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British Army campaign attracts record recruits, reaching annual target by March


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

July 1, 2020 | 4 min read

The British Army has released the follow-up to its 'Army Confidence Lasts a Lifetime' campaign, which it has revealed helped it surpass its annual recruiting target for soldiers for the first time in eight years by March.

Army Nightingale

Understanding that the coronavirus pandemic will not be the last crisis we face, the army now has a new slogan – ‘recruiting now and always’ – as it looks to scoop up more recruits by highlighting the hard work it has put in during lockdown.

Since lockdown began in March, the British Army has played a crucial role in delivering PPE to the NHS and running mobile testing. It also helped with the construction of the Nightingale hospitals across the country.

Created by Karmarama, its new animated ad highlights the role it has played in recent months and its long relationship with nursing by linking the coronavirus efforts back to Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War.

Opening in the Crimean War, the film visits Florence Nightingale as she tends to sick soldiers harmed in war. To say thank you to all the nurses that have cared for soldiers throughout the years, the Army is honouring the Lady with the Lamp by striving to support the NHS as best it can.

The film shows how the Army helped plan and build seven Nightingale hospitals at the start of the crisis, with six of them opening before thankfully being placed on standby.

Nick Terry, chief marketing officer, Recruiting Group at Capita, said: “This work doesn’t just communicate the army’s role in this crisis. It speaks to the army’s role in all equivalent crises both past and future, underlines the army as a job that matters, and showcases a breadth of skills and jobs in the army.”

The British Army's recruitment films are now renowned for their effectiveness. In January this year, it unveiled 'Army Confidence Lasts a Lifetime' which contrasted the “quick hits” of confidence the army says are easily gained, and easily lost, in a modern world with the long-term boost it offers.

Four days after the launch, the record was broken for the highest number of applications received in a single day. After a month, 141% of the army’s application target was reached. By March, it had surpassed 100% of its annual recruiting target for soldiers, for the first time in eight years.

Back in January, its recruitment drive targeted Gen Z 'phone zombies', 'snowflakes', and 'selfie addicts' and focused on how the army sees "beyond stereotypes" to spot young people's potential.

The Ministry of Defence was then forced to defend itself after a soldier who featured in the ads took to Facebook to accuse the army of leaving him open to ridicule. He claimed that while he agreed to the use of his photo he did not know the context and that it would be used alongside the word 'Snowflake.'

Despite launching in a flurry of controversy, The British Army’s 2019 recruitment campaign helped drive the biggest recruitment numbers in years.

The first quarter of 2019 was the busiest three-month period it then had since recruitment outsourcing giant Capita took over the British Amy contract seven years before. According to its own figures, over 1000 more recruits signed up to apply versus the same quarter the year prior.

Karmarama: Nightingale by British Army

By Karmarama

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