Last year's impressive Step Up campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi for the RNZAF offered users the chance to experience four live simulated challenges that tested their skills against some of the everyday situations they’d encounter if they took up a career in the Air Force. This year's version, 'Virtual Missions', follows a similar path and it's been deemed good enough to win the IABNZ Online Creative Award for November 2012.
Judge, Romi Dexter, head of digital, .99 said the, "rich and virtual game play around this campaign is excellent. Every aspect of the engagement was beautifully executed and draws you in. It’s a great example of education and entertainment coming together in a completely immersive experience. However, the primary reason I have rated this so highly is the total integration across digital media touch points."
Fellow judges included Greg Whitham, Ogilvy's digital group head and creative director, John Schofield, managing director at Catch!Media and Alisa Higgins, general manager at IAB NZ.
"Using games for military recruitment campaigns isn't new, but this example was a step above the rest," says Schofield. "The use of scale models rather than going fully CG gave the game its own memorable, distinct flavour. Right on target."
Whitham added: "I always love a great online/offline meshing execution and this does that really well. Well conceived, well executed and a very fresh approach makes this my winner overall."
Saatchi & Saatchi, which, by the way, is also thought to be in the running for the Genesis business, wins a case of New Zealand wines valued at $500 thanks to www.mediaworks.co.nz.