The Air Force said it has hit all its recruitment goals since hiring the Omnicom Group agency, and with 81% of the Air Force's target audience toting cellphones, mobile was an obvious next step.
Ahead of trend
"More kids are going to have more access to this technology," said the Air Force's interactive account executive, Master Sgt. Deshaun Woods. "If we get involved now, we are going to be well-established when the market becomes more saturated."
"We're a technology brand," said Travis Scoggins, the Air Force's account supervisor at GSD&M, "and we are looking for those people who are tech savvy."
The tease? As part of the Air Force's "Do Something Amazing" tour, which makes stops at motocross, Nascar and other sporting events around the country, Bluetooth transmitters will be set up in areas around the tracks and stadiums. The transmitters ping any mobile device set to accept messages sent via Bluetooth, sending consumers invitations to stop by the tour and "check out what it's like to do something amazing."
Once inside the event space, consumers will find pods dedicated to each of the career paths the Air Force has to offer. Within those pods will be stickers sporting quick-response codes that will enable users to download documentary-style videos to their phones about Air Force careers.
'Eliminates the gap'
"Event marketing is a great place to engage people, but there's a lag time between when we engage with them at the tour and when they get home and explore on their computer. This eliminates that gap. They immediately walk away with a video they like, a ringtone they heard, a wallpaper they thought was cool," Mr. Scoggins said.
With only a small number of phones quick-response enabled in the U.S., the Air Force sees the mobile play as an opportunity to attract both tech-savvy and tech-curious consumers.
But GSD&M also realized that even the tech-curious are sometimes unable to afford the Bluetooth-enabled products they desire, so every mobile-outreach effort can be accessed by consumers using basic text messaging. By catering to all levels of mobile capability, the Air Force is better able to reach its goal of "being on as many phones out there as possible," Mr. Scoggins said.
Mr. Woods hopes the campaign will put information about the Air Force into the target's hand. He envisions high-school students talking to each other about the Air Force and one of them pulling out his or her cellphone to share career options and pay possibilities. "All the information will be right there," he said. "They will be able to carry it with them."