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Videogame nets Defence Forces 3,600 applicants from wannabe recruits

The Defence Forces took a different approach to its latest recruitment campaign.

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THE DEFENCE FORCES has seen an uptick in the number of applications from would-be recruits after coming up with a cunning way to spark interest in available positions.

Rather than go for the old-school approach, for its latest recruitment campaign it decided to create a first-person ‘video game’ to draw people in. / YouTube

A total of 3,600 people have applied for a role in the Defence Forces since the campaign’s launch. That number is made all the more impressive when you compare it to the fact that the Defence Forces is looking to recruit 860 applicants across general service, apprentices and cadets.

That’s part of honouring the Government’s commitment to keeping the strength levels of the Defence Forces – which includes the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps – at 9,500 personnel.

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The game, called A New Dawn, can be viewed online.

The Defence Forces specifically wanted to target frequent gamers with the new campaign, so it kicked it off with a teaser trailer for what looked like a real video game.

According to the Defence Forces, the trailer “received widespread attention as gaming aficionados attempted to establish its origins”. The video was viewed 500,000 times in the campaign’s first five days.

Approaching recruitment in this way helped the Defences Forces engage with men and women who it might not usually make contact with. On the website, the viewer assumes the viewpoint of a real-life soldier as they take part in a number of missions. At various points, a recruitment message appears on screen, which brings the person to an application form.

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The Defence Forces said that the scenario, “where every decision has a consequence, offers an unprecedented opportunity for players to appreciate the skill, determination and courage required of Defence Forces personnel as they conduct their basic training”.

This isn’t the first time that the Defence Forces has created a targeted campaign – last year, it won a Silver Lion at the Cannes Festival of Creativity for its female-focused campaign.

This new campaign invites young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 to ‘Join Our Team’.

At the launch of the campaign in February, Defence Minister Paul Kehoe encouraged women and “new Irish” in particular to join up, saying:

“It is important that Óglaigh na hÉireann represents the richness and diversity of the community it serves. The Defence Forces welcomes and respects all, irrespective of gender, creed, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

Last year, we also took a look at how the Defence Forces is using Oculus Rift to replicate hostile scenarios that members face overseas: / YouTube

Read: Looking for a job? The Defence Forces are recruiting 860 personnel>

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