U.S. Air Force Academy Sees a ‘Captain Marvel’ Effect with the Highest Uptick in Female Applicants in 5 Years

Is the United States Air Force Academy seeing a Captain Marvel effect?

According to Military.com, “When the Brie Larsen blockbuster Captain Marvel rolled out last year, the Air Force launched an all-out recruiting effort, hoping to capitalize on the story of female fighter pilot-turned superhero Carol Danvers.¬†They placed pre-show ads in more than 3,600 theaters nationwide, bought space at geek hubs such as Fandom.com, and hosted its own press events with Larsen, as well as a red-carpet screening in Washington, D.C.

PHOTO: Col. Jeannie Leavitt, 4th Fighter Wing commander, prepares her jet for her final flight as wing commander, May 29, 2014, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. (Brittain Crolley/U.S. Air Force)

It seems to have paid off.

An inspirational 30-second commercial titled “Origin Story,” timed to coincide with the film’s release in March, was the most popular piece of social media promotional content published by any service in 2019, Lt. Col Jacob Chisolm, deputy chief of strategic marketing at the Air Force Recruiting Service (AFRS), told the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) during its December meeting.

Through paid media promotion, “Origin Story” received 173,000 visits, 11 million views of the video itself, and 200 million impressions overall, according to Air Force statistics.

“We couldn’t ask for a better movie to do that,” Chisolm said. AFRS is currently run by Brig. Gen Jeannie Leavitt, the service’s first female fighter pilot upon whom Danvers’ character is loosely based. Leavitt was commander of the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, as the movie was filming.

“It was a huge success. We had a fantastic media campaign,” Chisolm said.

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