MBJ: Exclusive: New head of Y&R Memphis talks Navy contract
“After securing a $457 million, five-year contract with the U.S. Navy, New-York based global advertising agency Young & Rubicam Inc. is setting up an office in Downtown Memphis.
Ken Dowling, a 30-year advertising veteran, will head the new Memphis office.
In an exclusive interview with MBJ, Dowling detailed Y&R’s plans for Navy recruitment and making a stake in the Memphis market.
“Our No. 1 job right now is the Navy — that’s a huge piece of business to transition and get going, but we do want to build out our presence in this market in a much bigger way,” Dowling said.
The firm has been charged with creating an overall strategic marketing and advertising campaign to help Navy Recruiting Command enlist prospective Navy personnel.
Dowling said Y&R’s assignment with the Navy encompasses all aspects of advertising, from traditional media buying to digital analytics and staffing the Navy’s call center.
Dowling says the Navy’s target audience for recruitment is 17- to 24-year-olds who are deeply connected to the social world.
“It’s a different world with the Internet, so there will be a heavy focus on digital and social media,” he said.
Y&R will also coordinate nationwide recruiting events focusing on Navy employment opportunities related to careers in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM.
“We create the awareness and get qualified leads into the system for the Navy to follow up on,” Dowling said.”