GSD&M Takes Grounded Approach to Space Force Recruitment

'Our entire way of life' may depend on it

Lightsabers, wormholes and Martians are the stuff of science fiction. Alas, such fun and fantastical conceits don't jibe with off-world reality. In fact, "space is hard," and "our entire way of life" may depend on efforts to explore and safeguard the planet's upper atmosphere and regions beyond.

U.S. Space Force operations chief Gen. John "Jay" Raymond makes that point forcefully in GSD&M's latest video for the newest branch of our nation's armed services.

Themed "Space Is Hard," the spot doubles as a brand-builder and recruitment vehicle. It takes a down-to-earth approach, with Raymond talking into the camera, explaining why the USSF's mission should matter to all of us.

New Space Force Commercial Launch

"Space is hard," Raymond begins, over some low-key visuals of orbiting craft and USSF control centers. "It used to be, all we had to worry about was astrophysics, Kepler's Law, gamma rays, solar flares, rocket science, black holes and the theory of relativity."

But now, he continues, "we also track about 30,000 objects orbiting at over 17,500 miles an hour. And our entire way of life depends on us to protect our satellites from attack day and night. So yeah, space is hard."

The ad fades after the USSF's Star Trek-style logo and web address flash on screen.

Of course, the organization has absorbed considerable criticism since former President Donald Trump announced its formation in 2019—and the Trekkie design flourishes haven't helped. So, the campaign's matter-of-fact approach feels about right, asserting the USSF's goals with a refreshing lack of fanfare and hype. Yes, there's patriotic intensity—but it's a frank appeal that leaves pie-in-the sky promises back on the pad.

Unveiled by Raymond at today's 36th Annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, the work will mainly run on the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service's YouTube channel, targeting Gen Zers proficient in STEM and intrigued by pursuing a space career to serve their country.

The initiative follows GSD&M's intro effort for the USSF last year, which proclaimed, "Earth is only half the battle."


Agency:  GSD&M                                                  
Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell
Group Creative Director/SVP: Jeff Maki      
Creative Director:  Christopher Colton
Creative Director: Clay Hudson                        
Director of Production/SVP: Jack Epsteen        
Senior Producer: Andy Rosenthal                        
Account Service: Bo Bradbury, Norah Rudyk, Maddie Page, Madison Pfleiderer
Strategy: Luke Dreyer
Social Media: Jennifer Siegel, Maggie Rosenbohm, Grace Amiss
Executive Media Director: Dave Kersey
Digital Media Director: David Baker
Media: Natalia Perez, Carson Chiu, Jenna Caputo
Business Affairs Manager: Karen Gatewood
Project Manager: Lisa Valencia, Lucas Fiser


Production Company: Scholar (ONLY USED FOR LIVE ACTION JOBS)
Director(s): Will Johnson, Chris Finn
Managing Director / E.P.: Jo Arghiris
Head of Production: Tyler Locke
Line Producer: Richard Kaylor
DP: Dallas Sterling

Editorial: Scholar
Editor: Healy Snow
Colorist: Seth Reicart, RCO

Design & Animation: Scholar
Creative Director(s): Will Johnson, Chris Finn
Managing Director / E.P.: Jo Arghiris
Head of Production: Tyler Locke
Producer: Seth Gantman
Designers: Hana Yean, Madison Kelly
2D Animators:  Wu Hyun Lew, Zach Herdman, Jaewoo Park, Matthew McLelland
3D Generalists: Timur Salikov, Jensen Abler
Dynamics/FX: Tim Hayward, Jaewoo Park
Compositors: Michael Loney, Cris Kong
Flame Artist: Ryan Kaplan

Storyboards: Fred Fassberger
ENGINEER: Brad Engleking
PRODUCER: Francess Tom-Sahr

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