The Army Recruitment campaign
The four posters, designed by the advertising consultants Saatchi & Saatchi, are aimed at young people and through their layout, imagery and language attempt to encourage those young people to join the Army. The key features of the four posters are summarised in the following table. Describe the images Images are the focal point. They are effective, powerful, eye catching, attention grabbing. The images are very dramatic, have impact, portray situations which soldiers have to confront. What do the images show The images depict the soldier as a bringer of aid, help and assistance. There is more to a soldier than fighting.
Who is talking. In the images the people needing help are talking. In the captions the army is appealing to the target audience. Who is being addressed 17 year old school leavers. What is the tone of the pictures Harsh, play on words, powerful, puns, appealing, sharp, straight to the point, sense of urgency to help, The four posters use images that are very dramatic, they catch and hold the attention of the person looking at them. The images have an immediate impact. In poster 1 some children are holding their bowls out for food. Even without the words the pictures tell us that these children are starving and are in desperate need of help.
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The images are made even more powerful by the fact that the pictures are actually taken from inside military vehicles, the people in need are appealing directly to the soldiers. The image is not that seen by a passive onlooker taking a picture; it’s actually what the soldier would see, it’s a very personal appeal. The images pull at the viewer’s emotions and depict a caring side to the army. The posters show a whole new aspect of being soldier, not just the stereotypical view of a physically fit man dispensing death and destruction. In fact in all four posters there is no sign of any weapons.
There is nothing in the posters to indicate that they are aimed at either boys or girls, the posters apply equally to both sexes. The words used in the posters are effective and straight to the point. In posters 2 and 4 we see the word needed. The word needed adds a sense of urgency to the poster. It implies that the army can’t wait, they need you right now. In all four posters the caption uses very short phrases. I think this is because the posters weren’t designed for people to sit down, read and study them closely, but were designed for people just to be able to glance at yet remember the caption.
There is also a consistent use of the words 17 year olds which clearly identifies the target audience as school leavers who would be considering a number of career options. The Army has realised that it is competing for the school leavers and is making it clear that it wants them. The posters have been specially laid out so that the images are the focal point of the poster. Your eyes are automatically drawn to the people in need, which is what they wanted. The captions are separated from the images so that the words don’t take your attention away from the image.
The Images also give the impression that you are looking through a window onto a completely different world. The message used on each poster uses terminology which would be familiar to most 17 year-old school leavers e. g. body building, fast food, body piercing, road rage. The use of these everyday terms is deliberate and is intended to catch the attention of young people. The terminology creates a link between the world inhabited by the target audience and the Army’s need for people. I think that the only poster that fits with the overall message ‘Be the Best’ is poster 4 because it requires someone to do something.
To stop road rage, you actually have to do something and be there. The caption on poster 4 is challenging, it is saying ‘hey can you help stop road rage? ‘ It uses the word STOP, which is a very powerful word. It’s a definite answer, no negotiating, just stop. I don’t think that the images in any of the posters fit very well with the Army’s slogan. Being the best requires someone to be better than anyone else at doing something, the images depict the need for aid but there is no suggestion that the Army can do this any better than other aid agencies such as Oxfam, Red Cross, Medicin Sans Frontier etc.
These posters are portraying the army as being caring and compassionate, but whenever you see it being portrayed in film, on the television or in newspapers it is depicted as tough, macho, aggressive and unemotional. The posters focus on the victims and sufferers of conflict and with these particular images the army is attempting to demonstrate that there is much more to the army than fighting. However in portraying a feature of the army different from what we normally see and read the posters are sending out messages that are at odds with messages elsewhere, this could be confusing.
The posters show a positive side to the army. It shows that it can be caring, but it still doesn’t appeal to me as a girl because of all the other images of the army we see on a daily basis. I don’t think that the posters would appeal to the majority of 17-year old school leavers. I think that most teenage boys are excited by action and will not be attracted to the army through the idea of helping. Conversely I think that most teenage girls will be put off by the aggressive imagery seen on television etc.
The image we see displayed is of an Afro-Caribbean man which I think is very powerful and effective. The image takes up most of the poster and your eye is drawn to the man’s face staring at you and his finger pointing at you. It is as though he is addressing you personally and not the population as a whole. The image grabs your attention and causes you to stop and read the text. The words used in the poster tell us that the army does not tolerate racism, it shows that everyone is equal. The time when black people and people of ethnic minorities were treated less humanely than white people, is over, everyone is equal.
Interestingly in using such language the army is accepting that racial harassment was a feature in the past. In the caption at the bottom it says “They respect me, I respect them! ” For a black person to say that about a job that has been done by predominately white people for a long time is a turning point. It’s shows that he went out there and earned himself that job, he earned himself the respect from his work mates and from other people and in return he respects everyone around him. The words are written in the first person as if the soldier is talking.
It is a very personal message, which attempts to show how the soldier feels. The soldier is addressing everyone regardless of colour or creed and is issuing a challenge by asserting that the army is no longer racist. It’s earning respect for the soldier and the Army as a whole. The poster is very open and invites people to get in touch and talk to a black soldier. The words acknowledge that Britain is a multi-racial country and are seeking to project the army as the guardians of that multi-racial nation. The tone of the picture is tough. It is effective but sharp.
It is there to make an impact and by using the language it does I think it makes a tremendous impact because it is straight to the point and it tells you how it is. This poster has a massive effect on me. To me, this poster is a gateway to the end of racism. Maybe not entirely, but I think it could make a difference. It makes you respect people of an ethnic minority. To get a job is hard enough for a white man, but for a black man it must be even harder, and for a black soldier to stand there and say: “I’m a soldier who is black and I’m proud of it! You just have to respect them. Coursework Assignment – Part Three Coursework assignment – Part Four I wanted to design a poster to persuade women to want to join the army. I wanted to show that women can play valuable roles and take on demanding jobs. I decided to use the image of a woman in uniform amongst other women and men, shaking the Prince of Wales’s hand to stress the recognition given to women’s participation. Behind the line of soldiers you can see a large military vehicle giving the impression of the image being taken at the ‘front-line’.
In actual fact women are barred from fighting on the ‘front-line’ as well as nearly one-quarter of all other positions in the Armed Forces, including the Household Cavalry, the Royal Armoured Corps and the infantry. By using this image I wanted to stress that women can play an important support role, close to the ‘front-line’ and are respected for the contribution they make. Perhaps it won’t be too long before women actually perform combat duties. In the poster the women are stood amongst men, they are being treated no differently and are recognised as being just as valuable to the Army.
The poster incorporates the ‘Be the Best’ slogan from the original Army recruitment campaign so as to apply to recruits of both sexes, in the Army men and women can be the best at whatever they do. The terminology I have used is friendly, inviting, happy and determined but is also straight to the point and effective. The caption at the bottom explains how this person joined the Army as one of only a few women. It is a very personal message and in it the woman outlines the changes since she joined the Army and tells how each new recruit can make a massive difference.
She is challenging other women to follow her lead. It’s intended as though she is giving a personal recommendation to anyone thinking of joining the Army. I think that the one of the most important phrases in the caption is; “I’m proud that I am one of those women!! ” I put that specific phrase in because in the poster of the Afro-Caribbean man he says; “I’m a soldier who is black and I’m proud of it! ” I felt that this had so much impact and people respected him, I wanted to repeat the impact for women.
Women are traditionally seen as guardians of the home, cleaning, cooking and caring. I wanted the woman to say that she is proud to be a soldier, I hoped it would have the same effect as the caption on the Afro-Caribbean poster. When I wrote the message for my poster (the bold writing) I deliberately decided to use the second person pronoun ‘you’ as I think it makes the poster more personal. I wanted to target women as an individual, in my opinion it is a more direct way of getting the message across.
I chose to use the terminology ‘You can make a difference’ because I wanted to send a challenge to the reader. Being in the Army is not an easy life, it is demanding and I intended to attract those women who are prepared to fight to make a difference. I chose to write the caption as though it came from a woman already serving in the Army, I think this has more impact than appearing to come from some disinterested person. I deliberately designed my poster to address all women, women who have just left school or women who just want a career change.