The British Army has launched the third and final instalment of its three year ‘Belonging’ campaign, designed to raise awareness and get young people to consider joining the army for the first time, watch one of the adverts here.
Research undertaken by Capita, whom partner with the army in their recruitment endeavours, has shown that only 7% of people know someone who is currently serving whilst a staggering 81% of people have little knowledge of the British army and its role in society. The campaign for this year consists mainly of three different television adverts; one of a minute in length, and two more each of thirty second duration, and a series of several radio advertisements.
The theme of these are each based around what you would expect of a typical army recruitment advert: transgression and transition of recruits from their role in society based upon the army’s ability to see the best in people – typical of the advertisements seen in the last few years. The best example is that of a young lady pushing shopping trolleys for a living where the advert contrasts her current role into one in the army where her characteristics transpose into skills needed of a modern soldier.
Col. Ben Wilde, Asst. Dir of Recruitment said:
“The biggest benefit of joining the army is the sense of belonging experienced amongst soldiers, giving those who serve: common purpose, strong bonds and a sense of working together.”
The campaign takes a more gamble with its series of posters on display across the UK consisting of six images based upon a modernisation of the infamous Lord Kitchener ‘Your Country Needs You’ posters.
The twist being each of the new advertisements poster contains an image of a modern soldier with different phrases including: ‘Binge Gamers’, ‘Class Clowns’, ‘Snow Flakes’, and ‘Selfie Addicts’ (plus more).
The gamble here is the army are effectively labelling the next generation of soldiers into any one of these categories which could potentially offend new recruits or perhaps miss their target audience where those wishing to join the army do not recognise themselves are fitting into either on the labels identified in the posters.
However, the British Army insists the entire advertisement campaign is focused around ‘unlocking potential’ and is designed to illustrate a sense of ‘belonging in a team where anyone can do something that matters’.
Notwithstanding this, nobody can fault the British army for the its commitment and resilience in recruitment, especially given the highly competitive marketplace in which it is competing. With unemployment in 16 to 20 year olds being at its lowest for several years, and more younger people travelling as opposed to staying the UK (largely as an effect of globalisation): the British Army ploughs on, and tries to differentiate itself to appear as an appealing option to the next generation of soldiers.