Australian Defence Force Promo, Case study IMPOSSIBLE AIRFIELD by GPY&R Melbourne

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Industry Government & Other Authorities
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Australia
Agency GPY&R Melbourne
Director Zach Merck
Executive Creative Director Ben Coulson
Art Director Chris Northam
Copywriter Evan Roberts
Producer Elizabeth Rocka
Digital Creative Director Mark Addy
Released March 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Public Sector
Executive Creative Director: Ben Coulson (George Patterson Y&R)
Creative Director: Chris Northam (George Patterson Y&R)
Copywriter: Evan Roberts (George Patterson Y&R)
Art Director: Chris Northam (George Patterson Y&R)
Digital Art Director: Nick Sellars (George Patterson Y&R)
Director: Zach Merck (@radical)
EP: Ian Fowler (@radical)
Producer: Elizabeth Rocka (George Patterson Y&R)
Account Director: Leah Champion (George Patterson Y&R)
Account Director: Alice Mason (George Patterson Y&R)
Group Account Director: Julian Bell (George Patterson Y&R)
Digital Account Director: Simon Bolger (George Patterson Y&R)
Account Manager: Jenna Stafford (George Patterson Y&R)
Digital Creative Director: Mark Addy (George Patterson Y&R)
Technical Director: Brendan Mcmahon (George Patterson Y&R)
Frontend Developer: Dilshan Desilva (George Patterson Y&R)
Digital Producer: Jessica Krt (George Patterson Y&R)
Air Force Marketing Manager: Kate Matthews (Defence Force Recruiting)
Air Force Senior Marketing Officer: Tim Bowden (Defence Force Recruiting)
Sound/Post: (Nylon / Heckler)
Media placement: Online Documentary - - 16/03/12
Media placement: Website - - 16/03/12

Summary of the Campaign
PROBLEM: Australians think of the Air Force as the soft service - a bunch of arrogant pilots who never get their hands dirty.

CHALLENGE: Change public perception and show they're a diverse force ready to operate anytime, anywhere.

SOLUTION: Challenge the Air Force to a full-scale military operation which proves they're more than pilots and that they're anything but soft.

The Situation
Ever since Top Gun and that fateful beach volleyball scene, the Australian public have thought the Air Force just a bunch of nancy pilots, a soft service.

What the public didn't know was that the majority of the Air Force aren't pilots and that they can be as tough as any other military service when they want to be.

The Goal
The goal of this campaign was to change the Australian public's perception of the Royal Australian Air Force, to stop them thinking Mavrick and Goose and start thinking that these men and women are the real deal.

The Strategy
To show the world that they were tough, the only thing the Air Force could do was prove it.

We had to show the public something they had never seen before - the Air Force at their toughest and most determined.

Impossible Airfield was a challenge put to the Air Force: Go into the middle of nowhere, build an airfield and land your largest aircraft. In 36 hours.

This challenge was accepted. Plans were made. Cameras followed.

The mission/stunt was then cut into a 3-part online series and was launched with a secondary stunt at the Melbourne Grand Prix.

Documented Results
Impossible Airfield has been the most effective piece of PR the Royal Australian Force has ever done.

Non-pilot job inquiries are up 320%.

The annual job quota was filled in just 21 days.

Average time spent on the site was 28 minutes.

So not only did the public listen, but their perception was changed as well.