Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.4 MB Best for desktop computers.

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.

ePub file 2.8 MB Best for mobile devices.

On desktop computers and some mobile devices, you may need to download an eBook reader to view ePub files. Calibre is an example of a free and open source e-book library management application.

mobi file 0.8 MB Best for Kindle 1-3.

On desktop computers and some mobile devices, you may need to download an eBook reader to view mobi files. Amazon Kindle is the most popular reader for mobi files.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback240 pages $30.00 $24.00 20% Web Discount

Virtually every action, message, and decision of a military force shapes the opinions of an indigenous population: strategic communication, treatment of civilians at vehicle checkpoints, and the accuracy or inaccuracy of aerial bombardment. Themes of U.S. goodwill mean little if its actions convey otherwise. Consequently, a unified message in both word and deed is fundamental to success. Business marketing practices provide a useful framework for improving U.S. military efforts to shape the attitudes and behaviors of local populations in a theater of operations as well as those of a broader, international audience. Enlisting Madison Avenue extracts lessons from these business practices and adapts them to U.S. military efforts, developing a unique approach to shaping that has the potential to improve military-civilian relations, the accuracy of media coverage of operations, communication of U.S. and coalition objectives, and the reputation of U.S. forces in theater and internationally. Foremost among these lessons are the concepts of branding, customer satisfaction, and segmentation of the target audience, all of which serve to maximize the impact and improve the outcome of U.S. shaping efforts.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    What Makes Shaping So Difficult?

  • Chapter Three

    Applying Marketing Principles to Shaping

  • Chapter Four

    Shaping Solutions Based on Recent Operational Experiences

  • Chapter Five

    Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix

    Linking Shaping Challenges with Recommendations

Book Review Excerpts

" 'We will help you'. What sounds like the title of a Queen rock anthem is actually a simple promise around which the US military might develop a branding strategy. It is part of 22 broad recommendations for the American armed forces in 'Enlisting Madison Avenue', aimed at leveraging the lessons of the marketing and advertising worlds to help the military win its nation's wars. The study's lead author, Todd C. Helmus, is a behavioral scientist with a doctorate in clinical psychology. Thus, he is well suited to examine the cognitive side of modern combat in this monograph, prepared at the request of the US Joint Forces Command… Whereas other recent literature on the subject tends to focus on overall US government public diplomacy efforts, Enlisting Madison Avenue's marketing-inspired recommendations are specific to the armed forces and provide real-life, rubber-meets-the-road suggestions… They [also] point out that US foreign policy and its actions on the ground often drive public opinion but do not absolve the United States from attempting to inform and influence relevant populations."

- Strategic Studies Quarterly, Summer 2008

"The authors suggest that the military could create more support for its operations, and thereby achieve greater success in conflicts like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, if it updated its 'brand' identity using models such as Apple, Lexus, and Starbucks. For instance, just as the marketing world uses 'segmentation' to identify different groups of customers and focus on the most profitable ones, the military could use 'enemy prisoner-of-war interrogations, focus groups, and surveys' to identify potential partners within local populations. The study also suggests that the military do more to meet and manage 'customer' expectations, taking a page from Continental Airlines, which tells passengers as much as possible about flight delays instead of keeping them in the dark… The report also makes a case for re-branding the military, advertising it more as an organization that's doing good in the world, through relief efforts like those in post-tsunami Southeast Asia or in post-earthquake Pakistan."

- The Atlantic, January/February 2008

The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Joint Forces Command. The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.