Controversial military ads proven to be a success

March 20, 2019

British Army adverts targeting “me me me millennials”, “snowflakes” and “selfie addicts” have driven the highest recruitment rates in at least seven years, despite their divisiveness.

Launched right at the beginning of the year, the army’s advertising campaign was titled ‘Your army needs you’, and saw younger servicemen and women posing with slogans riffing on generally negative stereotypes aimed at the younger generation.

“Phone zombies” had focus, “millennials” had self-belief, “binge gamers” had drive, and “snowflakes” had compassion, all traits which the Army said they wanted in recruits. The campaign was not without controversy though, with one of the soldiers whose face appeared on the posters saying he was not informed of the advert’s tone, and promising to resign.

However, the decision to run the adverts has been vindicated – with Q1 2019 on-track to see the highest rates of applications since the British Army outsourced their recruitment activity to Capita seven years ago. Compared with the same period in 2018, figures show there will be at least 1,000 more sign-ups.

In January, website visits were up 78%, with 1.5 million people visiting the British Army website. In fact, the day the ‘Your army needs you’ posters were launched, the website received the highest number of registrations in 12 months.