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Mobile Medic: 2013 IAB Awards Best in Show


Mobile Medic: 2013 IAB Awards Best in Show


Winner: Defence Force Recruiting’s ‘Mobile Medic’ campaign by GPY&R Melbourne was a clear winner of IAB Australia’s ‘Mobile platform and app’ category, as well as its hotly contested ‘Best in Show’ award this year. The campaign’s original idea and its brave and polished execution most impressed the judges, who believed that its use of augmented reality for educational purposes was truly innovative, while driving clear and tangible results.


Campaign: Mobile Medic

Client: Defence Force Recruiting

Agency: GPY&R Melbourne



The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is on a permanent mission to find high quality candidates, with medical officers being a critical role for recruiters to fill. To drive applicants, the Defence University Sponsorship (DUS) was set up to offer medical students between the age of 17 and 25 tuition and a generous allowance in exchange for a commitment to the ADF after graduation.

The DUS, however, was not having the required impact. Application numbers were significantly below expectations, due to both limited awareness among medical students and the perception that a career in the ADF would not be as financially or emotionally rewarding as a career in the civilian world.



The ADF wanted a solution that would address the barriers to application. It needed to drive positive awareness of the DUS among the target audience, while making it inspired and excited enough to pursue a career in the ADF.


Mobile Medic posterStrategy

The genesis of the campaign came from a single insight. In the civilian world medical students more often than not have to wait up to nine years to ‘get their hands dirty’ and apply their skills. This is a real source of frustration for medical graduates, whereas DUS students are empowered to practise hands-on medicine straight after graduation.

The core premise of the campaign would therefore dramatise the fact that a career in the ADF would enable graduates to apply their medical knowledge from day one. The key to success was to identify the right tools and content to illustrate this and raise awareness of the DUS. The target audience of current and prospective medical students was spread across Australia, time-poor and highly intelligent.

The audience’s scepticism of advertising meant the solution would have to be as smart as the target – quickly engaging, educating and entertaining in an intelligent, interactive and nimble manner. An analysis of the audience’s media consumption habits and lifestyle indicated that a mobile app was the optimal vehicle for engagement.



GPY&R Melbourne created the world’s first medically-diagnosable advertising, ‘Mobile Medic’. Less of an ad and more of an immersive medical test, it paired a mobile app with outdoor creative and mobile websites using image recognition and augmented reality technology to challenge participants by plunging them into diagnosing true-to-life medical emergencies.

As the participant moves a phone in front of the ads, the app tracks it and offers a real life medical toolkit of x-rays, heartbeat monitors and other information for the student to make a diagnosis. They are then immediately told if their diagnosis is correct and, within the app, students can submit an enquiry for more information on the DUS.

To ensure the experience was as authentic and true to life as possible, GPY&R worked closely with both the ADF and an external medical doctor.

Mindful of the media habits of the audience, GPY&R took the campaign directly to them via the ‘Mobile Medic Roadshow’, which visited Australia’s leading universities. This enabled the creative to directly interact with hundreds of qualified prospective applicants – an impossible task for any other media or vehicle.

The campaign was treated as a new ‘product’ brand, with a bespoke logo and individual style guidelines, to be used and adhered to across the app, ADF websites, posters and flyers. A search and socially-optimised mobile site was built on the defencejobs.gov.au portal and best practice from tech startup marketing was employed to drive awareness, engagement and downloads from the App Store.

Mobile Medic iPad


In the first two months, the app was downloaded over 8000 times. It exceeded campaign expectations and delivered on the key objective of the campaign: to drive positive awareness of the Defence University Sponsorship and to inspire prospective students to pursue a career in the Australian Defence Force.

Exit survey data revealed the Mobile Medic app’s true effectiveness with 76% of eligible students saying that it made them want to find out more about the Sponsorship and 64% saying it made them more likely to consider a career in the Defence Force. This shift in attitude led to immediate action with 71% of the students who participated in the roadshows submitting a request for more information on the day.

Mobile Medic iPhone


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