Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Military Advertisments

I know that here I go harping on advertising again but I must say that it certainly deserves it. This morning I was watching the news and could not help but be struck by a story that was reporting on the number of soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan since the war there began. They showed the faces of the 4 British soldiers that were most recently lost. Looking at the faces on the screen I could see that they were all so young. They were not even old enough to have graduated from university. They should have been playing video games instead of fighting and dying in a foreign land.

I mention video games for a specific reason. Immediately after that story, the channel cut to commercial. The first commercial that was on was a recruitment ad for the Army. (Insert sad irony comment here) The commercial was appalling to me. I know commercials are always targeted to their audience and this one was right on the mark.

It starts with you looking down the scope of a rifle like the beginning of a James Bond movie. The "bad guy" is in the crosshairs. Then the camera pulls back and a gleaming rifle fills the screen. The announcer comes on with a voice like a personal trainer at a gym saying, "The newest weapons, the newest equipment. This could be you!"

I don't know about you but war is not a game. Trying to seduce young kids into the Army with messages along the line of, "We have the newest toys and you can play with them" is rather deplorable. The Army is what it is, an entity that is sadly necessary in our world. Recruitment is also necessary but preying on the testosterone filled imaginations of young men is not the way to do it.

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