The British Army: Making its mark on millennials
If I said the word ‘millennial’ to you, what would you think of? I hazard a guess that the likes of ‘binge gamer’ or ‘selfie addict’ are terms that may come to mind. Let’s face it, it is a well-known stereotype that the millennial generation are self-obsessed, tech crazy and the first to crack that silly joke, and we’ve all been guilty of putting them in that box. But, why can’t these perceived negatives be turned into positive attributes?
This is clearly a question that was floating around the British Army when they put together their latest recruitment campaign. Focusing on characteristics so often associated with millennials, the adverts strive to subvert these personality traits and make a generation, who so far has been mercifully misjudged, feel included.
Using a series of posters designed in the style of Lord Kitchener’s famous WWI illustrations, along with digital, print and TV ads, the push states that what is seen as a flaw should be seen as a trait. A trait that will make young people the perfect candidate for the army. From the ‘compassion’ of ‘snowflakes’ to the ‘confidence’ of ‘selfie-takers’, the campaign cleverly plays on that typecast we all know too well to attract a new group of candidates. They have also invested in a series of videos which are building on the same themes.
While the adverts have been a hot topic of discussion, with many people criticising their messaging, you can’t deny how powerful they’ve been and what impact they have had on recruitment figures. The first quarter of 2019 is set to be the busiest three-month period since recruitment outsourcing giant Capita took over the British Army contract seven years ago. And according to figures, over 1,000 more recruits will have signed up to apply versus the same quarter last year by the end of this month.
Pushing the boundaries and making a stand may well be a risk, but looking at those stats it is clear this has paid off for the British Army. They see people differently and strive to spot the potential in young people, and there is no doubt that their recruitment campaign is underpinned by this message.
To top it off, they’re reaching out to a young, interactive audience so what is better than a new, fresh and forward-thinking campaign that will get people talking? Isn’t that what advertising is all about?