Case study: #NoFilter Army Cadets campaign takes aim at social media

A #NoFilter local recruitment campaign by the Army Cadets, stressing the value of real-life adventure over that of filtered imagery on social media, has boosted applications fourfold and is now set to go national.

The campaign stressed the value of real-life experiences over presenting an image on social media
The campaign stressed the value of real-life experiences over presenting an image on social media

The short campaign took place in Surrey between February and April this year and centred on a series of images of cadets in action with the message: ‘Join the adventure’ and #NoFilter.

The activity was intended to raise awareness of the Army Cadets and attract more young people and adult volunteers to join their ranks.

The idea of using the #NoFilter hashtag was a response to the use of filters on photographs on social media.

It was an attempt to signify that filters are not needed at the Army Cadets, where fun, adventure and friendship are more important than checking likes on social media.

The number of people expressing an interest in joining the Army Cadets quadrupled, with 198 enquiries compared to the 50 or so that would normally be made during a six-week period.

There was also a surge in adults interested in volunteering, with 67 enquiries compared to the 20 or so that would normally be expected.

The campaign resulted in a total social media reach in excess of 300,000 with nearly 20,000 clicks through to the Army Cadets webpage on how to join.

Its success means that the campaign will be rolled out nationally, starting in Wales in August and ending in London in April 2022.

Jack Cavilla, head of media and comms for Army Cadets UK, said: “The #NoFilter campaign had a really positive impact in Surrey… interest from working groups within Surrey County Council, radio interviews with the Commandant of Surrey ACF and general enquiries received over the six weeks that the campaign ran highlight the impact of the engagement and the organic interest it created.”

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