Saatchi & Saatchi unveils game plan for new Air Force campaign

When Saatchi & Saatchi launched its ‘Get What It Takes’ campaign for the New Zealand Army in September last year, the campaign ended up becoming the most watched branded or sponsor channel on YouTube. Now Saatchi’s is at it again, this time with a unique, crafty and pretty entertaining interactive online game for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

Called ‘Step Up’, the new campaign offers users the chance to experience four live simulated challenges that test their skills against everyday situations they’d encounter in the real-life Air Force: piloting a helicopter in the mountains or over farmland, flying a plane over a coastline and driving a forklift in an aircraft hanger.

By heading along to the specially created YouTube channel, users play the game by remotely controlling a streaming video camera in real-time over one of four different miniature models of New Zealand, which were crafted by the folks at Kennedy Model Making. The video below shows a time-lapse rendering of the model making in action.

Youtube Video

Saatchi’s also worked in partnership with local partners Resn and Paragon, the mechanical engineers, on the campaign, with collaboration being key according to Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington general manager Livia Esterhazy.

“A project like this has never been done before, and required a lot of collaboration with the RNZAF and multiple vendors. We wanted the idea itself to be as technically-advanced and unique as a career in the Air Force.”

The campaign will be pushed via 15 second TVCs and online promotions, all with the aim of drawing viewers to the dedicated RNZAF branded YouTube channel. Once a user has completed each challenge they receive a video of their challenges to share via Facebook and Twitter.

But the game has a purpose grander than just pulling people to the site for a spot of gaming. It’s hoped the campaign will encourage viewers to learn more about the skills and careers related to the challenge and watch videos that depict trades the Air Force is recruiting for.

Commander Nigel Philpott, head of defence recruiting, is all for the use of digital campaigns, saying the move towards digital is reflective of the way younger folk interact with brands and discover new information.

“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.”




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