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British Army touts ‘emotional support’ in £1.6m recruitment drive

British Army touts ‘emotional support’ in latest recruitment drive

The British Army is adopting a change in tack as part of continued efforts to bolster its manpower, this time focusing on the ‘emotional support’ a career in the military can provide.

This message is being conveyed via a £1.6m advertising campaign spanning radio, TV and online which seeks to tackle head on some of the issues which may have deterred potential recruits in the past.

These include issues relating to religion and sexuality as the Army seeks to address preconceptions that it is a career only suitable for straight men, highlighting that the service is in fact open to people of all genders, races and religions.

Part of the campaign will see a series of short animated films which detail the experiences of real-life army recruits, who also voice the films, run on the Army's website and social channels. This is due to be followed with a number of live-action TV adverts.

In comes after the Army failed to draw in sufficient numbers of fresh personnel amid a number of advertising campaigns that suggested only budding superheroes need apply.

From April 2016 to March 2017 just 8,194 civilians signed up to join the army, far below the 9,775 soldiers who left the service to pursue opportunities out of uniform.

This was despite ballooning advertising costs, which rose by nearly 50%, jumping from £6.7m in 2016 to more than £10m in the first nine months of 2017.

As a result, government questioned the effectiveness of the British Army’s advertising and marketing efforts leading the Ministry of Defense to promise that it would "show a wide audience the opportunities that exist for everyone to reach their full potential, whatever their background.”

Last year, the biggest Army campaign came courtesy of Karmarama, which sought to celebrate Gay Pride with the theme of 'belonging'.

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