British Army bashes influencer culture in recruitment drive

Campaign follows last year's 'snowflakes' initiative that led to 71 per cent year-on-year rise in applications.

The British Army is highlighting the long-term confidence that is built from being part of the institution as opposed to quick hits from things such as social media and fast fashion in its latest recruitment push.

It follows last year’s controversial work aimed at a generation of "snowflakes" that led to a five-year high in applications.

This year’s TV ad, created by Karmarama, follows a dune-roaming soldier as he ignores the distractions of a buff fitness trainer encouraging him to join his workout plan, friends getting ready for a night out and a "quick drink".

A voiceover questions whether confidence comes from how you look, quick hits, fast fashion or instant likes. At the end, it says: "Lots of things can give you confidence for a little while. But confidence that lasts a lifetime? There's one place you'll find that."

It is the fourth instalment of the Army’s wider "This is belonging" campaign. The latest push, "Army confidence lasts a lifetime", includes a series of digital 10-second spots that highlight the different ways in which an army career can instil confidence in younger people, from defusing explosive devices to commanding soldiers in combat. activity will also run across out-of-home and radio.

Last year’s campaign drove 95,000 applications in nine months (16,000 of which occurred within the campaign’s first month – a 71% year-on-year rise), leading to the highest number of recruits starting basic training in September 2019 in the past decade.

Nick Terry, chief marketing officer for the Army’s recruiting group, said: "It is really satisfying to see candidates grow into strong and confident soldiers throughout the recruitment process. Many have previously been in jobs where they did not feel valued, but by joining the Army they develop self-confidence and we want to show just how valuable this confidence can be.

"The recruitment campaign evolves each year and we are looking to build on the success of last year, where applications reached a five-year high and 1.5 million people visited the recruitment website in January alone."

The TV ad was created by Meigan Brown and Tobias Owen, and directed by Nicolai Fuglsig through MJZ, while the 10-second films were directed by Billy Boyd Cape through Academy. Manning Gottlieb OMD handles media planning and buying for the Army.

Nik Studzinski, chief creative officer at Karmarama, said: "Building on the foundations of the ‘This is belonging’ campaign, this year’s campaign highlights another benefit of a career in the Army: the sense of confidence you develop as a recruit. A deep sense of confidence that, just like the friendships you make and the skills you learn, lasts a lifetime."

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