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The Army Experience Center located at the Franklin Mills shopping mall in Philadelphia will be closing down. With no shortage of military video games, Black Hawk and Humvee simulators and consoles, it was a place that marked the Army look very cool and relevant in the eyes of the 17-24 demographic.
The goal was to explain how the modern Army operates and becoming a hub for community outreach programs. While the Army says the experiment was a successful one, after a two-year stint the doors will be closing.
Army Experience Center was seen as a marketing technology lab.
An Army spokesperson says the Army Experience Center was not a traditional recruiting station. Instead, it was a place for the Army to test out high-tech gadgets, including simulators designed to reproduce combat missions in helicopters and Humvees.
Over 40,000 people came in and out of the Army Experience Center who got to experience the simulators, the video games and the technology.
Since the Army has exceeded its recruiting goals and budgets are being cut, it makes sense that this center is closing down. While recruiters are enjoying a prosperous period largely due to a sagging economy, it is important not to stop innovating. Experiential marketing could be a very effective medium for the future of recruiting as traditional advertising takes a bigger toll. It will be interesting to see what type of approach to experiential marketing the military will take in the future.