VMLY&R retains Navy for five more years

(VMLY&R retains Navy account)

Following a competitive review that kicked off in April 2020, America’s Navy has awarded a second consecutive five-year contract to WPP’s VMLY&R. The contract is valued at over $455 million. 

VMLY&R will continue to lead marketing and advertising communication services in support of a nationwide marketing program focused on recruitment and retention programs for the Naval Recruiting Command (NRC). The program puts renewed emphasis on building a diverse fleet of highly qualified Sailors who accurately reflect the rich makeup of the country.

We look forward to continue working with our partners at VMLY&R and achieving success in this critical mission.”

Commander Rear Admiral Dennis Velez.

“The mission of Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) is to leverage an inspirational culture to inform, attract, influence and hire the highest quality future sailors from America’s diverse talent pool,” adds Commander Rear Admiral Dennis Velez. “These future Sailors assure mission success for America’s Navy and establish the foundation for them to thrive in a life-changing experience.”

Since winning the previous contract in 2015, VMLY&R has successfully supported NRC in meeting its annual recruiting goals. This included a challenging 2020, which significantly limited on-site engagement with potential recruits as well as community outreach.

VMLY&R helped transform the Navy’s recruitment strategy to a nearly 100% digital model over the past five years, which has allowed the Navy to attribute results to every dollar invested in marketing and advertising.

“We’re immensely proud of the important work we’ve done with America’s Navy over the past five years. It’s only through a strong partnership like this one that we’ve been able to swiftly evolve the strategic work and marketing to meet recruiting goals across generational, technological and cultural dynamics, and I look forward to seeing that partnership continue to grow,” said Jon Cook, chief executive officer of VMLY&R. 

In partnership with the agency, the Navy has launched a number of award-winning creative campaigns, including the “Faces of the Fleet” documentary series, the “Sailor Vs.” YouTube influencer campaign, and the “Journey to the Moon” voice skill to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing led by former Naval Aviator Neil Armstrong.

VMLY&R will work alongside WPP’s Wavemaker and independent io studio, which comprise the Navy Partnership. The agency maintains a Memphis, Tennessee office for proximity to NRC, which is based at Naval Support Activity Mid-South, in Millington, Tenn.

“For nearly 245 years, America’s Navy has transformed the personal and professional lives of Sailors from all walks of life, creating endless storytelling opportunities,” said Ryan Blum, VMLY&R Executive Creative Director. “It’s an honor to collaborate every day with NRC to tell these unique and powerful narratives. We are so thrilled and grateful to continue this partnership with America’s Navy.”