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British Army millennial recruitment ads encourage 'snowflakes,' 'binge gamers,' 'phone zombies' to sign up

Traits effectively transfer into military, ads claim

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The British Army wants to recruit "snowflakes," "phone zombies," "binge gamers," and "me me me millennials," according to posters, billboards, and TV ads popping up in the United Kingdom.

Why are they doing this?

In recent years, the British Army has seen a decline in recruits as it struggles to maintain its target level of 82,000 troops, NBC News reported.

The posters have a design similar to the iconic World War I "Your Country Needs You" ads. But in this campaign, the slogan is "The Army spots potential. Even if others don't."

Under the campaign, millennial stereotypes typically viewed as negative are cast as being positive. For example, "phone zombies" have focus and "binge gamers" have drive, NBC News reported. Similarly, "snowflakes" are viewed as having compassion and "me me me millennials" have "self-belief."

One of the TV ads contrasts a millennial playing a video game with soldiers providing rescue efforts for survivors of a natural disaster, for example. The campaign is targeting gamers for their "interest in technology."

"The video game Fortnite is considered the most popular computer game ever made and is currently thought to have over 200 million users," the Telegraph explained. "The Army is hoping to tap into this market of gamers."

New figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association show that video games now represent more than one-half of the entertainment market.

What is their main selling point?

"The 'Your Army Needs You' campaign is a powerful call to action that appeals to those seeking to make a difference as part of an innovative and inclusive team," U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said in a statement. "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."

According to the U.K. Ministry of Defence, 72 percent of young people say they are ambitious yet feel undervalued and want a job that makes a difference and has meaning.

Thursday marks the official kick-off of the British Army's ad campaign.

A 2015 report by the British government stated that the U.K. has the fifth-largest defense budget in the world, after the U.S., China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

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