New high-profile campaign for The Royal Navy


Anyone in the armed forces will say that it’s tough to attract and retain good people. Last month, The Royal Navy and RAF re-appointed the agency, Engine, to handle their combined account – which is lead by Engine’s creative agency WCRS. And last weekend, they launched two new adverts to run on TV, cinema, VoD and social until 12th August 2018, to tap into the early talent market.

Now whilst the two campaigns fall under the ‘Made in The Royal Navy’ banner, their messages talk to slightly different audiences. Both, however, are inspired by the lives of real Royal Navy personnel and star real recruits.  

‘Michael’s story’, is the more aspirational of the two. It’s about a lad, who wants more out of life. We follow his journey from the hum-drum reality of where he is now, to where he could be. Beautifully-shot, we head-off on an adventure around the world. We see him grow. And it’s all accompanied by a reading from the highly emotionally charged classic ‘Song of the Open Road,’ by the pre-eminent 19th century American poet Walt Whitman. Of course, it’s had to be abridged (there are some 15 lengthy verses after all), yet it’s suitably inspirational. And when it’s capped with the line ‘Born in Blyth. Made in The Royal Navy,’ the message is simple, direct, but motivational.

Then there’s the second campaign, ‘Making a Difference.’ Similar in look and feel, this is a very different beast. This isn’t trying to appeal to those who are asking ‘What the Navy can do for me?’ Instead it focuses on the altogether more altruistic drive of ‘how can I make a difference?’ Far more down to earth, the narrative is more of a testimonial. It tells how the recruit had preconceptions about going to battle (and what that might mean), but in reality there is more than one type of battle out there – the humanitarian battle. Given what’s going on in the world, this will appeal to an altogether different character. Again, it’s finished with the ‘Born in Edinburgh. Made in The Royal Navy,’ line.

Now, before everyone starts going down the ‘it’s all very male’ line of thought (and these two are), it turns out these are just two of their latest ads in the ‘Made In The Royal Navy Campaign’. In fact, they launched one three days ahead of International Women’s Day 2018, called ‘Louise’s story’ with the aim of showing the sheer diversity of roles available, regardless of gender.

And whilst it’s slightly different in its overall feel, the subtext across the three adverts is that in the Navy, it’s possible to become someone you never thought you’d be. It’s a strong USP. Let’s hope they get the people they need from it.

Paul Colley, Head of Marketing, Royal Navy said: “Made In The Royal Navy isn’t just an end line. It’s an honest observation of the growth we see in promising young people once they start their journey within the Royal Navy. These new films illustrate that growth brilliantly.”

Simon Peck, Group Managing Director, Engine, said:Engine’s award-winning campaigns for the Royal Navy are a great example of how our creative ideas are fueled by data-driven insights to produce more powerful, targeted and impactful work. We are proud to have created these new films in the recruitment campaign and hope they go a long way to inspire young people to consider a career in the Royal Navy.”

Thursday, 28 June 2018

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New high-profile campaign for The Royal Navy