Navy Exchange (NEXCOM)

client name
Navy Exchange
video production, digital PR

The challenge

The Navy Exchange (NEXCOM) provides tax-free goods and services to support Navy quality of life programs for military personnel, retirees, reservists, veterans, DoD civilians, and families. NEXCOM manages seven business lines, including retail stores, lodging, and uniform management.

The Navy Exchange (NEXCOM) sought to bolster the morale of U.S. Navy personnel and their families grappling with the strains of separation and deployment. The vision was clear: to create a heartfelt tribute that acknowledged the sacrifices and unique strength of these heroes.

The mission was ambitious: elevate brand awareness, demonstrate profound customer appreciation, and reinforce the sense of community within the Navy, especially during trying times.

The strategy

Taking inspiration from the power of genuine connections and the special bond between parents and children, we brainstormed how to create a story that would resonate with them, capturing the playfulness, magic, and awe of the holidays. We ultimately decided to produce a video that combined the Navy Exchange’s retail presence with the boundless imagination of a child and ran it across the Navy’s social platforms. This strategy gave rise to “We Believe It’s More Than Just a Toy.”

In the video, a young boy becomes attached to a Wonder Woman doll that reminds him of his deployed mom, believing that whatever he tells the doll will reach her. With the help of his father and a NEX employee, they join forces to transmit his messages to his mom overseas, including an incredibly important wish.

Leveraging the power of digital PR, the campaign reached beyond the usual confines, touching hearts and sparking conversations across various channels. It wasn’t just a campaign; it was a movement that echoed the sentiments of millions connected to the military.

The results

The campaign didn’t just meet its goals; it soared beyond them, transforming into a cross-channel sensation. The emotional narrative coupled with strategic distribution led to unprecedented engagement levels:

  • Over 500,000 engagements and 10,000 heartfelt comments
  • Close to 5 million impressions
  • More than 1 million video views, with the campaign reaching over 2 million people

By bringing a playful yet poignant perspective to the hard challenges faced by families with deployed service members, the Navy struck a deep, humanizing chord and achieved a dramatically expanded reach.

In addition to millions of impressions and video views, the video caught the OG Wonder Woman’s attention, and her enthusiastic re-tweet secured press mentions in the Hollywood Reporter and Yahoo Entertainment. Warner Brothers even dispatched a Wonder Woman character to the homecoming of the aircraft carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman, in Norfolk, Virginia.

But the true victory was in highlighting the silent strength and dedication of the U.S. Navy’s heroes—from the young child in the video to the serving officers and supportive families. Whether a beloved toy, a devoted mom, a brave U.S. Navy officer, or the NEX employees who serve them—they are all special and valued.

Watch Navy Exchange’s heartwarming advertisement here.

Inspired to create a similar impact within your community? Let’s discuss how we can turn your vision into a story that resonates and reverberates across audiences. Reach out today.

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