The Irish Defence Forces are in a unique situation. As ROTHCO account director Katie Oslizlok explains; "As a small neutral country, there's a lack of understanding amongst the Irish public as to what the defence forces do which has a knock on effect when it comes to recruitment. We were tasked with changing that perception, and in doing so, convince 5,000 18-24 year olds to apply for a career with the Defence Forces. We decided to use the recruitment campaign as a vehicle for shifting brand perceptions, and immerse young Irish men and women in the awesome reality of a career in the Defence Forces.”
Their vehicle in question comes in the form of a first-person shooter called A New Dawn. As part of a stunt that launched yesterday, March 10th, 2017. What began with teaser trailer and countdown on the A New Dawn microsite, soon gave way to the actual "real life" game. A sort of Choose Your Own Adventure where you are a soldier in a platoon and must make decisions that will have consequences.
Advertising or propaganda meets video games meets army recruitment has been done so often it even has a name: "militainment." The Irish Defences are not the first to step into video game land. Cose Combat: First to fight was devloped with input from the U.S. Marines. America's Army, developed by the U.S. Army, has a whole slew of games. Glorious Mission is the People's Liberation Army in China's version and even Hezbollah have a few video games, too.