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August 19, 2010 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Japanese navy recruitment vs. American navy recruitment. American military advert vs. a Swedish one. Just for fun, a Ukrainian military ad. All links from this Reddit thread.
posted by Rory Marinich (37 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Seaman Ship For Love.

I don't think we need to do anything here.
posted by The Whelk at 1:18 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


So the military is basically about dancing, being a badass, and getting all the chicks.
Sounds pretty good right?
posted by lauratheexplorer at 1:18 PM on August 19, 2010


OK, how can I sign up for the Ukrainian military?
posted by Xoebe at 1:19 PM on August 19, 2010


American military recruitment adverts... by far the worst part of getting to the movie theater early.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on August 19, 2010


per the reddit comments, the Swedish ad is basically saying "Join and get Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by watching civilians get shelled and killed". At least they're honest.
posted by GuyZero at 1:22 PM on August 19, 2010


I was kind of disappointed the Japanese one didn't have giant fighting robots in it. They could've really capitalized on that.
posted by lauratheexplorer at 1:24 PM on August 19, 2010


this is a memorable British Army one (video not good quality, unfortunately)
posted by Bwithh at 1:26 PM on August 19, 2010


So the Ukrainian Army makes excursions to 1985?

sigh, I own so many stripped Russian navy shirts it's not even funny
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd imagine the Swedish ad appeals to the optimal segments of the population, which covers their needs. Also, Swedes might not fall for all the bullshit so easily anyways.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:31 PM on August 19, 2010


Hey, there was a chick in the one for the Marines!
posted by phunniemee at 1:33 PM on August 19, 2010


Here's a Royal Army Ad from the early 1960s. One of my favorites.
posted by Xoebe at 1:35 PM on August 19, 2010


Nordic Battlegroup is the name of my band.
posted by amethysts at 1:35 PM on August 19, 2010


It wasn't always this way.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:36 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


The latest round of Canadian Forces ads were actually surprisingly non-bullshitty.
posted by bicyclefish at 1:44 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was stationed in Brooklyn NY in the late 80's (at the fabulous Brooklyn Naval Shipyard). During NATO Forces Week I saw the Dutch ship come in and was completely blown away. First off, the ship was white not grey, which makes the ships look much prettier to my eye. Then I that some of the guys getting off the ship have shoulder length hair and some had beards. Later we found out that they were allowed to drink on board as long as they weren't working. From my US Navy experience this was completely alien, it was like they were stationed on the Love Boat. I've never been so envious of anyone.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:47 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


It seems as though a lot of recruiters for different militaries like to "borrow" from each others' messaging and imagery. Aside from the Austrian ad (mentioned in the Reddit thread) that is an exact copy of the Ukrainian one, this Mexican ad seems really similar to this Canadian one.

Of course, what this thread really needs is some Precision Drilling.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:49 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


doctor_negative,

The (British) Royal Navy also allows off-duty drinking on board on surface ships at least, I don't know about subs.
posted by atrazine at 2:02 PM on August 19, 2010


You suckers can go punk middle aged Audi owners in the Ukraine if ya want, but Im gonna let my freak flag fly with The Royal Navy.


Ya squares.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:04 PM on August 19, 2010


Also, let us not forget one of the most effective recruitment videos of all time.

BUT RECRUITING FOR WHAT?
posted by bicyclefish at 2:12 PM on August 19, 2010


Interesting that the Swedish, British and Canadian examples above were all oriented around helping and understanding people, many of them from different cultures.

The U.S. versions were oriented around the notion of joining a respected institution and becoming a better person -- the Marines "the few, the proud" and the Navy's "accelerate your life."

The only time I've seen a "help others" military ad, it's been about helping Americans, like in a Katrina situation. Not people in other nations. Not even they're-just-like-us white people in other nations, like Bosnians and Kosovars.

Americans focus in, and everyone else focuses out.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:18 PM on August 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yes, but if you join the Marines, you get to fight giant CGI dragons.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:20 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


American military recruitment adverts... by far the worst part of getting to the movie theater early.

Oh god. The worst recent offender is the one that goes on for like 5 minutes along with some bastardized imitation of 'O Fortuna'. It drives me crazy because it sounds enough like 'O Fortuna' to be confusing until you realize the music isn't quite the same and the lyrics are in English. And it goes on for way too long. I'm assuming it's actually meant to be split into 30 second ads or something because there's at least half a dozen times when you think the commercial is over but then it's not.
posted by kmz at 2:21 PM on August 19, 2010


Later we found out that they were allowed to drink on board as long as they weren't working.

I know that jealousy well. Some of our NATO allies are allowed to have booze in Afghanistan. The Germans have a beer ration.
posted by lullaby at 2:22 PM on August 19, 2010


Oh, Cool Papa Bell. If we (Brits/Europeans) still had superpower-level armed forces we'd definitely be advertising based on honour and strength and that US stuff. But we don't, so we go with some kind of namby-pamby "we're elite (that is, few but really good" or "we're smart (because we're not string)" argument. It's not moral superiority, it's physical weakness.

Also, we had a thing going that we, after Northern Ireland, had all this great intelligence and ability to handle "peacekeeping" in a calm and professional operation whereas you great Yanks just ran in and shot everything. This superior attitude lasted about a month in Iraq, where our great "we'll wear hats instead of helmets" policy didn't manage to have quite the same effect as flooding the country with a 100,000 armed-to-the-teeth US soldiers two years later.

In fact, this attitude goes a way back. I remember thrilling to my Canadian (and therefore supplied by the British war effort in Italy in World War Two) grandfather saying they would hit a target in three artillery shells, where the Yanks would blare away. When young I thought "yeah, how wasteful!" Now I'm a bit old and more cynical I think "yeah, that's because you didn't have enough artillery shells..."

Don't worry. After the Chinese become top dog you'll find your adverts are more about camaraderie and disaster response too.
posted by alasdair at 2:34 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and famously, in port you'd take dinner on the US Navy ships (better food) then retire to the Royal Navy ships afterwards (booze).
posted by alasdair at 2:35 PM on August 19, 2010


And here's the navy recruitment ad for our space-faring future.
posted by PsychoKick at 3:06 PM on August 19, 2010


Xoebe: Rather confusingly, it's the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, but the British Army. There is a real, legal-historical reason for this but it's not a very interesting one. Incidentally, the UK also doesn't put its name on postage stamps.

alasdair: This superior attitude lasted about a month in Iraq, where our great "we'll wear hats instead of helmets" policy didn't manage to have quite the same effect as flooding the country with a 100,000 armed-to-the-teeth US soldiers two years later.

Unfortunately, it was actually the British who had the right idea here (although the sense of superiority which so irritated their American allies was quashed in time as they learned that Iraqis weren't the same as Irishmen). One of the reasons Petraeus became such a big name in military circles was that, almost uniquely among the US forces, he quickly ordered his troops into a 'soft posture' (hats instead of helmets, but also policing rather than shooting stuff) and won a period of relative peace for the 101st's area of operations. It was all the chaos and looting and lawlessness engendered by the US 'hard posture' that helped push Iraqis into the arms of the insurgency and obviated the gains of the 'soft posture' areas.

Speaking of Canadian Forces recruiting, the ads are pretty good, but the rest of the CF recruiting structure is famously abysmal. Almost alone, among the forces of the industrialised world, the Canadians make their recruits jump through endless hoops to join up. A few years ago, it was literally impossible to be a reserve officer and go to university at the same time. If any Canadians, here, want to join the armed forces, be prepared to be told that you must show up to a recruiting office in person in your nearest major city to get information. And no, they're not going to talk to you over the phone. You don't get recruited, here, you apply! It's a job!
posted by Dreadnought at 3:34 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, let us not forget one of the most effective recruitment videos of all time.

Yvan eht Nioj everbody!
posted by Talez at 3:51 PM on August 19, 2010


♫ "In the Navy "♪
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:37 PM on August 19, 2010



The (British) Royal Navy also allows off-duty drinking on board on surface ships at least, I don't know about subs.


Yeah, they were allowed 1 beer a day or something. The Dutch were just forbidden to be drunk on watch, that's a big difference.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:17 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, the Japanese recruitment probably improved once they ditched the kamikaze thing. I'm just saying....
posted by jonmc at 5:29 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


You don't get recruited, here, you apply! It's a job!

This is why the Canadians are considered to be elite forces, as good or better than the Marines, SAS or Spetsnaz. Americans on the way, and you start to worry, Canadians on the way, and you either draw up terms of surrender, or a last will and testament. Their snipers can take you from more than a mile out, in weather conditions that would kill most multicellular life, and they hiked there on foot, without any kind of AirCav support.

This gets downplayed, as Canadians don't like to think of themselves as warriors, and the louder, better funded neighbors to the south do.

Lest we forget - D-Day. Juno Beach.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:09 PM on August 19, 2010


The US video with the Japanese singing kinda reminded me of this {skip to 1:20 if impatient}.
posted by dhartung at 9:18 PM on August 19, 2010


This Singapore Navy one is quite cool.
posted by destrius at 10:54 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a slightly odd one for the Danish Armed Forces.

One for Norwegian special ops forces. No tag line, just clips of soldiers doing stuff and then the voiceover saying "Apply to the special operations forces!"

Norwegian Naval Home Guard. This is civilians doing part time duty. Small budgets, which you probably can tell from the clip.

Home Guard rapid reaction forces. Same thing, but on land...
posted by Harald74 at 11:49 PM on August 19, 2010


Americans focus in, and everyone else focuses out.

The USN's new slogan, "America's Navy: A Global Force for Good," at least attempts to turn the focus outward - the video even ends with a shot of the Mercy, which has a humanitarian mission.
posted by squorch at 10:26 AM on August 20, 2010


Canadian ads tend to be very gritty and realistic:

Part of their "Fight" series. Fight Chaos General overview showing various Canadian missions with grey-ish lighting and spooky soundtrack: Longer "Fight"

More recent:

Artillery
: Cold, unsexy. It goes boom!
Avionics Tech: Useful skills
Air traffic control. Fix trucks in the middle of the night. Dick around with high tech.

And... Pharmacy!

We still do American style ones, but they tend to keep the grey light and emphasize the civilians to be helped. .

Basically all that's missing is "You will get stuck on a rural base with only cows and potatoes for company"
posted by Phalene at 11:41 AM on August 20, 2010


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