There are 100,000+ people in the British Army. It’s a massive organisation. Competence (our client) has a product that the Army needs: an app that saves time, effort and money, with the ideal end result of a higher recruit retention rate and better trained soldiers.
The Competence app had proved its worth in earlier small scale pilots within the Army. Those who had used it were convinced it needed to be rolled out on a bigger scale. Feedback was universally positive throughout the ranks, from Corporals to the Brigadier.
As with any large organisation, clear communication is vital but difficult to establish. Messages get confused and the product’s reputation could be easily knocked back by misinformation at any stage. Our client knew that their representatives could not always be present during all related internal discussions. How could they ensure the right information was being shared?
Competence decided to commission a short film that would encapsulate the benefits of their app to the Army. It would allow them to control the presentation of their product, even when they weren’t in the room. It was to be a vital tool to convince decision makers of the value of the product.
It worked. From a small pilot project involving just 48 Recruits, the Army approved a second pilot, this time involving 144 Recruits. A first film had opened doors so Competence asked us to make another film just a few months after. They wanted a second film to gain access even higher within the upper echelons of the organisation. It worked again and now a third project has been commissioned; this time involving 1,000+ Recruits. And yes, we will be making a further film to show how the product is working on this larger scale.
We wanted the film to be watched across the ranks of the British Army. It would introduce the viewer to a very niche but revolutionary app that helps new recruits and their officers. What to include and what tone to strike?
Early conversations with the client were even more critical than usual. We wanted to learn the protocol and the style that the Army would respond positively to. We needed to learn as much information as possible and would take our lead from them.
It became evident that the more factual and clear the film was, the more likely it would be received positively and shared. Our target audience would respond to convincing arguments and focused information.
We used interviews to build the narrative. Importantly, we used interviews from individuals with a broad range of experience within the army: from a new recruit up to the Brigadier. This gave greater authenticity to the glowing testimonies about the app of those appearing on screen.
To act as a counterpoint to the information-heavy interviews we filmed the soldiers engaged in a range of activities. We did this to add excitement, colour and dynamism to the film and to remind the viewer what the underlying purpose of the product was: to create and retain better trained soldiers.
The interviews told the story well; but we wanted the viewer to know what the app looked like. For this reason we dropped in screenshots of the app at work. By doing this we wanted the audience to build up a picture of how the app worked as well as understanding its benefits.
The film helped the Army to decide to extend the use of the app from an initial group of 148 recruits to a group of over 1000+. The decision makers within the Army were convinced that the app was proving useful and worth investing in more.