I. Best sustained success

Tour of Duty: how 10 years of creative effectiveness helped recruit more Australians to the Australian Defence Force
George Patterson Y&R Melbourne
Defence Force Recruiting
Australian Defence Force

Improve the Australian Defence Force's recruitment hit-rate with less investment.


Prior to 2000, the ADF’s marketing had been focused on communicating what life was like in the ADF, but this message was blunted by a lack of belief among the target group – 16-24-year-olds – that it was right for them in the first place. So George Patterson Y&R and the ADF had to build awareness. So, through executions on TV, print, and online, the agency and the ADF presented the message that that a job in the ADF is a job worth doing because it provides a sense of worth by helping others through humanitarian relief and peacekeeping. At the same time, recruits would get the chance to learn, travel, and broaden their horizons and experiences – all important values for this particular demographic. The communications featured real people who talked about their experiences in the ADF. Theses stories showed the reality –i??as opposed to stereotypes and misperceptions – of life in the ADF and helped build understanding.



The strategy shift lead to a double-digit percentage increase in awareness of ADF advertising from 2006 to 2010, and significantly increased the number of recruitment enquiries. The ADF was able to increase the number of roles being filled year by year by a staggering percentage.










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