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Video: Why don't the Defence Forces make recruitment ads like this any more?

With iconic shots and a funky remix of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony you’d be hard pressed to not want to sign up with the Defence Forces after watching this…

Image: Screengrab via YouTube

THIS WEEK THE Defence Forces posted a collection of old recruitment ads to its YouTube account, extolling the benefits of a life in the army.

“Tar isteach ‘sna Fórsaí Cosanta agus ar aghaidh leat,” the ad from the 1980s proclaimed, translating as ”Join the Defence Forces, and go places!”

With shots of a military marching band, tanks, rifles, small guns, big guns, planes, ships and having the craic with your fellow recruits all spliced with music from Walter Murphy’s disco take on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – A Fifth of Beethoven – it is hard not to be enticed to sign up.

“If you’re looking for action and advancement you’ll find both with today’s modern army,” the narrator says. Watch:

YouTube: DF Magazine

The ads are from the early 1980s although we couldn’t establish exactly when but we do know that they were produced internally by the Defence Forces and are considered to be among some of the most iconic ads in Irish television history – a bit like these ones.

Defence Forces Commandant Denis Hanly outlined the appeal of them to TheJournal.ie this week:  ”There’s a disco version of Beethoven’s fifth and the production is excellent. With all those little iconic shots, it’s like watching Reeling in the Years!”

“It was to be used mainly for recruitment of personnel because at the time it was proving challenging,” he explained.

But they don’t make them like that any more, Hanly admitted.

“I suppose we use different advertising now as there has been significant generational changes. Our last big ad TV campaign would have been in 1990s and that would have been a different flicker of a video again,” he said.

Indeed, here’s a video from a more recent TV ad campaign entitled ‘A Life Less Ordinary’:

YouTube: DF Magazine

Hanly also noted that the Defence Forces recently received nearly 10,500 applications for 600 jobs with it and the Naval Service without using any advertising on TV or radio at all.

“There was no advertising for that as there was really no requirement to do it,” he said. “So it depends on trends in employment. We’re also using different platforms now like Facebook and Twitter.”

Indeed such is the Defences Forces’ presence on social media, they have just been nominated as finalists in a number of awards for the Bord Gais Social Media Awards.

Do you remember this ad? Does it make you want to join the Defence Forces? Let us know in the comments

Read: Almost 10,500 apply for 600 Defence Forces positions

Read: “Put a bit of butter on the spuds André”: Our favourite Irish ad catchphrases

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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