Certain industries usually do quite well in recessions. Supermarkets, debt collectors, discount retailers, education providers, ‘sin industries’, the armed forces and plenty of others. And at a time when life is pretty tough for many young folk in New Zealand, a new campaign launched this month by the New Zealand Defence Force, Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand and Starcom Worldwide aims to offer potential recruits a peek at what their life could be like as a member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
The ‘Step Up and See What You Can Be’ campaign features a 30-second television commercial shot at Whenuapai Air Force Base by relatively fresh arrivals on the Kiwi scene 8com, which sees Corporal Reece Tamariki along with engineers, logistics specialists, avionics technicians, pilots, medics and intelligence specialists share their experiences.
“We wanted to let people know just how many exciting career paths are available in today’s Air Force and give a flavour of the Air Force lifestyle and the people who thrive there,” says New Zealand Defence Force director of recruiting, Commander Nigel Philpott. “The solution Saatchi & Saatchi designed enables us to tell a compelling story on TV and provide an online experience that engages with potential recruits at a more personal and emotional level.”
Like some of its other past campaigns like ‘Get What it Takes‘ and ’Step Up‘, the commercial is supported by an interactive website loaded with a series of short films offering further insight into the day-to-day life in the Air Force, a career finder and ‘RNZAF Virtual Missions’—an interactive programme allowing potential Air Force recruits to see how they would fare with duties Air Force members typically undertake such as search and rescue and reconnaissance missions.
When the ‘Step Up’ campaign was launched, Philpott said the move towards digital was reflective of the way young people interact with brands and discover new information, and the Defence Force has certainly been trying to be where its audience is in recent years.
“The impact of highly innovative digital content combined with the influence of social media networks can create hugely powerful, efficient and effective solutions for a client,” he said.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s executive creative director Antonio Navas says the agency began with the strong belief that it needed to provide the most insight possible of life as a member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
“We think hearing the experiences of Air Force personnel and then heading online to have a go at a typical Air Force operation provides the most authentic experience in a personal and engaging way.”
New Zealand Defence Force: Nigel Philpott, Jessica Nikora, Kavae Tamariki
Executive Creative Director: Antonio Navas
Creative Group Head: Mac Macaskill
Copywriter: Phil Hickes, David Sylvester
Art Director: Arnya Karaitiana
Executive Digital Producer: Haydn Thomsen
TVP Producer: Anna Kennedy
Senior Digital Producer: Linda Krug
Senior Digital Designer: David Hunter
Senior Flash Developer: Colin William, Jo Gibbons
Senior Backend Developer: Matt Skinner
Digital Designer & Animator: Peter Bardsley
Group Account Director: Tim Dixon
Senior Account Director: Helene Malandain
Account Manager: Elena Babitcheva
Planner: Sarah Hodgetts
Director: Andy Morton (8COM)
Executive Producer: Katie Millington (8 COM)
DOP: Callan Green
Editor: Dan Kircher
Colourist: Pete Ritchie (Toybox)
VFX Supervisor: Stefan Coory (Blockhead)
VFX Artist: Nigel Mortimer (Blockhead)
Sound Design/Mix: Ben Sinclair (Images & Sound)
Music Composition: Paul Stent (Marmalade)