Forsvaret (Danish Defence) launched a campaign to recruit qualified applicants for their 2020 Officer education, targeting 18-34 year olds with a bachelor degree or higher education. The overall objective was to attract ambitious students to apply for Forsvaret’s Officer education and the challenge was to increase the appeal amongst the target audience and encourage them to consider the Officer education as a potential career path. Forsvaret specifically wanted to position the Officer education as a desirable alternative to other higher education programs.
The challenge in generating a sufficient number of qualified applicants for Forsvaret’s Officer education was a combination of (1) a sharp reduction in the recruitment base in 2015 by approximately 70%, (2) intensified competition in education programs for young people; (3) smaller youth cohorts; (4) increased recruitment goals. Appeal and interest in Forsvaret’s Officer education amongst university students required a boost to meet these challenges.
The target audience was made up of digital natives who are critical consumers of media, highly selective towards commercial content and difficult to keep engaged. This placed great demands on the relevance of the content. Unlike previous generations' decision-making, which was more individual-based, the target group makes decisions in a broader and more emotional perspective, which is why in-depth emotional storytelling was key to capturing their attention.
Alongside distribution of the hero film on the Verizon Media Native platform and an interview on TV2’s Go’ morgen Danmark, we created a unique content hub on berlingske.dk to achieve a high level of engagement with the target audience. We focused on earning time with the audience through a series of four in-depth storytelling articles on the Officer education and life as an Officer. The aim was to build interest in the possibilities offered by this education. We worked with the creative lead agency, Advice A/S and Forsvarsministeriets Personalestyrelse (Danish Defence Personnel Agency) to build engaging content centered on real-life stories told by people who had launched their careers with Forsvaret. We chose to collaborate with berlingske.dk due to the media’s high level of trustworthiness and ability to reach an audience that matched the campaign's target group: 18-34 year olds with a higher education, interested in society, politics and economics.
There was a total of 10,675 article reads during the campaign period. The average reading time across the four articles was exceptionally high at 06:03, more than double the benchmark reading time for articles on berlingske.dk. This meant that the target audience spent more than 1,076 hours engaging with the content. The article pages included the campaign hero film and achieved an average video completion rate of 8.9%, which was a strong performance considering the video length of 02:16.
These campaign elements successfully contributed to promoting Forsvaret’s Officer education as an attractive alternative to other higher education programs. The campaign was achieved in partnership with the lead agency Advice A/S and MediaCom Denmark and our strategy ran alongside the wider campaign that included cinema, outdoor, web TV and social media. The overall Officer campaign resulted in the highest number of applicants for Forsvaret’s Officer education in five years and a 38% increase compared to 2019.
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