British Army to tackle ‘deficit in understanding’ with new campaign

The British Army is hoping to improve public understanding of its global role through a multi-media campaign that coincides with its January recruitment push.

“Normal Day” features a 60-second TV spot and three documentaries created by Engine which highlight the work of the Army around the world in an effort to improve awareness and understanding of its role in geo-political and social conflict and community-building.

Supported through print media, billboards and digital, the TV ad shows the “unsung roles” of the Army in restoring normality to communities that have come under threat both at home and abroad, while the documentaries show real-life examples of the impact Army personnel have had on people’s lives in the UK, Kosovo and the Philippines.

The campaign also looks to support the Army’s ongoing recruitment effort by coinciding with its seasonal drive to promote part-time roles with the Army Reserve. The recruitment push will involve a refresh of the Army’s JWT-created “More than meets the eye” advert.

“Normal Day” is based on research done by independent market research firm OnePoll in December, which showed that 20% of Britons believe the Army is less relevant now than ever before.

It also showed that respondents thought the Army spends most of its time peacekeeping and fighting the UK’s enemies instead of on humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

According to the British Army, ‘Normal Day’ is an effort to reduce the “deficit in understanding” surrounding its roles and build more positive informed attitudes towards the Army, hopefully converting this positivity into an active interest in joining.

However, its creative is a move from traditional recruitment-led Army campaigns, which have focused on the benefits and job roles of the Army.

Brigadier Nick Orr, the Army’s head of communications, said: “We have launched this campaign to improve understanding about what the Army does, but also to showcase the people that make our Army the force it is for good. These skilled men and women help to ensure normality is preserved for people at home and overseas and this campaign helps bring that to life for a modern audience who, in part at least, may question its future role and relevance.

“While we recognise the clear need to adapt and change with the times, our role and relevance is enduring. The Army is as relevant now, if not more so, than ever before amid these incredibly complex times.”

According to the UK Armed Forces Monthly Personnel Report as of 1 December 2014, 9,020 more people had left the UK Regular Forces than joined in the past 12 months, down from 11,110 in the 12 months to 31 March 2014 and 9,150 in the year to 31 March 2013.

While the number of full-time staff is expected to continue to decline as part of an Army restructure, the Army will continue to actively recruit.

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