Rothco Turns Gaming on Its Head in Stunt for Irish Army Recruitment
Posted on March 10, 2017 | By ArabAd staff

Over the past week the launch of a mystery FPS (First Person Shooter) video game has been piquing the attention of Irish gaming aficionados. A ticking clock showing on the microsite created has been counting down the hours until launch day. A shock revelation awaited eager gamers as little did they know, the origin of ‘A New Dawn’ is not a developer, it is real life…

‘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, which began last week with a teaser trailer, looked 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 has been put into action at the game’s launch today. Visitors to the custom-built site anedawn.ie 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” explains Katie Oslizlok Account Director at Rothco. “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 use the recruitment campaign as a Trojan horse for shifting brand perceptions, and immerse young Irish men and women in the awesome reality of a career in the Defence Forces.”

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.

Minster for Responsibility of State, Paul Kehoe T.D. commented on the campaign: “This year’s recruitment campaign is exceptionally important as the Defence Forces seek to recruit 860 applicants across general service, apprentices and cadets. This campaign is reaching out to potential recruits on platforms that they are accustomed to, offering them a unique opportunity to become immersed in the type of intense Defence Forces training exercise they can expect to face as they begin their military careers.”

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.