- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2016

The U.S. Army spent $2.4 million in production costs to link its latest recruitment efforts to the movie “Independence Day: Resurgence.”

Twentieth Century Fox is set to release the sequel to actor Will Smith’s 1996 blockbuster on June 24. Military officials anticipate that the millions of eyes scanning the Internet for news on the alien film will wind up at GoArmy.com.

James Ortiz, director of marketing for the Army Marketing and Research Group, told Army Times on Wednesday that its pairing with the studio may cause potential recruits to see the Army in a better light.

“We constantly hear America talk about the Army in a very detrimental way, in that we are low-tech, we are low-skill, and for the most part, because of those first two, we are the institution of last resort,” Mr. Ortiz said.

Mr. Ortiz said the original movie showed that rebuilding the planet after a real alien invasion would require the technical expertise of the U.S. Army. “Resurgence” makes that point clear, which is why officials saw the campaign as a natural fit.

“When [‘Resurgence’ writers] looked around, and rightfully so, it was their belief that it took an institution like the United States Army to do one of two things: One was to advance the technology to a state where we were able to defend another attack … and the second was: Who put the world together? If you look at [the movie’s Earth Space Defense force], ESD is a multicultural, multination force,” Mr. Ortiz said, the website reported.

Meanwhile, ESPN is reporting that the NFL is giving back more than $700,000 in taxpayer money for sponsorship of in-stadium military tributes.

The Army’s partnership with 20th Century Fox will use links from “Resurgence” websites JoinESD.com and WarOf1996.com, Army and studio-produced television commercials, and traditional advertising to double traffic to GoArmy.com. The goal is to bring 3 million people to the website.

“Resurgence,” which had a production budget of $200 million, stars Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman and Sela Ward.

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