Cannes Lions

The Recruits


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Supporting Images
Supporting Images






An authentic 90-day series documented the special aspects of working in the Forces. 12 weeks. 12 recruits. One series. The journey from civilian to soldier in a recruit training programme. Successes and failures. It’s a hero’s journey that has spawned narratives throughout history. The Recruits website uses this age-old story to adapt the Forces to the younger generation’s perspective and get noticed by them. It follows the progress of 12 recruits during their basic training on a YouTube channel. From leaving home to the “Forces culture shock“ at the barracks, the first weapon encounter and drills, to the risks associated with foreign deployments. The only script for the series is the training programme, so it delivers unadorned and authentic insights into everyday life in the Forces – from the recruits’ perspective. The episode themes are also influenced by the comments and requests of the ever-growing fan community.


We used all social web tools in the campaign – plus additional on/offline channels. The main vehicle, an own YouTube channel called “DIE REKRUTEN“, allowed us to engage with young people in their environment. New episodes were uploaded every day, and there were specials at the weekends.

In the teaser phase the series was publicised with high-impact OOH activities. In the main phase we stepped up the advertising pressure with videos, special features and content across all the relevant social media platforms. In the last phase communications to existing fans continued, but at a reduced frequency.

Ambient measures for each touchpoint enhanced the series’ likeability, making the digital documentary a firm fixture in viewers' lives. Weekly changing motifs based on series content allowed us to communicate with all target audiences.

The community management team is online 14 hours a day to answer questions from the social network community.


The campaign surpassed all expectations. "The Recruits" series was an overwhelming success. It was a topic of conversation in school yards and on the web. Markus Hinz, Sales Director Google: “This channel is one of the fastest-growing branded channels we’ve seen in recent years“. And coverage (radio, TV, newspapers and online) has been massive. The target audience loves it. YouTube stars including LeFloid have discussed the series. German celebrities such as Jan Böhmermann have also talked about the campaign.

In figures, there were 270,000 subscribers; 40 million page impressions; ¾ of the views were organic, only ¼ were purchased; 150,000 comments; approx. 500,000 views/day, 530,000 views/video; 85 % positive ratings; 37,214 shares; + 40% visits to the Federal Armed Forces careers website; +25% calls to the careers hotline; over 4,500 career

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