Psychological studies and games informed the RAF's latest ad campaign

16 July 2019

Engine: Find Your Force

With the British armed forces undergoing a staffing shortfall, top bods at the Royal Air Force have decided to harness the power of psychology to boost recruitment rates.

Advertising agency Engine — whose previous clients include American Express, Bupa, and Coca-Cola — has been assigned with creating a new campaign intended to encourage plane-mad applicants to sign up to the RAF.

Engine says the campaign, Find Your Force, is “based on psychological studies on talent development and education,” as well as insights into an alleged generational desire to seek true and ultimate fulfilment through work.

Consisting of a series of posters and a short video, the campaign asks — in Engine’s words — people to “identify an innate skill they may have, and consider a role in the RAF that may best fit this quality.”

Talking exclusively to It’s Nice That, Engine’s design team tells us that they believe a “lack of self-belief,” is a big block for potential applicants noting that “they doubt that they have the aptitude to make it in the RAF.”

Discussing how they came to transpose the results of the aforementioned studies into visual language, Engine says that “it is really more about a sense of discovery within the executions, there is always something to work out or a sense of interaction with potential recruits to land the idea, Find Your Force.”

They add that in “some executions this is more overt and in others the viewer has to work a little harder to decipher the message.”

Engine tells It’s Nice That that the Find Your Force campaign was borne out a mobile experience called Sounds Skills, which the agency developed for the RAF three years ago. The app attempted to gamify the skills that’d be necessary for anyone looking to pivot to a specific intelligence linguist role within the services.

“Playing the game and ‘winning’ worked very well to create self-belief that people could have the necessary aptitude to apply successfully for what otherwise looked like a very daunting job,” the design team continues. The result was an app which we’re told boosted application numbers.

Talking about Find Your Force, they note that “although it’s nothing like as challenging, the intent here is that there’s a little bit of reward in cracking the ads, and that this will give people a little boost of self-confidence that yes they really could make it into the RAF.”


Engine: Find Your Force


Engine: Find Your Force

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About the Author

Josh Baines

Josh Baines joined It's Nice That from July 2018 to July 2019 as News Editor, covering new high-profile projects, awards announcements, and everything else in between.

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