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Creative Water Cooler Creative News

British Army changes recruitment tactics, with positive message about failure


By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

January 7, 2021 | 3 min read

You may not be anywhere near the office water cooler right now, but we still want to spotlight the most talked about creative from the brands that should be on your radar. Today, we look to the army's latest recruitment drive, 'Fail. Learn. Win.' that turns failure into success.

The Army takes annual recruitment campaign in new direction

The Army takes annual recruitment campaign in new direction

January is upon us once again, and with the new year comes a new British Army recruitment drive.

While previous iterations of its ‘This Is Belonging’ series, developed by Karmarama, have gone after 'Snowflakes' 'me me millenials' and 'gym monkeys' and 'binge drinkers' as potential recruits, this year the army has taken a more serious approach to its annual recruitment push, returned with a critical message about failure.

The campaign responds to research that found 81% of young people don't achieve their goals because they fear it.

Demonstrating that failure can be positive, the ‘Fail. Learn. Win.’ campaign looks to army training, which it deems a safe place as it is an opportunity to learn. While suggesting that wider society may deem failure as a weakness, the campaign shows the army sees it as a strength. Because it's only by failing, learning and growing, that soldiers can become their best.

“At some point in our lives, we all fail. How we react to that failure is the important thing,” explains Karmarama's chief creative officer, Nik Studzinski. “By highlighting this crucial part of Army training, we’re taking our ‘This is Belonging’ campaign in a new direction, looking to build on the record levels of recruitment we achieved last year.”

The campaign follows the army's most successful recruitment to date. 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 2019, focusing on how the army sees "beyond stereotypes" its campaign targeting Gen Z 'phone Zombies' and 'Snowflakes' encouraged 16,000 people to apply to join the army, which at the time was its busiest three-month period since it started recruitment outsourcing giant Capita took over its contract.

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