Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Insult humor shouldn't be underestimated.

Done well, it releases certain damp truths and lets them dry in a warming wind.

Not everyone, though, is open to such humor. We live, after all, in the era of the so-called micro-aggression and the safe space.

I wonder, therefore, what the target market will think about new billboards created by the British Army.

At first glance, they might seem like the traditional Your Country Needs You sort of thing.

Oh, but then there are the headlines.

One reads: Snowflakes. Another is headlined: Me Me Me Millennials.

I can already hear the rumblings of angry young stomachs, ready to emit bile at these insulting communications.

But wait. The Army has its defenses prepared. 

Beneath the Snowflakes headline are the words: Your Army Needs You and Your Compassion.

Beneath the Me Me Me Millennials headline, the military explains: Your Army Needs You and Your Self-Belief.

The nation's army is 5,000 short. And given the choice between working for Google and going to Iraq, well, many millennials plump for the superficial warmth of the former.

Is it wise, though, to offer apparent insults to some of the (allegedly) more sensitive citizens?

Nick Terry, the marketing director behind this campaign, explained to NBC News

The message we're trying to get across is the army doesn't actually recognize those labels and we just see the potential in that generation, whoever they are, whatever their background.

Oh, I think the army recognizes those labels very well.

It also recognizes that it's desperate for recruits. And if the recruit can take a little ribbing, they might survive in the military.

Other billboards target Binge Gamers (insane drive) and Phone Zombies (such focus).

There are TV ads, too. Here's one highlighting the resilience and patience of young people.

Please don't scoff. It's rude.

Of course, not everyone is moved by such a daring assault.

On Twitter, skeptical voices could be heard. Many invoked the avocado.


We could put Jedi on recruiting stands to filter out those that don't like avocados? It'll also help out during the post-brexit avocado rationing riots.

Second Sample: 

Persuading mum and dad that little Johnnie the avocado eater will be okay is a hugely dominant part of uniformed recruitment. Some ads even aim to put off certain people from applying. 'This isn't a force I want to join!' is a great reaction tbh.'

Some, though, saw the wisdom. Army veteran David Jackson offered: 

Now we have anti-tank weapons with firing units based on games consols [sic] like the PS4 and the lads can paste a target with them all day long, in and out of contact. The campaign is for them to give society the bird and say 'watch this.', as I did when I was told I wouldn't hack it.

Of course, some might still be concerned about join the British Army at this time.

If Brexit happens, whose side will Britain be on?

Published on: Jan 3, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.