The Navy Paid a Marketing Firm $2 Million for Its Esports PR Disaster

The U.S. Navy paid the "full-service marketing agency" Young & Rubicam $2 million to help it with its disastrous foray into esports, according to documents obtained by Motherboard. According to the documents, obtained by Motherboard via a Freedom of Information Act request, the Navy contracted with Young & Rubicam as part of a recruiting effort to reach the youth market, shape its brand, and develop leads for recruitment.

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I understand that marketing is all about finding your way into an untapped ‘market,’ but playing FPS (first person shooters) with an Army logo watermark just lingering is so tone deaf that it clearly should have been laughed out of the pitch meeting. The games (if any) that any military complex should even consider engaging with should be the most curated list of games known to man. Unless the marketing firm could negotiate down to a gnat’s ass the placement and type of ads running during their streams coupled with games like Flower, Journey, and Fall Guys then maybe they could take a shot at this. A canned answer for the chat when it comes to violence or war crimes that highlight the various fields and opportunities that the military offer should have been expected. But playing COD, Battlefield, or anything with a gun just never was going to make sense. The sad thing about all this is that some poor kid probably clicked through some links while a streamer played some violent game and that same kid found themselves on the IRL battlefield where they lost their life and had a moment of clarity right before they died on how they’re life just played out like a videogame, and they lost.