The Irish Defence Forces, 1st military in the world to recruit with a first-person interactive video

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The Irish Defence Forces have become the first military in the world to create a first-person interactive video as part of a recruitment campaign, with a mystery FPS (First Person Shooter) video game attracting the attention of Irish gaming fans.

A New Dawn’ is in fact the start of a clever recruitment campaign driven by the Irish Defence Forces and created by advertising agency ROTHCO. The campaign began last week with a teaser trailer similar to the type of advertisement people would normally associate with the launch of a major video game. Titled ‘A New Dawn’ the game’s teaser trailer received widespread attention as gaming aficionados attempted to establish its origins.

But the real part of the campaign will be put into action Friday 10 March, at the game’s launch. Visitors to the custom-built site who are expecting to find a game will instead find out they can play for real. A first-person interactive video will put skill, determination and courage to the test, ultimately determining if gamers have the right stuff to apply for the Defence Forces.

As a small neutral country, there’s a lack of understanding amongst the Irish public as to what the defence forces do which has a knock on effect when it comes to recruitment (…) We were tasked with changing that perception, and in doing so, convince 5,000 18-24 year olds to apply for a career with the Defence Forces. We decided to shift brand perceptions by immersing young Irish men and women in the awesome reality of a career in the Defence Forces.

Katie Oslizlok

Account Director ROTHCO

The interactive video uses a real soldier avatar to fully immerse game players in the reality of becoming a soldier in a platoon which is conducting a joint land, sea and air assault. The scenario, where every decision has a consequence, offers an unprecedented opportunity for players to appreciate the skill, determination and courage required of Defence Forces personnel as they conduct their basic training. At the end of the game players are directed to the recruitment website.

The Defence Forces innovative approach to this year’s campaign is building on last year’s female focussed campaign that won a Silver Lion at Cannes Festival of Creativity. 

Since its inception in 1995, ROTHCO has become one of Europe’s leading independent, creative agencies. Having pioneered its unique multi-disciplinary ‘gang’ structure, it has crafted brand stories for Heineken, Unilever, Aer Lingus, Hailo, Tesco, AON, to name a few, and its work has been recognised with awards from Cannes Lions, EPICA, The Webbies, The Mashies & Midas. ROTHCO has a strong presence on the awards show circuit, having recently spoken at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. This year, ROTHCO has judged at the Dubai Lynx Awards and the LIA in Las Vegas. It is proud sponsor of the Cannes Young Lions Competition 2016 and was awarded a Silver Lion at the Festival of Creativity 2016 for its ‘Join Our Team’ campaign for Defence Forces Ireland. In 2017, ROTHCO will judge at The One Show and the D&AD awards.