The Canadian Armed Forces launched a new advertising campaign on television in recent days, which I first noticed over the weekend just past. Sixty second spots that resemble more of a Tom Clancy thriller, than those good old days of the “There’s no life like it campaign.”, of years ago.
With a haunting theme running underneath (reminiscent of Apocalypse Now, Platoon and such) the quick cut visuals, showcase today’s soldiers, sailors and airmen and women, as they are seen walking through back alleys of Afghanistan, riding the high seas of the Gulf of Oman and repelling down into the rugged wilderness of British Columbia.
Interestingly enough and rather effective at that, not one word is spoken during the entire commercial; everything is visual with the exception of the underlying music.
Decidedly more pro-active in our involvement than previous recruitment and imaging ads, the spot which airs on such things as football games and comedy networks, portrays the Forces as more involved in world situations than before.
With a tag line of Fight Fear, Fight Distress, Fight Chaos; Fight with the Canadian Forces, the viewer is left with no doubt that the times they are a changing in the world of military recruitment and military tasking for Canada.
It’s an ad that does grab your attention that’s for sure, Canadians who at best have benignly wondered what our Forces do for a living, or at worst have long ignored the Forces, will certainly look on with interest at the new ads. Some will be in awe, and yes some others will react in horror at the emphasis on action and dare we say it, militarism that is portrayed.
The TV ads are complimented by an increased use of video on the Canadian Forces website, featuring a number of advertisements and other video material outlining the missions of the Forces of today.
The new approach will certainly become the thing of much of discussion, as it is decidedly something completely different for Canadians to view their Armed Forces in a more pro-active and combative role. More to the point the campaign highlights the tasks and dangers faced by the Forces today, not quite the image that a number of Canadians might have previously had of their military.
It will be interesting to see what the reaction of the public will be and whether the ads increase the numbers if recruits, especially when the nation is very much on the front lines of some of the global trouble spots.
The new campaign shows that sometimes you have to do more than help someone across the street, it's a new message for a long respected, if somewhat ignored and neglected Force.