Is the British Army’s ‘This is Belonging’ campaign too soft?
The British Army launched their new campaign ‘This is belonging 2018’. The British Army published the introductory statement: ‘A sense of belonging may sound like a small thing. Yet it fuels you as much as food and water, because it doesn’t just feed your body, it feeds your mind and soul.’
Part of the campaign is a series of short video clips; each addresses a reason an individual may join the army and demonstrates the solidarity of the Army. For example, one of the video clips is titled ‘Facing my Kryptonite’ illustrating a young boy overcoming his apprehension of being able to do a pull-up with the support of his comrade.
You can find all video clips on YouTube.
Talking to Marketing Week, Gordon Lee, Marketing Director at Capita (the British Army’s recruitment agency) stated ‘We are trying to attract young people into the Army who have a different perception of diversity compared to other parts of out community’.
The strategy of attracting diversity is seen in some of the titles such as: ‘Can I be gay in the Army?’ and ‘Keeping my Faith’.
According to Marketing Week, the British Army’s new campaign has received criticism for being too soft from top soldiers.
This is reiterated in BBC’s feature on the British Army’s marketing campaign. Colonel Kemp is of the opinion that the campaign doesn’t encourage people ‘who want to fight and want to be soldiers’ to sign up. Colonel Kemp believes that the Army should ‘focus on the retention problems and deal with its “impenetrable” application process’.
In Jonathan Beale’s (BBC Defence Correspondent) analysis of the campaign, he refers to Army General Sir Nick Carter’s statement on the radio that oppose the criticism: ‘What is interesting is we are now getting new types of applicant and that’s why we need to adjust the approach we are using to how we nurture them into the Army.’
Army Sergeant Major, Glenn Haughton, tweeted a balanced:
Heard lots of views today, one of the most balanced opinions I have heard was from a combat vet supporting what the campaign is trying to do.All should bear in mind that although the campaign is perhaps not to personal taste,it is aimed at a different generation – Results matter
— Glenn Haughton OBE MBA (@ArmySgtMajor) 10 January 2018
The Telegraph’s coverage of the campaign references the statistic that ‘the regular Amy is supposed to be 82,000 strong, with the latest manning figures showing it is in fact around 77,500’. This demonstrates that the Army do need to up their effort to recruit.
Will the new approach be the key to recruiting more officers?