Don’t Mention the War: Controversial British Army Recruitment Strategies Exposed


An internal document setting out the marketing plan for the UK military’s controversial ‘This Is Belonging’ recruitment campaign has revealed the Ministry of Defense is seeking to enlist young people from poor, working-class backgrounds with limited opportunities.

The brief describes the campaign’s target audience as “16 —24, primarily C2DE”, the latter being a demographic classification referring to the UK’s three lowest social and economic groups.

These individuals are said to be; “open to change”; “ambitious and money-driven, but not good at money management”; “highly likely to be influenced by those around them”; have a “thirst for variety and risk”.

‘Focus locations’ for the propaganda blitz are northern cities of Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesborough, Newcastle, Sunderland and Sheffield. Other major metropoles in recruiters’ crosshairs are Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and, perhaps predictably, London.

In a section titled previous channel learnings,’ ‘out of home’ advertising is said to have previously been “anecdotally reported” as a “strong performer” in gyms, pubs, bars, sports centres and ‘powerleagues.’

In respect of TV ads, the document states the campaign’s ‘hero spots’ should ideally run before, during or after sports, dating, and reality shows, including The Voice, Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Bake Off and Gogglebox.

Adverts will also be shown in cinemas, but the…

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