Drop and give me twenty, New Zealand: NZDF gives the gift of fitness with new app

Recruitment campaigns for the New Zealand Defence Force usually focus on patriotic duty or the diversity of experiences on offer. But for its latest push, it’s focusing on fitness and, with the help of Saatchi & Saatchi and Roam Creative, it has created an app called Force Fit that lets potential recruits ensure they’re fit enough to pull on a uniform.  

The app, which is available as a free download for both Android, iPhone and in PDF form, offers expertise from those already in the Navy, Army or Air Force in the form of a six week programme that will help new NZDF recruit candidates get ready to take their initial fitness tests to join. But it’s also about helping all New Zealanders get fitter, and it doesn’t require any equipment or a gym membership. 

As it says in a release: “TheNZDF is by necessity, one of the country’s fittest organisations. Despite excellent fitness levels amongst the active members of the armed forces, recruiters around the country have observed a growing number of young New Zealanders, interested in joining the NZDF, not achieving the entry level fitness test.” 

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, says fitness is a really important issue and on any given day its people might be asked to push themselves and their equipment to their limits as they respond to a crisis or catastrophe at home or abroad.

“So it’s something we take seriously and we make sure our people have the support they need to help keep them in top condition. Defence Force personnel are passionate about New Zealand, that’s why they have committed to doing the extraordinary task of serving and working to keep New Zealand secure. We can see that keeping fit and staying healthy is a growing struggle for many New Zealanders, so we felt an obligation to do something that would not only help prepare our recruits, but could also inspire the whole country to join us in making fitness their mission.” 

To promote the app, it’s launched an entertaining clip by Gorgeous Films of a roving band of uber-fit military types with their t-shirts tucked into their pants ambushing walkers and runners on Auckland’s waterfront. And it’s also using Adshels, outdoor exercise events and ambient signage around the country to help encourage the nation to get active, with the support of the app. NZDF Physical Training Instructors (PTIs) will also be on hand at the Fidelity Life Corporate Challenge series of events taking place in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland this month. 

“It was important to present the Force Fit app in a way that stayed well clear of military stereotypes – boot camps, drills and all that ‘no pain, no gain’ rubbish,” says Saatchi & Saatchi creative director Slade Gill. “This is about a modern, forward-thinking Defence Force sharing their fitness expertise with everyday Kiwis and doing it in an inclusive, accessible way.”

NZDF has also been offering fitness tips through YouTube for a few months now. 


New Zealand Defence Force

Commander Wayne Burtton – Director of Defence Recruiting

Xanthe Prentice – Marketing Manager

Elsie Boss – Marketing Coordinator

Chantal Fisher – Marketing Coordinator

Captain Karen Tribbe – Business Projects Officer

Saatchi & Saatchi

Corey Chalmers – Executive Creative Director

Guy Roberts – Executive Creative Director

Slade Gill – Creative Director

Arnya Karaitiana – Senior Art Director

Neill McAlpine – Senior Digital Creative

Dave Sylvester – Senior Copywriter

Ross Davies – Senior Designer

Rob Flynn – Senior Designer

Emily Drake – Art Director

John Paul Twaalfhoven – Copywriter

Lorraine Guerin – Digital Production Director

Ian Hulme – Senior Strategist – Digital

Alexis Mousse – Senior Account Manager

Tim Turner – Digital Producer

Steven Ashby – Flash Developer

Anna Kennedy – Agency Producer

Tomas Cottle – Animation

Tias Somers – Studio Manager

Nick Browne – Retoucher

Pip Reeves – Mac Operator

Wendy Schrijvers – Business Director

Abi Jackson Burks – Senior Account Director

Abigail Skelton – Senior Strategist

Becky Kusel – Account Executive

Fee McLeod – Digital Client Director

Isobel Kerr-Newell – Communications Director

Application Developers – Roam Creative Limited

Ben Morreau – Director

Chris Moore – Director

Zac Adams – Developer

Josh van den Heever – Developer


Tamara Robinson – Media Planner

Video Production Company – Gorgeous Films

Edwina Monaghan – Executive Producer

Rowan Webb – Director

Ollie Dale, Kent Belcher, Fabio Oliveira, Zac Blair – Camera Team

Zac Blair – Editor

Video Sound Design – Liquid Studios

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