Poppies on War Memorial, originally uploaded by rakidd.

I’m fortunate enough to be a part of the Scouting movement. I love it. It’s the most refreshing break from pressure. At the weekend I attended the Remembrance Day parade with my Scout troup and group. It’s in a small village town and there’s plenty of people who come out to watch the parade, even in the rain. We get a good turn out from the young people but here’s one thing which bothers me: Whilst they’re all well behaved, the service and the whole campaign on the whole, fails to put the whole event into their eyes and engage.

The point is, the elder generation understand what happened. They understand why it’s so important to continue remembering. But the children look bored. The majority of services contain lots of superfluous words, lots of long stories, hymns and tradition which is great for the elders. The youth all know they must remember, but few could tell me why it was so important or what it meant. Few could show any passion for it.

I strongly feel that in the same way that we in advertising create relevance to engage other people, we must communicate Remembrance Day in a relevant way: Create short engaging stories, bring current young soldiers to the ceremonies across the country to show the kids photos, show YouTube clips, T-shirts that have space for who you’re remembering instead of a crappy paper poppy (sorry, but they’re a bit shit).

Where’s the engagement for this new generation? There must be agencies out there which can offer help even in these tough times. If we fail to meaningfully educate the youngsters then I feel they’ll only remember out of of a forced approach. The elders who fought in the WWII will, not long from now, pass away and we’ll have a generation who despise the war because of the tabloid hate campaigns, and I fear, lack understanding of times gone before.

So if the Royal British Legion read this, I’d love to help. I’d love to work with you to create engagement for them, and I’ll even design a few T-shirts too. Because I feel it’s important. I will remember. Will they?

Advertisements