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Asset: Kim Kardashian's popularity is a new Army tactic to recruit youngsters
They sparked controversy last year by trying to entice ‘snowflakes’ to join the British Army. Now military chiefs are seeking to recruit more soldiers with the help of Kim Kardashian's bottom.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the concept behind the Army’s new advertising campaign is that serving in the Armed Forces instils greater confidence than receiving ‘likes’ on social media.
That message will be underlined with the use of a mock-up of the American TV star’s famous derriere which has helped her to build an Instagram following of 154 million.
The ‘Belonging 2020: Army Confidence’ campaign, to be unveiled next month, will involve a TV, poster and social media blitz.
A defence source last night said: ‘The new adverts will build on the success of the Snowflake campaign and send a strong message to youngsters that the Army builds confidence which lasts a lifetime – not just for that moment when you see that people have liked your picture or given you a thumbs up online.
‘That sort of thing breeds neurosis whereas we take young people and build them up, and once they’re trained, they stay up. You can’t beat the emotional benefits of an Army career.’ At a time when many people judge their popularity by the response to their social media activity, Army recruiters are now seeking to persuade youngsters, particularly those aged 16 to 25, to redefine what they regard as success.
According to a recent survey of 2,162 young people by The Prince’s Trust charity, more than half believe social media has created a sense of pressure on them that is detrimental to their quality of life.
The previous campaign, entitled ‘Your Army Needs You’ and launched in January, sought to recruit certain types of millennials, such as ‘snowflakes’ and ‘binge gamers’.
A poster from the recent recruitment campaign unveiled by the British Army
However, The Mail on Sunday revealed that Guardsman Stephen McWhirter, the soldier featured on the ‘Snowflakes’ poster, below, had been teased and Corporal Kerry-Ann Morris, a black female soldier pictured beside a ‘Me Me Me Millennials’ slogan, had suffered racial abuse from colleagues.
But figures suggest the £1.5 million campaign was a success, with a 46 per cent rise in online applications and the highest number of recruits starting basic training for ten years.
However, the Army is still undermanned with some frontline combat units as much as 40 per cent below full strength.
Ms Kardashian rose to fame in 2007 when she appeared with her family in a TV reality show.
In 2014, photographs – including one of her balancing a champagne glass on her bottom – received 50 million hits in one day.
The 39-year-old’s online followers have gone to extreme lengths to look like her but experts say such obsession is unhealthy. With this in mind, the Army says it now attaches equal importance to mental and physical health, with all troops receiving mental resilience training.
The Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the new campaign.