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UK Army Targets 'Millennials' With Weird Ad Campaign

Millennial Brits might not recall from their history lessons the legacy of Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, who took the notion of a scorched earth approach to combat to a whole new level during the First World War. They also might not recall Kitchener served as the UK Army's poster boy, pushing civilians to join the forces during that tumultuous time, with that intimidating handlebar mustache and a giant index finger pointed at gawkers for maximum effect.

But this time, the 18-25 demographic are being targeted by the army to sign up and get into a nifty camo wardrobe by modernizing the Kitchener prints of yesteryear with lingo that the Gen-Z folks can understand, according to The Guardian. The marketing geniuses are specifically going after such identifiable subcultures as “snowflakes, selfie addicts, class clowns, phone zombies, and me, me, millennials” to bolster its ranks at a time when international diplomatic breakdowns are becoming the norm.

How millennials, not exactly known for their loyalty, will react to this campaign remains to be seen, but the military promotional powers that be are hopeful that potential recruits will be favorable to what was designed to be a more sympathetic way of reaching out for new reinforcements. Case in point on some of the posters is that the Army could use a few sympathetic snowflakes, heavily-focused gamers, and confident self-takers. Traits often dismissed by older demographics are apparently seen by the Army as good things.

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"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,' said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson about the campaign. "Now all jobs in the army are open to men and women. The best just got better.”

Although this 21st-century take on the Kitchener campaign—which also has a strong visual likeness to the Uncle Sam drive effectively used by the U.S. Army during the First World War—Williamson believed the campaign aims to attract diversity-minded millennials interests. If so, that would be a boon to the Army, since social inclusion seems to be one the minds of their target audience. The campaign is also a revamp of a previous marketing push last summer that was criticized for being too politically correct in trying to draw various ethnicities.

It's uncertain if those factors contributed to that previous campaign's inability to reach its target of acquiring 82,500 recruits in 2018. The marketing efforts only managed to get 77,000.

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