The British Army set gender stereotypes in its sights with an award-winning campaign
LADbible Group, the British Army and Capita won at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2022 in the public sector or government category for 'A Soldier is a Soldier'. Here, we find out what went into this recruitment campaign.
British Army sets gender stereotypes in its sights with an award-winning campaign
Faced with a significant shortfall of female soldiers, the British Army mounted a targeted recruitment campaign to present a career in the military as a positive role for all, de-emphasizing depictions of physical combat.
Recognizing that women account for just 10% of the 112,000 personnel in the UK military, the British Army resolved to redress this imbalance by smashing stereotypes.
The scale of this challenge is made clear by a cursory online search for 'soldier' or 'British Army', with 99% of Google image search results featuring men on the first page. To counter this, the British Army had to put forward an alternative narrative that would reassure prospective female candidates that a viable career path awaits them.
Breaking this challenge down into three key steps, the British Army first pursued original content to promote the range of potential career paths available. This saw female role models promoted heavily through video, images and stories published on partner websites.
In tandem, a digital planning strategy was developed to punch through Google's algorithm and distribute more images of female soldiers on the web.
Finally, 'guerilla' search engine optimization ensured that women would see more female soldiers when conducting online searches by updating the Army website to include more imagery of women and flooding stock photography sites with similar images.
The Army claims to have reached 13m people as a result of the campaign, driving 19m impressions. It led to a 10% drop in the perception that 'the Army is a male-dominated career'.
An impressive 58% jump in the number of women who consider the Army a favorable career choice was recorded.