The latest offering has a great idea at its heart, but is as poorly executed as some of Britain’s recent foreign exertions


So the army wants to recruit more young people to its ranks, and figured the best way of doing so was to stereotype them into risking their lives for Queen and country.


In a series of Lord Kitchener-inspired recruitment posters, the creatives started with the concept of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ but ended up delivering ‘if you can’t get them to join, beat them’.


It all feels counterintuitive – the equivalent of Gregg’s launching its latest flakey snack via a media event at an abattoir.


The Times’ defence journalist Lucy Fisher pointed out that this campaign needn’t be popular to be a success. She’s wrong – it does.


It’s a recruitment drive, not an awareness builder for the army as a whole. If you want to hire more people; DO make the job seem enticing, DON’T willfully dumb down the role to cater to ‘class clowns’.


Has it got people talking? Of course it has, but much more about generic generational stereotypes than the benefits of joining Her Majesty’s finest.


That’s not to say the entire campaign is a mess – the strategy is great; younger people are looking for more purpose in their work, and a career in the armed forces absolutely delivers this.


So with that in mind, here is a new creative route to consider. It works within the current framework but hopefully illuminates the perks of being a war-flower slightly better…



A split screen video depicts the similarities between going out on the town with your mates and going to war with your comrades.


You could demonstrate the excitement, comradery, and purpose-filled exhilaration of being in the armed forces, all whilst reminding us young folk just how fucking useless we are.


Hugh Thomas is an Account Director at Brazen and mentee on PR Week’s Creative Mentoring Scheme

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