote your summer-related content, leave out the hashtag and post on a different day.
Know Your Audience
It’s important to know your audience when creating your brand’s messaging strategy this Military Appreciation Month. Different members of the overarching military audience have different spending habits, media preferences, and lifestyles. At Refuel, the military audience is very special to us, and we’ve dedicated time and resources to understanding them.
For example, did you know that over half of military members are currently married (25% of them being Gen Z, and 47% being Millennials)? These military spouses (as well as their children) are deeply ingrained in the military community, whether they live on or off base. And not surprisingly, military spouses are very loyal to American-made brands that offer high quality and discounts.
For more information on every segment of the active military, military families, reserves, national guard, and veteran audience, contact us about our Military Explorer Series™, the leading resource in military audience research.
Read next: Show Appreciation This Veteran’s Day
When Advertising to Military, Authenticity Is Key
One person who truly understands the importance of authenticity is photographer and Marine Corps veteran, Cedric Terrell. Cedric knows that when undertaking a mission to reach our men and women in uniform, an eye for detail and dedication to authentic portrayal is key.
“Though ‘be authentic’ is a buzzword to the point of cliché,” say Terrell, “it’s absolutely critical when communicating to the military, veterans, and their families. This is a group of individuals whose professional success depends on attention to details and protocol. We’ve all seen the military advertising featuring the Marine or Sailor with non-regulation grooming standards or a poorly executed salute. Those minor slips might be imperceptible to a general audience, but a military audience knows how to spot a fake. ”
Though it can feel time consuming, putting in the effort to develop an authentic message for the military audience is well worth it. As Terrell says, “Getting the details right is about sincerity: it tells your audience that service to country really does matter.”
Refuel Agency has worked with the military for over 30 years, and we are no stranger to needing to be nimble through the years. With our proprietary research, media networks, and exclusive relationships, we quickly adapt your Brand campaign to reach this audience, where they are.
Contact us today to learn how our military advertising capabilities can help you.