Your Army Needs Who? Not me!

The army’s latest campaign to sign-up millennials reeks of desperation.

Up there with voluntarily donating to nation’s debt, joining the army is a close second in the list of things I really couldn’t give a shit about doing. If I won’t come and die for a 9-5, what makes you think I will die for this country?

You must be having a laugh mate.

The British Army’s desperate attempt to appeal to the ‘Snowflake’ generation horribly backfired, instead of inspiring a generation of ‘zombie’ millennials to join them, they embarrassed themselves by showing how much they don’t understand the 18-25 demographic.

They based their new campaign, as brits base everything, on the nostalgia of the First World War. The images are direct play on the ‘Lord Kitchener wants you’ posters of 1914. Each poster has its own allegedly negative Gen Z characteristic with the words ‘Your army Needs YOU’ underneath, followed by a line about how said characteristic is great for the army.

This campaign came around as, despite the army enlisting £495m worth of help from Capita, they still didn’t meet their recruitment quota. They were supposed to have 82,000 fully trained troops last year but only ended up having 77,000. At least 47% of potential troops voluntarily drop out during the process, which has stunted their growth in numbers.  

Let’s be real for a second, people don’t want to join the army because they don’t think they’re up to it, they don’t want to join because it is the army. That sense of national pride and blind jingoism is just not prevalent in our generation, we seek more and see ourselves as part of a global system. We also feel failed by our country and so naturally shy away from these acts of service.

The campaign launched in order to tempt new army recruits but actually lead to people quitting because their photos were used without permission.

Instead of appealing to the “me me me” millennial generation the army should really stick to de-stigmatize the work they actually do. When I think about the work of the army, I think things like; colonialism, invasion, violence, bloodshed and tyranny to name but a few. What I don’t think about is a ‘snowflake’ friendly environment, whatever that looks like?

This campaign was definitely put together by your least favourite 47 year-old uncle who comes over to your house for a few days and doesn’t leave for 7 months. That’s not to say that only Gen Z can write copy that appeals to them, but if you get all of your information about Gen Z from the Daily Express then you’re probably under qualified.

The captions used in the campaign were completely off, a ‘Phone Zombie’, ‘Class Clown’? This lingo hasn’t been relevant since season one of ‘Zoey 101. I can’t think of a better example of running before you can walk than this, the campaign has about as much depth as a clogged pore.

There is still a gross misunderstanding of Millennials and Gen Z, wanting to recruit ‘snowflakes’ because they’re simply ‘compassionate’ belittles the radical and disruptive politics people have been forced to adopt because of neglectful governments.

Overall, I don’t think the campaign is offensive, it’s just a bit shit and very misplaced.

And for those that say the conversation sparked by this is a metric of success, you’re wrong. The campaign is about army recruits and you’re not going to get that by alienating and insulting your target audience.

Nice try.


Images aren't mine but opinions are!

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