Bundeswehr Exclusive: New German Army Cult Soap Youtube Military Propaganda blends war with reality tv and social media.
Here’s unfortunately what happens when over-the-top European-style reality-tv meets UN military operations meet the age of social media:
You cannot tell whether this is just clever vlogging or the foreign occupation of Mali. You cannot tell at first whether this is a HBO trailer to a new war series, just a cool media channel, or a Life-Role-Playing show aired prime time on German regime TV. And, yes, Bundeswehr Exclusive got a Youtube channel, got Instagram, got Snapshat, got its own Wiki…. it even got a ‘March!’ App to follow its eight ‘recruits’ on their mission to “protect human rights in Mali.” How about downloading its ‘Malibot’ to your Facebook messenger? The slogans are beneath cliche: ‘Are you ready?’ or “Our missions make your life safer too.”
A mission in Mali!
IN MALI! :-(
Bombastic graphics, thumbnails, trailers… real emotions
There is an official cinematic trailer. The regime press Der SPIEGEL runs huge ads–action banners–on its homepage. Unbearably patronizing: a German soldier reaches out to a poor black kid. Another German soldier is surrounded by a school of kids. They all seem so happy that the Germans and other Western powers are here to protect them.
Watch ‘The push-ups’. Watch ‘The night watch’. Watch ‘The promotion’. Watch the firepower of the ‘P-8 pistol and G-36 storm rifle’. Follow Marvin, Jerome, Dominik–what they do, how they live, how they protect our lives in Mali. Watch what they do ‘On Christmas Eve’. Click like and subscribe. Follow our soldiers on Facebook.
Western military and social media: A match made in Youtube
It’s irritating to see how military operations abroad now became fully socially accepted. One could argue that at least the German regime makes an effort to explain (its version of) how imperialism works.
It’s even more irritating to see how military operations abroad are now commercialized, sensationalized, and ‘explode’ on social media. A cynic might add that maybe our planners should thank those “African terrorists” for making us go to Mali. Says German Bundeswehr: “Do you have what it takes? It’s >40 degree Celsius in Mali!”.
And if there were no conflicts in the world, we should perhaps provoke them: War is a business no longer just about destroying our enemies and stealing their resources: it is also about presentation, advertisement, journalism, the news industry, ideology. Watch ‘Why we are in Mali’. Watch ‘Us, getting tattoos’. Watch ‘Us, spending the weekends’. Watch ‘Our first combat situation’.
The Youtube crowds can’t get enough of it: The Bundeswehr Exclusive videos reach 300,000 to 1,000,000 viewers. But that’s just peanuts. German regime TV spreads bits and pieces of the Mali episodes to million audiences. The path to further expansion sets: unlimited.
“Now it’s serious! Get ready and follow us with BUNDESWEHR EXCLUSIVE. From October 16, 2017, our new series “MALI” will be a real challenge for our eight soldiers!”–Bundeswehr Exclusive
Image sources: Bundeswehr ads, Youtube videos, apps, posters, regime press promotion, official trailer as seen throughout the web.