British Army targets 'snowflakes' and 'me me me millennials' in 2019 recruitment ads

The British Army has unveiled its recruitment drive for 2019, targeting Gen Z 'phone zombies', 'snowflakes' and 'selfie addicts'.

The 'Your Army Needs You' campaign is focused on how the army sees "beyond stereotypes" to spot young people's potential.

As part of the push, a series of TV, digital, poster and print ads have been created by Karmarama to encourage 16 to 25-year-olds to sign up to the forces, based on the insight that 74% of people in that age bracket are "looking for a job with purpose".

The creative suggests that attributes perceived as a weakness or flaw in young people are seen as a strength by army recruiters. For instance, the army says it could use the 'compassion' of 'snowflakes', the 'stamina' of gamers', the 'self belief' of 'me me me millennials' and the 'confidence' of selfie takers.

Potential recruits are shown at home or work, with others calling out their stereotypes, before the scene changes to depict them in the army performing roles where their potential is recognised – like assisting on humanitarian missions in war-torn villages and supporting on a Caribbean hurricane relief effort.

At the heart of the campaign is a series of Kitchener-style illustrations of soldiers with stereotype labels beneath them. Although they seek to subvert stereotypes, the billboards are already causing some controversy online.

The ads are the third execution of Karmarama's wider ‘This is Belonging’ series.

UK defence secretary Gavin Williamson described the campaign as "a powerful call to action" that appealed 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 added.