We needed to recruit more young people into the British Army – by showing what the Army offered them, that they couldn’t find elsewhere.
With higher targets, but no extra budget to meet them, we needed to create work bold enough to earn our audience’s attention, and break out of advertising and into culture.
How we helped do the right thing
In a world where our ambitious, purpose-driven audience were undervalued by employers and overlooked by society, we took to their defence to prove we valued and wanted them.
While the media labelled them lazy, tech-obsessed snowflakes, we challenged the society overlooking them by showing that where they saw stereotypes, we saw potential. And all this potential is exactly what the Army needs to make a difference at home and around the world – summed up in our campaign line: Your Army Needs You.
What happened next
By standing for something they could believe in, and challenging deeply entrenched stereotypes, this campaign earned a place in our audience’s attention and in culture.
Bold Kitchener-style illustrations of soldiers were coupled with youth stereotypes such as ‘Snowflakes’ and ‘Me Me Me Millennials’ which were matched with the potential behind each value.
TV and VOD adverts told stories of potential recruits, whose colleague or family member doesn’t see their potential. On the other side of the line, a soldier translates a perceived weakness into a strength, which the Army needs for important work around the world.
By delivering brave work in paid media, we got a much greater effect in earned – with a PR reach of 4.8 billion in the first week alone. On the day the campaign launched, more people applied to join the Army than on any other day in over a year.