Why the British Army’s new campaign is patronising and alienating
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The British Army has launched a controversial new recruitment campaign calling specifically for “Snowflakes”, “Selfie addicts” and “Me Me Me Millenials” to join their ranks.Based on the Kitchener “Your Country Needs You’ posters used in World War 1, the adverts implore young people to consider an army career, but read more like a desperate “Hey kids, we understand you, come hang with us” plea than a legitimate marketing strategy. In the adverts, “Snowflakes” are praised for their compassion, “Binge-gamers” for their drive, and “Me Me Me Millenials” for their self-belief. The idea is that all of the phrases most commonly used as insults towards the younger generations (“snowflakes”, “phone zombies” etc) are flipped on their backs, and the positive traits are highlighted instead. At a glance, it’s a nice idea!
Image Courtesy of The Ministry of DefenceMy colleague at The National Student has described the campaign as “brilliant advertising”, and that’s fair. It’s
Nonsense.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) November 5, 2017
Snowflake means someone who is overly-offended by everything & utterly intolerant of any contrary opinion to their own. https://t.co/r2DuT5nJzN
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Image Courtesy of The Ministry of DefenceThe whole thing has been designed with the sole purpose of making you, a young, naive Gen-Z’er, think that you’re actually worth something and that the only people who see this potential, and can nurture this, are the British Army. With this in mind, it becomes less about empowering young people, and more about pathetically buttering-up teens so that the Army stands a chance at improving their currently poor recruitment statistics. To make matters worse, this isn’t the first time that the British Army has faced backlash over its recruitment techniques. Targeting minorities, lying to potential recruits about the mental health services available, and flooding vulnerable 16-year-olds with recruitment literature on GCSE results day are just some of the criticisms faced by the organisation in the past. Assuming that they can connect with the younger generation by drip-feeding them vague compliments is one of the mistakes made by the British Army when creating this campaign. A second was assuming that the younger generation is naive enough to accept that being labelled a “snowflake” is actually a good thing because it means they’re a bit compassionate. A third was assuming that the “snowflake generation”