To celebrate the day of love, Edson Evers has come together in true dating app style and is swiping left or right on these three recent controversial campaigns.
The British Army – This is Belonging
At the end of last year, the British Army kicked off its new recruitment campaign with a series of images and video advertisements. Calling for ‘selfie addicts’, ‘binge gamers’ and ‘snowflakes’, the campaign aims to show how young people can turn their negative stereotypes into valuable assets in the forces.
Each video tells the story of a young individual in an everyday scenario, whose perceived weaknesses become strengths in the Army. Posters, illustrated in the style of World War One recruitment ads, use derogatory phrases such as “Class Clowns”, “Phone Zombies” and “Me Me Me Millennials”, to highlight the qualities desired by the Army.
It didn’t take long for the campaign to split public opinion. With some claiming that the ads were insulting to young people and felt completely misfired, others claimed that they were inspired by the play on stereotypes.
Sam M – I like this campaign. The army often appeals to those who may be unhappy in their current situation, whether it be stuck in a dead-end job or not achieving their full potential, and want to become something of worth. The campaign looks beyond the stereotype, turning a negative trait into a positive asset to the army. *Swipe right*
Lucy – The campaign is clearly trying to appeal to young people, but I think it’s completely missed the mark. Young people could find it quite offensive, branding them as “millennials” and making them out to be lazy and good for nothing. I appreciate the idea of raising awareness and trying to recruit new members to the Army, but I think they need to focus more on what you can gain from being in the Army. I would also think that the campaign could cause offense to people already in the Army…*Swipe left*
April – It’s too obvious and blunt, people that take selfies don’t often like being labelled as “Selfie Addicts”. Even the wording “addict” is a sensitive topic and shows lack of thought that they’re using it liberally. For me, they’re trying to be relatable but it’s just not clever enough. *Swipe left*
Sarah – I really struggle to grasp who it is they’re aiming at with this campaign. Very few people would label themselves as a ‘me me me millennial’ or ‘snowflake’. It relies heavily on stereotypes, particularly of young people, and smacks of a marketing team that understand very little about the audience they’re aiming to reach. *Swipe left*
December 2019 saw one of the biggest social media campaigns of the year conclude the decade with a bang. The #10yearChallenge encouraged social media users to post a recent photo of themselves next to one from 10 years ago. The hashtag instantly went viral and has been used more than four million times on Instagram with users, influencers, celebrities and organisations all getting involved.
Sarah – This campaign demonstrates just how simple user-generated content and less commercial messaging can engage audiences. *Swipe right*
Lucy – It caught on quickly and an enormous amount of people jumped on the bandwagon but why? What was the point of it? Personally, I do not want to be reminded of what I looked like 10 years ago!! Ha! *Swipe left*
Grace – Good use of user-generated content but not the most original or inspiring way to mark the turning of the decade. I think it quickly became a vain way of showing how little some people have aged in 10years. *Swipe left*
April – This is a simple and personal campaign, allowing people to tell their own story. This could have been an opportunity for businesses to get involved and share their own story. *Swipe right*
Pink IPA – BrewDog
For International Women’s Day, popular brewer, BrewDog rebranded one of their popular beers, and launched the limited edition ‘Pink IPA’ – satirically dubbed a ‘Beer for Girls’. The brew was exactly the same as the Punk IPA on the inside, but wrapped in bright pink packaging.
The campaign, which launched on International Women’s Day and lasted 4 weeks, aimed to highlight that, on average, men in the UK earn 20% more than women. This was reflected in the campaign, with 20% off in BrewDog bars for anyone who identifies as female, and 20% of all proceeds from the Punk and Pink IPA sales going to charities that fight inequality.
The campaign really tore public opinion, with the irony lost on many.
Grace – I think it’s unfortunate that this didn’t quite land – I feel like they were trying to ‘make fun’ of the brands/products that create gender-based products, but the execution meant that it just didn’t come across like that. What REALLY bothers me though, is that the Portman Group commented that using “for girls” would appeal to under 18s and encourage underage drinking. This is laughable as I think the younger generation does not see ‘gender’ in the same way as the generations before them. I see it in my own daughter and in the way that I raise her to not think of anything as ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’. *Swipe right*
Jess – I feel like this campaign almost plays by the same rules as the gender pay gap, with the beer being charged at 20% less for women – this could be quite degrading, as its almost as if women can’t afford to pay the same price as men. *Swipe left*
Jane – Urgh, nope. If an alcohol brand wants to make a coloured drink that appeals to my feminine charms, they need to make it red and put it in a wine shaped bottle! *Swipe left*
Sam A – The campaign is smart, even down to the title’s play on Brewdog’s best-selling Punk IPA name. The messaging is strong and clear, tackles a relevant issue in a clever way, and is highly self-aware – making references to the fact that so many campaigns targeted toward women are built solely on profit motives. A total win from me for the Brewdog marketing team! *Swipe right*
Whether you’re single, taken or ‘it’s complicated’, Valentine’s day does unite us all with one perk, and that’s discounted chocolate on the 15th! To learn more about how to make people fall in love with your brand, get in touch!