“Snowflakes,” “phone zombies,” “binge gamers” and “me me me millennials” are the focus of the British army’s latest recruitment campaign.
Posters reminiscent of World War I recruitment “Your Country Needs You” ads have been given a 21st-century twist, sending the message: “The army spots potential. Even if others don’t.”
The U.K. has struggled to maintain its target of 82,000 troops in recent years due to a declining number of recruits.
The new ads appear to attempt to engage millennials by connecting the stereotype of the screen-addicted generation with desirable skills. “Phone zombies” are wanted for their focus and “binge gamers” for their drive.
One of the campaign’s TV ads alternates between images of a young man unblinkingly playing a video game and soldiers responding to an elephant poaching in a dark field and rescuing survivors following a natural disaster.
“Snowflakes” — a criticism often thrown at millennials for allegedly lacking resilience and being prone to taking offence — are said to be wanted for their compassion, while “me me me millennials” are sought for their “self-belief.”
Another TV ad alternates between a young woman working at supermarket and personnel dodging Molotov cocktails.
The U.K. has the fifth-largest defence budget in the world, according to a 2015 report by the British government, following the United States, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia.