Spikes Asia

Royal Australian Navy - The Mission

VMLY&R, Melbourne / DEFENCE FORCE RECRUITING / 2022

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Overview

Background

Navy Submariners have one of the most exciting jobs in the Defence Force. They embark on highly classified missions around Australia and the world, working at the forefront of homeland security. But due to the classified nature of the job, we can’t show potential recruits what the job actually involves. Our challenge was to highlight the thrilling nature of the role, while appealing to our candidates’ strengths – like problem solving and working under pressure – without revealing anything that could compromise our national security.

Idea

The Mission is a text-based game that gave future recruits a sneak peek into the secretive world of a submariner without giving away Navy secrets. Players were challenged to analyse sonar patterns, classify foreign vessels and plot tactical pictures, all while staying undetected. Working with real Navy submariners, we created multiple possibilities and story threads that were all accurate to the role. It was both an educational tool and a way to show potential candidates that they have what it takes to join the team.

Strategy

Navy submariners are in a class of their own — the role requires quick thinking, working well under pressure, and mental fortitude. To find the very best candidates, we designed a game that simulated the excitement and drama of the real working conditions onboard a submarine.

Challenges and time limits revealed who worked well under pressure, and making difficult decisions showed who could think quick on their feet.

The game’s multiple storylines also allowed us to determine which candidates were the strongest. By analysing each player’s decision-making abilities, and how quickly they made them, we could rank the best players, and ultimately, who would best succeed as a submariner in the real world.

Execution

The Mission is a text-based adventure that puts you in the shoes of a submariner onboard HMAS Sheean during a high-stakes mission. The story was modelled after RIMPAC, one of the world’s biggest Naval exercises held off the coast of Hawaii. The objective is simple: capture enemy intel and remain undetected.

The situations were made accurate with input from real Navy submariners, who guided the narrative every step of the way. The players had access to real evasion tactics, learnt about real techniques and technology, and called the shots during crucial moments.

Invitations to play the online game were emailed to a database of high-quality prospects. The campaign was live for four weeks, resulting in 15,503 page visits.

Outcome

• We achieved an outstanding average playtime of 26 minutes,

• 15,503 page visits from high quality prospects,

• Over a thousand competition entries,

• A phenomenal bounce rate of just 6% during the entire campaign period (compared to an average of 70-80% for this channel),

• 25.8% of players returned to replay The Mission.

The next generation of submariner recruits learnt everything they needed to know about the role, without national security being compromised.

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2022, DEFENCE FORCE RECRUITING

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