The British army is targeting young people who might be going into 2020 feeling a little lost or aimless in its new advertising campaign.
But more precisely, the ads target Instagram addicts, Love Island viewers and fans of fast fashion.
The campaign essentially promises that joining the army provides a confidence boost that Instagram likes, a pair of new trainers, a hot body or a boozy night out just can’t match.
In addition to the TV ad, billboard posters depict popular confidence-boosting activities, like getting a spray tan or going to the gym, again suggesting that the confidence the army can provide will "last a lifetime".
Lots of things can give you confidence… for a little while. But confidence that lasts a lifetime? That's… https://t.co/5mEKPJCV29
Nick Terry, head of marketing for the army recruitment team run by outsourcer Capita, said:
This generation is being bombarded with stuff that gives them very short-term or superficial quick hits of confidence whether that’s through chasing likes on Instagram, buying the latest pair of trainers every month, getting your body buffed up for the summer, Love Island-style.
These are all things that on the surface give quick hits of confidence but actually... there’s something longer-lasting that the army can give.
This campaign follows the army’s controversial “snowflake” campaign which, despite being accused of causing offence, was an effective campaign. Moving forward, we can expect more ads like this as the British Army continues to face a recruitment crisis.
On social media, not everyone was a fan of the new ads.
Good grief. I know they have to recruit in the modern world but when will they learn that slick advertising is no s… https://t.co/q8Wwb3QRNY
— Stewart McDonald MP (@Stewart McDonald MP)
But others agreed with the message.
This is a brilliant ad, I love it because it's true. Joining @BritishArmy Reserves 10 yrs ago gave me confidence t… https://t.co/fZG55SgIxN
— Jay Singh-Sohal VR (@Jay Singh-Sohal VR)