The RAF uses direct mail and augmented reality (AR) to drive 13-to-18-year-old potential recruits to its interactive website.
Altitude is a club aimed at 13 to 18 year olds in full-time education who are interested in an RAF career. Initially, the programme consisted of a magazine, direct mail packs and a few events, with an online component being introduced shortly after. This audience is used to superfast broadband and need to be impressed. With this in mind, the Altitude website was given a refresh in 2009 - with a new focus on interactive content.
The task was to update the RAF welcome pack to reflect and keep pace with technological changes - to produce something that would wow the new members and integrate seamlessly with the online content.
The new Altitude member's welcome pack included an augmented reality (AR) code printed onto a card. By holding the card up to their webcam, the member is able to interact with a 3D model of a Typhoon jet, while watching a welcome message from a pilot who's part of the world-famous display team. This allows users to literally interact with what they see on their screen, cleverly blurring the distinction between online and offline.
The campaign succeeded in positioning the RAF at the cutting edge of technology among its target audience of techie teens.
AR has excited creatives and in recent months there have been many attempts to use AR codes to dramatic effect. AR can give print a modern twist
by linking it in to the recipient's digital world. Saying that, there is so much
augmenting of reality around right now, this idea is less amazing than it may
have seemed on the layout pad. But for its target audience, kids into
technology, being able to conjure up a Typhoon and play with it would have
been cool. And, with this target group, cool is essential. All in all, a job well done.