U.S. Air Force Retains GSD&M With $741 Million Contract

Contract to aid in recruitment efforts expires in 2027

GSD&M has partnered with the Air Force for 17 years. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keith James
Headshot of Erik Oster

The U.S. Air Force decided to continue its relationship with GSD&M following a review process that took about a year.

GSD&M, which has partnered with the Air Force for 17 years, will continue to be responsible for advertising and special events to aid in recruitment efforts. The new contract is set to expire by Sept. 30, 2027 and is valued at roughly $741 million.

GSD&M CEO Duff Stewart called representing the Air Force “a big honor and a big responsibility.”

“We take that very seriously and feel honored that the Air Force has found that our partnership has been successful and helped them achieve their goals and that they have felt comfortable [enough] with the success that we’ve shared together to award us a second contract and now a third contract,” Stewart said. “We’re extremely proud of the work we do.”

“The men and women of the United States Air Force are something special and we get to work with those people every day,” he added.

GSD&M last retained the account in 2008 following a review and was awarded a $350 million nine-year contract. In 2014, the agency revived the “Aim High” slogan after a 15-year hiatus in its “American Airmen” campaign. GSD&M’s Nightfall Playstation VR game extension of its “We Need People Who Can Do This” campaign was named to Adweek’s 2017 Media Plan of the Year list.

Stewart explained that the assignment has evolved significantly since GSD&M first partnered with the U.S. Air Force in 2000.

“What we have to do is figure out ways to communicate in today’s environment,” he said, adding that audiences today “get their information differently than they did 17 years ago” and that as a “technologically innovative brand” the Air Force competes with not only other branches of the service but companies like Google and Facebook for talent.

“We have quotas with the Air Force, and our job is to help ensure that we get the types of recruits, the quality of recruits, and that we can help them fulfill their recruiting goals,” Stewart said. “The Air Force likes to have a force that is reflective of this country, and so our efforts are to ensure that we look like America and we have the best and the brightest.”

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.
Publish date: March 20, 2018 https://stage.adweek.com/agencies/u-s-air-force-retains-gsdm-with-741-million-contract/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT