Army aims to attract new recruits with boots-eye-view

The British Army is launching an extensive recruitment campaign today, hoping to attract new recruits with a unique glimpse of army life – told from the point of view of a pair of army boots

The British Army is launching an extensive recruitment campaign today, hoping to attract new recruits with a unique glimpse of army life – told from the point of view of a pair of army boots.

Made by JWT London, the campaign is aimed at 16-24-year-olds and shows the potential journey a soldier makes during his or her career, from anxious rookie in the recruitment office to training ground and eventually active combat.

Directed by Simon Ratigan at HLA, the commercial was shot on locations in the UK and Cyprus. Ratigan devised a hand-held rig to allow the use of smaller camera formats that let him get close to the ground-level action required for the unusual perspective. He worked closely with soldiers from 3 Para to achieve a realistic portrayal of army life (see additional stills below).

The original idea was to work with a single camera operator, who was strong enough and fit enough to do everything that might be expected of a soldier while filming his own boots at the same time, says Ratigan. “In the end, several camera people put on the boots and filmed themselves and this helped us capture the large number and huge variety of shots needed for the spot.”

The 60- and 90-seconds ads are part of a wider ‘Step Up’ campaign that will also include further multi-channel marketing, including Facebook and Twitter campaigns, and nationwide recruitment clinics (see press ad below). “Boots are an iconic symbol of army life and, by literally putting prospective recruits into the boots of a soldier, we give them a taste of what Army life could offer,” say art director Giles Hepworth and copy writer Bill Hartley.

The campaign aims to dispel the misconception that the army is not hiring and hopes to bring 10,000 new recruits into the army over the coming year. Commissioned by the army’s recruiting services supplier Capita, the campaign launch indeed makes curious timing, given the announcement earlier this year that the army would cut more than 5,000 jobs in another round of redundancies this summer.

Agency: JWT London
Executive Creative Director: Russell Ramsey
Creative Directors: Adam Scholes & Hugh Todd
Art Director: Giles Hepworth
Copy Writer: Bill Hartley
TV Producer: Carley Reynolds
Director: Simon Ratigan
Production Company: HLA
Producer: Mike Wells
Production Manager: Daniel Carter
Director Of Photography: Martin Hill
Editor: Adam Spivey @ The Playroom
Post-Production: Finish
Sound: Sam Ashwell @ 750MPH


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