Accession Number:

ADA470102

Title:

Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support in Theaters of Operation

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA

Report Date:

2007-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

242.0

Abstract:

Shaping, in traditional U.S. military parlance, refers to battlefield activities designed to constrain adversary force options or increase friendly force options. Recent analysis of field requirements and joint urban doctrine has expanded the concept of shaping to include influencing resident populations in military operational theaters. These populations constitute a significant component of stability operations, particularly through their decision to support friendly force objectives or those of the adversary. Virtually every action, message, and decision of a force shapes the opinions of an indigenous population how coalition personnel treat civilians during cordon-and-search operations, the accuracy or inaccuracy of aerial bombardment, and the treatment of detainees. Given the inherent difficulty in unifying coalition messages across disparate organizations and over time, shaping efforts must be designed, war-gamed, and conducted as a campaign. The goal of such a shaping campaign is to foster positive attitudes among the populace toward U.S. and allied forces. These attitudes help decrease anti-coalition behaviors and motivate the population to act in ways that facilitate friendly force operational objectives and the attainment of desired end states. This study considered how the United States and its coalition partners can shape indigenous attitudes and behavior during stability operations via the character of those operations and the behavior of coalition forces and those responsible for communication. While successes have been achieved in this regard, U.S. forces stand to benefit from the application of select, proven commercial marketing techniques. The authors consider successes and missteps from the marketing and advertising industries and how lessons from those events might assist the U.S. military. They also present recommendations based on observations and insights from previous operations, including ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Psychology
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE