Monday, 5 October 2009

Army Men Vs IEDs

I saw the other day that the US Army are proposing a new Ad Campaign focused on the threat of EIDs (Improvised Exploding Devices). They are now the number one threat to troops out in Afghanistan, killing 36 in the past month! That, to me, is a shocking statistic. 
"The over arching objective of this media and advertising campaign is to influence the Afghanistan people at all levels (strategic, operational and tactical) [that] will directly translate in the reduction of the number of IED devices used against the Afghanistan people and Coalitional Forces.” (Information Operations division of the Army’s Combined Joint Task Force 82). 
In order to make it more effective than previous campaigns they want to use locals as extras and even as the face of the campaign, for “religious and cultural subject matter expertise.” (General Stanley McChrystal)
I think this is a great idea but I don't think a dramatic action-packed advert is necessarily the answer. After a similar campaign in Iraq, Newsweek described the series of adverts as exploding cars, flying Matrix-style stuntmen and… messages like ‘Don’t Suicide Bomb.'" It is too obvious, too insensitive and lacks emotion and reality. It is interesting that they want to use local Afghani people as it will appeal to the Afghan public more. Good luck to them...

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