Royal Air Force

RAF Access All Areas

For over 100 years, the Royal Air Force (RAF) has defended the skies of Britain and projected Britain’s power and influence around the world. In 2019 and following a highly competitive tender pitch process, Identity were appointed as the retained experiential events agency to lead on the planning, design and build in excess of 300 RAF recruitment outreach events per annum.

Each year, the RAF need to recruit a significant number of people to meet operational needs. This complex and ever-evolving events programme which has a requirement to be flexible, agile and scalable (with events often happening simultaneously), is managed exclusively by a core Identity team of six event experts.

In 2020, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on face-to-face and in-person events became clear, Identity elegantly repositioned their events delivery model from physical to virtual for the RAF, to ensure that the recruitment pipeline could be maintained.

Introducing RAF Access All Areas.

Identity’s ambition was to create a virtual environment that would facilitate conversation between the RAF Recruitment Force and potential candidates in a similar way to that of a face-to-face event. Using a combination of existing and generating new, fit for purpose content, we wanted to facilitate an exploratory user experience whereby they could learn about the range of roles and lifestyle benefits available through a career in the RAF. Supported by strong creative and a targeted marketing campaign, we set out to ensure we reached the target demographic of 16–24-year-olds whilst simultaneously appealing to those already interested in the RAF and those who were completely new to the possibilities.

Strategy & Delivery

A virtual airbase was created, containing 8 zones focusing on different roles and specialisms. Within each zone, video and text content was available as well as the opportunity to engage in live face-to-face conversations with RAF Personnel as well as the option to visit the website to find out more. Working collaboratively with the wider agencies and the RAF marketing team, we were able to generate significant reach and secure higher than anticipated registrations. Conversion rates from registrations to attendees were significantly higher than the industry average, as were the dwell times and level of engagement throughout the site. Post-event surveys further emphasised the overriding success of the series.

As a growing medium, education and introduction around virtual events is always a priority when conceptualising our approach to marketing. Our internal objectives were to inspire would-be attendees, while introducing the adjusted position of a user being placed ‘digitally’ within a virtual environment such as a hanger. The resulting approach began with a ‘three-door concept’, which placed a nameless male and female within a RAF hanger, presented with three doors. Each door had a dynamic image behind it, eluding to the idea of choice career choice and the exciting careers at the RAF. The creative was an instant success throughout the marketing schedule, having reached over 900,000 targeted users, with the adverts themselves being shown close to 2 million times.