The UK army has been heavily criticised for a new recruitment advertising campaign targeted at millennials. The posters which rip off the iconic WWI army ads, now feature “snowflakes”, “selfie addicts”, and “binge gamers”.
Aiming to show how negative stereotypes about young people can actually be assets, the UK Army collaborated with Karmarama to produce the campaign.
Continuing along the “This is Belonging” theme, each spot tells the story of an individual whose perceived weaknesses become strengths in the Army, such as a binge gamer whose stamina serves him well in the field or a class clown whose spirit cheers up his fellow soldiers. However it’s also been lampooned by many as a pathetic attempt by middle-aged marketers to create something that resonates with Generation Z…
This new ad campaign from the British Army is not just insulting, its insults are totally misfired. People don’t take selfies because of confidence, but often insecurity. Millennials don’t have an excess of self-belief as anxiety rates show. Phones don’t help focus. Etc etc etc . pic.twitter.com/UVNmaOSCFd
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) January 3, 2019
Not sure why the British Army thinks insulting young people is a good recruitment tactic. What an awful campaign. pic.twitter.com/5DjI4GHVPq
— Sarah Hayward (@Sarah_Hayward) January 3, 2019
Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, defended the campaign, describing it as “a powerful call to action that appeals to those seeking to make a difference as part of an innovative and inclusive team”.
A powerful call to action or an insult to young people?