Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Military recruitment -- Brit style

The military recruitment ads take a different approach here than in the U.S. They have much more emphasis on shooting guns (I guess the desire to use them is strong for some in a country where you basically can't own them? I personally don't care for guns, but it's kind of a macho thing everywhere, I think, that lots of men like to shoot guns. It's kind of like the love of zombie movies and kung fu. But guys can get those here, they just can't go out to the shooting range with a pistol and pretend they're James Bond -- unless they join the Army). The ads also include typical fare similar to U.S. ads about joining up for the challenge and teamwork, but the Brit commercials add in glimpses of how much fun you'll have partying with your Army mates! Because this is Britain, and by God, beer and clubbing had better be involved if you want to get the youths to sign up! Here's a British recruiting commercial.

In America, recruiting commercials traditionally emphasize learning skills that will serve you when you leave the Army, and getting money for college. There's also much about camaraderie and patriotism. Really lots about patriotism and pride, actually. And while you see glimpses of soldiers with guns, I don't think you often see them shoot the guns. Here's a recent U.S. recruiting ad. There's no gunfire, no blowing stuff up, no partying. It's focusing on pride in being involved in something larger than yourself, and making the most of yourself. It's interesting to see the contrasting appeals made in the U.S. and UK to recruit a volunteer force. Both appeal to a sense of wanting to make the most of yourself or challenge yourself, and the brotherhood of being a soldier. But they do diverge quite a bit in other areas. Hey, ya gotta know your audience!

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