Review of literature
This chapter provides a discussion of the related concepts linked to the aims and objectives of the research as highlighted in Chapter 1. An initial mindset diagram (figure 1) highlighted relevant areas. The concepts or ideas have now been prioritized to include the following.
The purpose of the literature review is to show an understanding of the basic concepts of the research and to highlight possible areas for the primary research.
To begin with the concept of misleading advertising in the military is addressed for this chapter, Advertising is one of the crucial recruiting tools used by the military services in support of the all-volunteer force.Â I feel strongly that the military isn’t being advertised appropriately, whenever the real horrors of war are kept secret to today’s society.
Recruiters using advertisement in the military
Military recruiters depend on the immature status of their prey to capture them with false promise. The highest calling of any society is to protect the youth from any danger. Our society today is failing to recognize this call.
Clinic Rutgers school of law (2008) highlights that
‘Recruiters insinuate themselves in teenagers lives without their parents knowledge. The interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children-is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized in our country’s laws. These fundamental rights include a constitutionally protected zone in which parents can direct the upbringing and education of children under their control, without hindrance from the government’.
Sackett (2004) states that
‘In the late 1990s, the U.S. armed forces struggled to meet their recruiting goals and in some cases fell short. This led to the question of how the recruiting process and the recruiters job could be better supported in order to ensure that force strength, force quality and the required skill mix of personnel will be available to meet every – changing security and defense challenges.Â Military officials recognized that a fundamental understanding of the youth population and of the effectiveness of various advertising and recruiting strategies used to attract them would be extremely valuable in addressing these questions’.
Clinic Rutgers school of law (2008) highlights that
‘Funding for military recruitment is on the raise. The 2009 military advertising budget totals $20.5 billion. This money is used for slick ads and video games designed by the same marketing firms that create commercials for major corporations, such as Coca Cola, McDonalds and Nintendo’.
I find this very paragraph very interesting as it talks about different advertising firms that done commercials for Coca Cola which is very different from the ads for the military.
The military has a comfortable relationship with the entertainment industry for many years now, providing open door base material, contact and consultation to movie studios. Evans (2008) quotes
“We may think that the content of American movies is free from government interference, but in fact, the Pentagon has been telling filmmakers what to say – and what not to say — for decades. It’s Hollywood’s dirtiest little secret.”
This message evaluates the property of advertising on recruiting, given that quantitative estimates of the relative helpfulness of Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and joint advertising programs. The findings indicate the army services achieve enlistments from extra advertisement, and the goods of any branch do not seem to come at the cost (in terms of lost recruits) of any other. Sackett (2004) wrote the development of an advertising campaign for the military.
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‘The framework involves (1) tracking the competitive environment for military recruitment to detect factors affecting youth understand and views of military service; (2) examination of audience member beliefs, goals and language; (3) development of a range of message strategies for military recruitment (4) allocation of resources to advertising message strategies’.
Here I have included an image that I have collected off Google Images of a soldier in duty. The Photographer and Director have been very creative and smart with their work. They have modeled this person to look controlling and passionate in their act of duty. The image gives a real surreal atmosphere with the dark gloomy and moody colours. The settings surrounding this soldier are making him stand out even more. The facial expression shows deep concentration. He is alert and ready for combat but what these television ads never show is any actions or glimpse of battle, just a proud soldier holding a weapon.
After discovering their use as both recruitment and as military training, The military has reinforced progress of PC war game software, for example; ‘Close Combat: First to Fight’ this game was created by the military, and targeted for teens.
Military recruiters ability to affect young people is seriously enhanced by fascinating imagery shown in the various promotional materials that they bring to schools, including brochures, DVDs, and video games. Dertouzos (2003) points out
‘In recent years, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been spending more than $100 million annually on advertising to support recruiting’. It talks about them being successful with involving the youth within the military. For example here is Dertouzos (2003) stating that ‘Advertising has been effective in increasing numbers of high – quality enlistments – ie, high school seniors or graduates who score in the upper half of the Armed Forces Qualification Test’.
Evans (2008) highlights that
‘Another “success” story, in terms of the number of teens and young adults participating, is the US Army’s video game project “America’s Army,” accessed by several million “players” as of 2007. “America’s Army” is a highly graphic, fast paced and graphically violent battle simulation for youthful players. The army states that the game is for growing adults, but it is freely available on the Internet without age restriction and is widely distributed to children.’
Sackett (2004) highlights the importance of targeting young people
‘The youth population should be a key objective for the military.’ I included this paragraph from ‘Evaluating Military Advertising and Recruiting’ book because it will be very helpful when I go to write my next chapter, it talks about the military targeting the youth as their main components to join the military.
Military video games are the main tool of educations future by irritating men to bring out all real rampages. Gunter (1998) points out that
‘Throughout the 1990s, increasing numbers of newspaper headlines have highlighted scare stories about violent and horrific video games, aimed at children and teenagers, with themes that emphasize murder and mayhem’.
It shows that video games within the military has gone viral throughout the social media and can be accessed by any person at any age which is concerning. This is a worrying issue that needs to be spoken out for they are giving the wrong message out to the young men and women to advertise the military. Video games have the attention of the youth and can educate as well as entertain. It’s good enough for entertainment, but should war be sterilized and glorified in this way? No it should not! The real horrors need to be made very public and clear.
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The military advertisement is very clever because how they use the creative side to military video games is the intense graphics. It automatically grabs the viewer’s attention straight away. They include and pay so much attention to detail that it’s distracting you from the main message. As you can see I have included a few photographs at the bottom of this section of different military games that I collected off Pinterest. The bold and sharp colours catch your eye immediately which pulls the audience in. They use creative imaging by include so much detail within the background with explosives / smoke and fire, making the soldiers look extremely powerful that nothing could harm or come in contact with them, but in reality they would be killed immediately. With all the smoke blocking and distracting their sight and concentration, that would be giving their enemy an opportunity to shoot and kill. I find it interesting that they have managed to set two different scenes within the creative imaging for example in the other photograph, I find it has a very relaxed and peaceful appearance compared to the graphics beforehand. The colours are a lot more dulled down and calm and don’t have such excitement added to the atmosphere, the designers has paid a lot of attention to detail trying to suit the viewers needs by making them comfortable with the games due to the graphics. Though the intense graphics do not betray the truth to the realities of war.
Women in the Military
Many debate that due to recent conflict, women already serve in combat roles, their service is not formally acknowledged, it obstructs their qualified development and admission to some benefits.
Clinic Rutgers school of law (2008) argues that
‘Recruiters give female students the impression that they will be out of harm’s way. While women do not serve in front line combat positions, they work some of the most dangerous jobs at the front lines. Female students are not informed about the dangers of sexual assault and harassment. Of women receiving care from the Veterans Administration, 23% reported sexual assault and 55% reported harassment during their service. Furthermore, women report higher rates of psychological disorders than men.’
I have included two photographs of women in the military that I collected from Pinterest. What stands out about these two photographs is the person behind the uniform. How these photographs relate to the creative imaging side is how the Photographer have directed these women and modeled them as a strong independent solider. But what these photographs never show is women in their act of duty in the military lifestyle. On the second photograph I find it has a very intense atmosphere with the dark moody background colour, it really sets a strong contrast between the soldier and the background. It makes her personality stand out and her facial expression show more, it almost has film scenery to this photograph with the bold graphics.
One area of the military that needs to be addressed is the mental health that effects the soldier’s lifestyle during and after war. Mental health is a big part of our lives for it reflects on how we control our thinking and the way we react to life.Â For it helps decides how we adapt to a variety of requirements, connect to others and make choices. Mental health problems are not a sign of weakness. The reality is that it affects the strong and the brave just like everyone else.
Scott (2013) states
‘One in three returning warriors has or is likely to develop serious mental health and / or psychological issues that make it difficult for them to adjust to a normal environment’.
Mood disorders may affect anyone at any time, but soldiers are at a particularly greater threat for developing conditions such as major depression disorder (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As I was collecting my research I came across a list of the most common side effects of Depression disorder and Post-traumatic stress disorder that Scott (2013) included;
- Excessive Fatigue (tiredness)
- Concentration problems
- Vision change
- Reduced reaction time
- Decision-making difficulties
- Decreased memory and forgetfulness
- Attention and concentration difficulties
- Confused about recent events
- Repeating of thoughts and questions
- Personality changes
- Feeling as though a certain event is happening again
- Having nightmares of terrifying events and night sweats
- Feeling distant from those you previously felt close to
- Feeling more aggressive or even violent
- Contemplating suicide
- Feelings of guilt
- Changes in sleep patterns
I have included two photographs that I researched online the internet (Google Images) that relate to this section on Mental Health. These two photographs give a different message each. One shows a soldier fighting against mental health and the other shows a soldier breaking down from fighting against mental health. For the first poster, the designer has used creative imaging by using typography. The typography is large and bold and contrasts strongly against the background. The colours that have been used on the background have an interesting effect to the poster, the smoky pattern brightens it up against the black. The design is succesful is a sense with all the colours and large text making it eye catching to the viewer. The designer has been creative by modeling the soldier as if he is screaming / shouting, has an intense appearance to the image. For the second poster the designer has created completely different scenery, it gives a more depressing emotion with the dark dull colours used within the background. This photograph is successful as it sums up a big percentage of a soldier struggling against is his own mental health, not being able to cope with the wars they have witnessed.
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