TV Ads for the Armed Forces

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
I don't watch a lot of commercial TV but the little I do watch I always come across an ad promoting a career in the armed forces, so I assume they must be on a lot. Putting aside the recent announcement of cuts in armed forces personnel, why are the government spending so much money on ads? I can't remember the last time I saw a TV ad promoting a career with the Fire Service or Police or NHS or any other public sector employer.
 

liamt

Member
younger guys get paid less and probably dont have those amazing pensions? i must admit it seems stupid to get rid of people then look to replace them. IIRC a company couldnt sack you for no reason/make you redundant then re-hire someone for the same job.
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
The majority of the new ads are for the reserves e.g. the Territorials, as it's part of the government's big push to have a greater proportion of our forces being made up of reserves (IIRC the target is something ambitious of 30% by 2018/2020)
 

Sonic67

Banned
I don't know about the other blue light services but the fire brigade has a large amount of applicants for each job. They don't need to advertise. Teaching doesn't have so many applicants so they do advertise. Mitchell and Webb spoofed those.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
younger guys get paid less and probably dont have those amazing pensions? i must admit it seems stupid to get rid of people then look to replace them. IIRC a company couldnt sack you for no reason/make you redundant then re-hire someone for the same job.
In the 90s the Forces turned off the recruiting taps and offered redundancy as an (almost) free for all. Anyone who wanted it, however good and in whatever specialisation, was often able to take it. The result was some of the very best people left with little new talent joining. This created a 'black hole' that has slowly worked its way through the career structure meaning personnel promoted/given extended Service have not always been selected from as wide a range of candidates as they should have been.

Thankfully things are being done much better this time. Head count has been determined by sub-branch and redundancy has not only been limited to specific employment fields and ranks but also by career length, e.g. between 4 years served and 9 years. This ensures a fully sustainable structure offering those left with realistic and fair promotion opportunities (which requires new people coming into the organisation as well as people leaving in the normal course).

As for why they advertise - well even in these economically hard days there are numerous branches and jobs within the Forces that are undermanned.
 
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logiciel

Moderator
Do the ads say what is the purpose of the Armed Forces?
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
At the grand old age of 35, I suddenly find myself very interested in the Armed Forces! I considered signing up for the TA or the equivalent for one of the other forces but ultimately work, homelife and my incredibly poor attempt at a social life take up all available time. Its not an excuse, I've even been missing training sessions lately due to work.
 

phil t

Well-known Member
younger guys get paid less and probably dont have those amazing pensions? i must admit it seems stupid to get rid of people then look to replace them. IIRC a company couldnt sack you for no reason/make you redundant then re-hire someone for the same job.
Today’s Privates are tomorrows Sergeants. You only ever promote from within, so you always have to feed manpower in at the bottom. In the past, the have tried to reduce numbers by natural wastage, ie more people leave than join, but you always need people to join.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Does anyone else notice that the Armed Forces ads are portrayed similarly to games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield etc? Obviously intentional to appeal to young men but also I would suspect highly misleading.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
I was in an army vehicle called a Mastiff recently Mastiff 3 - British Army Website and the operator has a monitor and a joystic to remote control the big **** off gun on the roof. Awesome bit of kit, but I wasn't allowed to borrow it...
 

PoochJD

Well-known Member
Hi,

Whilst not wishing to denegrate the Army, or the TA, these ads seem to be aimed at older teens, who may not be aware of what their job may actually entail. As others have said, the ads are designed to imply that if you join the British Army or TA, you'll be flying helicopters, be entered into armed combat very quickly, and have an "exciting" job, killing "the enemy" and being a hero to everyone.

No.

To get that far, you will probably be required to do at least a few years worth of training. You certainly won't be flying helicopters into warzones, or driving tanks in the first few years of your job! Unless someone on here can correct me.

Everyday, we seem to read or hear stories of kids being killed - soldiers who have barely reached adulthood, let alone had a "lifelong career" in the Army/TA. I don't see that being mentioned in any of the ads. And as we don't seem to be pulling out of Afghanistan anytime soon, the heartless cynic in me, would say that these ads are really designed to secure more Tony Blair cannon fodder for the Army, to replace all of the dead, cheaply.

Don't tell people what they actually will be doing, just convince recruits that the Army and TA are real-life versions of CALL OF DUTY!

Who do the ad creators think they are kidding?!


Pooch
 

Sonic67

Banned
To get that far, you will probably be required to do at least a few years worth of training. You certainly won't be flying helicopters into warzones, or driving tanks in the first few years of your job! Unless someone on here can correct me.
It depends. Join AAC or RTR and you might be doing it early on. I was at Bovington just less than 12 months after joining and I learned Centurion tank, Centurion AVRE, Chieftain tank and Chieftain AVLB. Then back in Germany I did Chieftain AVRE. Following year I was driving a Chieftain AVRE in the Gulf War. After that I was driving 432’s. Before that you should be firing all sorts of various weapons and throwing grenades etc. Pre Afghan our company got through a quarter of a ton of ammo in pre-tour training.
Everyday, we seem to read or hear stories of kids being killed - soldiers who have barely reached adulthood, let alone had a "lifelong career" in the Army/TA. I don't see that being mentioned in any of the ads.
I’m pretty sure most people know that wars are dangerous. Besides it’s an advert. It’s intended to sell an image and we will always need armed forces and the advert is to encourage people to choose it as a career choice. Eating chocolate makes you fat but I don’t see adverts saying that either. If you are younger than 18 you won’t be going to a war zone either.
And as we don't seem to be pulling out of Afghanistan anytime soon, the heartless cynic in me, would say that these ads are really designed to secure more Tony Blair cannon fodder for the Army, to replace all of the dead, cheaply.
Cameron has a timetable for leaving Afghanistan. At present we should be leaving in 2014 with the combat role ending before then. It might be the case that if you joined now you might not go. We have troops in other places.
Don't tell people what they actually will be doing, just convince recruits that the Army and TA are real-life versions of CALL OF DUTY!
I think “real life call of duty” sums it up sometimes.
 

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