Dezeen Magazine

British Army calls on "snowflakes" and "millennials" in recruitment drive

A British Army recruitment campaign targets "snowflakes, selfie addicts, class clowns, phone zombies, and me, me, millennials" in boring jobs, with a design that draws on first world war recruitment posters.

The campaign by creative agency Karmarama, which consists of a series of six posters and three TV adverts, calls on young people between the ages of 16 and 25, to join the British Army, using the tagline: "Your army needs you".

The posters emulate the design and fonts of a first world war poster featuring Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, titled Your Country Needs You.

Launched on 3 January 2019, the campaign targets young people who feel unfulfilled and who want a job with a "bigger sense of purpose".

The series of six posters praise "snowflakes" – people who are prone to taking offence – for their compassion and "class clowns" for their spirit. It also celebrates gaming and selfie enthusiasts for their drive and confidence, and millennials for their self-belief.

British Army calls on "snowflakes" and "millennials" in recruitment drive

The campaign includes a series of TV adverts that portray three potential recruits at home or work who are ridiculed for their "millennial" attributes by their peers. These characteristics are then re-contextualised as sought-after skills in the army.

The aim of the campaign is to show that qualities that can be perceived as weak or embarrassing are in fact desirable characteristics in the army.

"This generation of 18 to 24-year-olds gets a lot of bad press. They are constantly berated in the media with a barrage of derogatory terms and dismissed as a lost cause," said Nik Studzinski, chief creative officer at Karmarama to Dezeen.

"As a modern and progressive employer, the British Army sees things differently. It sees a generation full of potential – capable, talented and keen to make a difference," he explained.

The British Army agreed with this statement. "The Army sees people differently," said major general Paul Nanson. "We understand the drive they have to succeed and recognise their need for a bigger sense of purpose in a job where they can do something meaningful."

British Army calls on "snowflakes" and "millennials" in recruitment drive

One advert shows a young person playing computer games, much to his family's disapproval, before showing how his love of technology can be used to the army's advantage.

Another video focuses on a supermarket trolley assistant who is made fun of by her colleagues for being slow. She is later depicted in a combat situation where patience and focus are crucial qualities.

UK defence minister Gavin Williamson called the campaign a "powerful call to action that appeals to those seeking to make a difference as part of an innovative and inclusive team".

"It shows that time spent in the army equips people with skills for life and provides comradeship, adventure and opportunity like no other job does," he said.

British Army calls on "snowflakes" and "millennials" in recruitment drive

The campaign follows a recent government report that showed the British Army has decreased in numbers by 3.1 per cent, with 79,640 serving soldiers, rather than the required 83,500.

In other recent news, Tilda Swinton, Nan Goldin and Vivienne Westwood were among 10 artists and activists commissioned by Visionaire magazine to design protest posters on topics ranging from gun violence to women's rights.