Multiple choice: Saatchi & Saatchi keeps it real—and varied—for Air Force campaign


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

“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.

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)

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