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!

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