After bagging a Cannes Lions for its work with the Irish Defence Forces last year, Rothco has embarked on a clever new recruitment campaign which turns gaming on its head.

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 was put into action today 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” 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 shift brand perceptions by immersing 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.

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.


Client: Irish Defence Forces
Agency: ROTHCO
Agency Producer: Karina Cotter & Margaret Levingstone
Executive Creative Director: Alan Kelly
Copywriter: Frances O’Rourke
Creative Director: Jonathon Cullen
Finished Art: Gerry Cole
Account Director: Katie Oslizlok
Account Manager: Aoife O’Shea
Strategy: Sarah Walsh
Connection Strategy: Catherine Halford Shaw & Emer Fitzgerald
Digital Technical Director: Daire Lennon
Digital Designer: Stephen Flynn
2D Graphics: Darach McHugh
Director: Brian O’Malley
Producer: Gary Moore, Red Rage
Post Production Picture: Windmill Lane
Post Production Supervisor: Sarah O’Carroll
Editor: Philip Cullen
Sound: Mutiny
Web Design & Development: ROTHCO


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