The

Challenge

With unemployment reaching its lowest rates in over a decade, Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) found itself facing a shortage of skilled personnel due to the ever-shrinking pool of candidates.

DFR needed to:

  • raise awareness of ADF career opportunities
  • generate interest among 15- 35 year-olds in careers in the Navy, Army and Air Force
  • engage this audience in a fun, interactive manner
  • educate the audience on the hardware capability and job opportunities in the Navy, Army and Air Force; and
  • direct users to the Defencejobs web-site for more information and encourage them to take the first step in the recruitment process.

Strategy

Having previously developed a series of standalone online games for a previous DFR Aircrew Campaign in 2003, we realised how online games could achieved huge cut-through and substantial viral traffic, but at the time, games were seen as gimmicky marketing tools and ‘one off’ executions.

Online gaming had achieved rapid growth with more than 4.5 million Australians playing online games in Q4 2006. A division between ‘hardcore’ or ‘power’ gamers and the ‘casual’ games market was a growing trend with the casual games space seeming a lucrative recruiting hunting ground, given our strict need to appeal to a general audience.

Idea

Visual Jazz worked with DFR to create the first Messenger game in late 2006 – Battleships Extreme (Navy). This was the first ever advertising based game created for MSN Messenger Australia, targeting their 4.4 million registered users.

The success of the initial game was followed by the launch of Supreme Air Combat (Air Force) in February 2007 and Advance Urban Ops (Army) in August. All games included an Intel Brief, giving users information on the hardware used by the Australian Forces and crew information (jobs available), with links to more information on the Defencejobs web site.

After huge success with the Messenger Games, DFR accepted Visual Jazz’s recommendation to create a dedicated Defencejobs Games Portal. Launched in July 2007 and constantly enhanced, the site contains larger, more exclusive games, which allow users to develop their gamer ranking and learn even more about the ADF. The site attracted media coverage in newspapers and online, as well as on Channel Ten news nationally.

Results

To date, the three games together have:

  • been played over 2.1 million times, with Battleships Extreme proving to be the most popular game with over 1.3 million game plays
  • attracted over 1.1 million unique players (one-third of our target audience of Australians aged 15 – 35!)
  • encouraged over 350,000 unique users to view and interact with the games’ Intel Briefs, learning more about Defence capability and jobs
  • resulted in over 200,000 click throughs to the Defencejobs website, including relevant service and jobs pages
  • had over 1,500 people enquire about starting their online application from a specific job advertised within the games.

The Defencejobs Games Portal has achieved:

  • over 300,000 unique users
  • over 27,000 Defencejobs Games Site members have singed up since launch
  • of these, approximately 800 have started their online application with the ADF
  • over 750,000 games have been completed
  • it’s addictive! Some of the most active users have played over 3,000 games and for over 300 hours!
  • 8.46% of all Defencejobs enquirers have a gamer profile on the DJ Games site, equating to approximately 6,000 job enquiries since launch.