NOT FOR CIRCULATION
(^) Luke Griffiths, Cavalry Troop Commander (Lieutenant) | Royal Australian Armoured Corps., Australian Army, and Tania Bucic, Associate Professor in Marketing, UNSW Business School, UNSW, Sydney, Australia, wrote this case solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors have disguised certain names and other identifying information to ensure confidentiality. This publication may not be transmitted, photocopied, digitized, or otherwise reproduced in any form or by any means without the permission of the copyright holder. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights organization. Copyright 2018 , Luke Griffiths & Tania Bucic Version: 2018 – 04 – (^27) Lieutenant Luke Griffiths had served in the Australian Army for 10 years, working his way through officer and trade training, after starting his enlistment soon after graduating high school. The Army had provided him with varied opportunities to develop valuable skills and social connections. For Luke, the Army was like family; he wanted only the best for Australian Defence Force (ADF). Yet managing military service, as a public good, was an inherently challenging task, at both individual and departmental levels. Public perceptions were less than positive, in contrast with how he and his fellow Army members felt about the organization. As a Lieutenant, Luke witnessed the daily efforts of his peers to perform their duties and personify the core values espoused by the Army, as well as the wider public. Thus inspired and motivated by his peers, as well as his reflections on his own duty, Luke was eager to communicate the Armys contributions better, more clearly, and more comprehensively, to help transform public sentiment, such that it would be more congruent with the valuable public services rendered by the ADF. The potential for doing so seemed particularly promising when defence spending by the newly installed Liberal government increased, following the 2013 election; ADF could use this shift in spending to improve both its profile and its relationship with the Australian public. But the ADF also was in damage control mode: High profile inquiries into its treatment of servicewomen^1 and questions about officers professional conduct^2 had evoked a poor public opinion of ADFs internal culture, which spilled over to reduce its external appeal and perceived value. Such perceptions were a serious concern for the Army, because it relied on maintaining its positive public image to achieve beneficial reputation effects, support recruitment efforts, and ensure consistent funding. The Chief of the Defence Force^3 (CDF) understood the severity of the situation and, with signature military directness, did not hesitate to set an objective of the highest order: re-establish the face of the Army and thereby revitalise its reputation and brand. Advertising for the ADF was outsourced to external agencies, and Havas Group had recently replaced George Patterson Y&R after a protracted public tender process. The outcome was surprising, in that it terminated a decade-long relationship between the ADF and its previous advertising agency. Havas Group earned a three-year contract, with only four months of transition allowed, so any marketing strategy change represented a great risk, especially considering the ambitious goals. What would be the most effective way to achieve the objective sets by the CDF? How could Havas appeal to the Australian public to share the revitalization plan, while also communicating effectively with internal members of the Australian Army such as Luke Griffiths? AUSTRALIAN ARMY PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS: A BRIEF HISTORY Courage, initiative, and teamwork are the three long-standing core values of the Australian Army; in 2013, respect was added as a fourth core value.^4 To highlight this addition, promotional campaigns
evolved, as summarized in Exhibit 1. Specifically, they shifted notably away from a masculine, herd mentality to a more nuanced, personal perspective, with an emphasis on individualism. Congruent with this evolution, the Army also broadened its core recruitment market, beyond 18 24 – year-old men to encompass 16 24 – year-old women and men, as well as indigenous and ethnic cohorts. The Army recognized the need for diversity.^5 At no point did its focus on action, leadership, and hands-on job opportunities change though, indicating consistent support for the Armys central values and vision.
EXHIBIT 1: ADVERTISING BRIEFS FOR THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY BY YEAR Year Motto Message Focus Delivery 1985 Im a Soldier Army With training for 50 different jobs, at least one will suit everyone
1987 Army Bring Out Your Best
Physical activities, emphasising new equipment
1989 Do Something For Yourself.
1812 Overture and whistle whilst you work
1996 The Army The Edge Traits of the Army, including discipline and action
2012 Rise. Challenge Yourself
Rising Sun Badge over the years Broadcast, print, online
2014 Do What You Love See the World
Learning and making an impact with trade-focused stories
Broadcast, print, online, digital, social 2017 Discover Your Army; This is my Army, our Army.
Similarities between civilian & military life
Broadcast, print, online, digital, social, mobile
Campaigns of the 1980s focused on job opportunities and the potential to create a new life through service; those in the 1990s noted Army traditions but also the process of modernization. For example, in the The Army the Edge campaign, run in the post-Vietnam but pre-Afghanistan engagement era, the key message revolved around discipline and action as key traits of the Army, while revealing how these traits supported the Armys humanitarian operations. Promotional campaigns sought to encourage recruitment and retention within the ADF, as well as establish a foundation for public opinion and perceptions, including of its treatment of employees and recipients of public services.
Yet these campaigns during the 1980s and 1990s did little to bridge the gap between public perceptions and the actual scale of service. Instead, they seemingly widened the distance between the Army and the Australian public. Continued inquiries into its operations, culture, and treatment of employees perpetuated the negative cycle; by all accounts, the Army was losing sight of the value it provided to the public. The strong Australian value that embraced the fair go translated into tangible objectives, including equality, equity, and diversity. Furthermore, austerity measures were accepted as necessary for revitalizing, recreating, and maintaining the ADFs brand relevance.
In the 2000s, sophisticated, multi-year campaigns featured integrated marketing communications. One such campaign, called Challenge Yourself, depicted a camouflage uniform worn as a second, secret skin, hidden under civilian clothes. Symbols that once offered proud public signals of a strong, almost defiant Army were carefully softened, hidden, or removed from promotional materials. In their place, the person behind the uniform became the central theme of an Army that existed to serve the people.
CHANGING THE GUARD
In Australias longest active military presence, the ADF has been in the Middle East since 2001, commencing with Operation Slipper in Iraq, within a month of the 9- 11 attacks, followed by Operation Catalyst in March 2003.^6 The international attention yielded increased defence spending that supported the provision of new technologies and equipment to the lean, wanting Army. However, increased operating costs and declining federal defence budgets during a Labour government administration (2007
- reduced Defence Force Recruitment (DFR) annual campaign spending, after which another change in government prompted a cash injection during 2013 20 14 (Exhibit 2).
EXHIBIT 2: DFR CAMPAIGN SPENDING BY FINANCIAL YEAR
2016 - 17 13.
- 15.4 3.2 3.0 34.
- 0.1 30,768 59,377 7,
- 15.4 3.2 3.0 34.
2015 - 16 12.
- 0.1 0.2 13 2.1 3.1 31.
- 0.3 30,464 59,065 7,
2014 - 15 19.
- 0.5 0.4 9.3 0.5 1.5 31.
- 0.3 30,383 58,839 7,
2013 - 14 19.
- 0.8 0.3 7.9 0.2 1.9 30.
- 0.1 28,580 56,395 7, 2012 – 13 11.4 0.1 2.6 0.5 4.8 0.2 1.1 20.8 – – 28,928 56,607 7, 2011 – 12 10.4 0.1 2.5 0.5 4.8 0.9 0.9 20 – – 29,697 57,994 6, Notes: Expenses in AUD Millions Sources:^1 Department of Finance 2017, 2 Dr Church 2014
But at the same time, stories of governments treatment of citizens and non-citizens were spreading throughout national media. Defence and immigration, two central topics in the 2013 federal election, proved reliable sources of debate and public commentary. With the arrival of the Liberal government, these two topics became policy, and the commencement of Operation Sovereign Borders^7 indicated a return to prominence in the coalition, akin to the Liberal government of 19932007.
Allegations of Australian soldiers involvement in civilian fatalities overseas and reports of poor treatment of refugees on Manus and Nauru Islands^8 compounded negative sentiments toward the Army. Recruitment and retention were suffering. Although it performed better than other military services (Navy and Air Force), the Army only achieved 91% of its minimum annual recruitment target in 2009,^9 and turnover increased to 2.2% during 2010 2012.^10 Repeated sexual offence scandals had prompted a first in the Armys history: The Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, issued a public warning to all servicemembers about behavioural misconduct, in what was referred to as the standards lecture.^11 The Chief became a social media star almost instantaneously. His public message also was followed by an internal cultural review, of a magnitude previously unseen in the ADF, which culminated in the First Principles initiative^12 to revamp and ensure change in the coming years.
TO CAMOFLAGE OR TO SHINE
Although some previous advertising campaigns had served the Army well, they had grown dated and less relevant, and funding cuts prior to 2013 further eroded the Armys salience among the Australian public. Even proud, direct messages to rise and challenge yourself in imagery featuring Army combat vehicles, equipment, and operations could not overcome the more recent, robust, political and sociocultural debates about overseas deployment and domestic border protection conveyed through the Australian media.
In awarding the vast ADF marketing and advertising contract to Havas, worth $93 million over three years, or $ 31 million annually,^13 the agency accounted for 31% of total ADF spending. For the ADF, it was a signal of distress. It needed an urgent overhaul, and granting the contract to Havas was another indicator, in that it signalled ADFs push for a transformational change.
The resulting campaign, Discover Your Army (DYA), was the product of a brand transformation exercise that placed the multicultural Australian public at its customer-centric core. In sharp contrast with hiding the person behind the uniform (as in the Challenge Yourself campaign), DYA revealed the person. Havas created 1 – minute advertisements (Exhibit 3), broadcast with an omni-channel approach across conventional television, cinema, and digital channels, as well as a significant extension to social and mobile channels,^14 all supported by a revitalised recruiting portal. This portal enabled ready access to
landing pages specific to each profiled person and his or her subsequent path within the Army.
A reassessment of Australias population also prompted Havass concerted effort to represent cultural diversity in the stories. In line with the ADFs broader target recruitment profiles, which sought to include culturally and linguistically diverse recruitment quotas (i.e., CAULD targets^15 ), the campaign includes various profiles that could serve as role models for different ethnic groups within Australia, as well as support Australias immigration-friendly international image and represent more culturally diverse Australian populations in the future.
EXHIBIT 3: DISCOVER YOUR ARMY PERSONAL NARRATIVES (PROFILES) Ellie: late 20searly 30s trainee pilot; always driven to find an exciting career; understood she has a goal-driven personality
Steph: mid-30s intelligence analyst, musician in her spare time; able to study Japanese, allowing her to travel to Japan for work, all expenses paid. Recognises but enjoys the pressure Army puts on people to meet their goals.
Rylee: cargo specialist in her late teens, appreciates the training and opportunities the Army has provided her to explore the world. Recognizes the positive changes in her life, which she attributes to her hard work in the Army.
Kayla [CAULD]: late teensearly 20s driver, who likes to box and rock climb, believes the Army has really brought her out of her shell, and enjoys the active lifestyle the Army offers her.
Matt: mid 30searly 40s pilot, connects flying as a child with his father to the job. Enjoys the freedom of flying and friends that the Army experience has brought him; his career never has a dull mo ment.
Murray [CAULD]: late 20searly 30s medic, loves to play sports, developing his skills in the Army after he felt he had little opportunity elsewhere. Enabled him to work toward a tertiary education and future while also enjoying an exciting career. Source: Defence Jobs Australia YouTube channel
This expanded perspective on new and existing members of the Army worked to redevelop the idea of Your Army for the wider public and for potential recruits. A re-assessment of value and public perceptions encouraged the use of hedonic attributes to pitch Army life to recruits. Rather than contrast it with the more altruistic, utilitarian value proposition for the wider public, Havas decided that authenticity would trump idealism, even when addressing the public directly.
ADDRESSING THE BIGGER QUESTIONS
Well-crafted, tiered messages prompted what was effectively a multiplying effect, in terms of achieving the campaigns multiple objectives. Re-gaining public trust, communicating attractive employment opportunities, and demonstrating public value were all key outcomes established for Havas. Using personal narratives, it altered the perception of a government institution responsible for providing national representational, security, and humanitarian assistance. It instead was pitched as an inclusive, almost ordinary workplace in which employees performed extraordinary tasks. This assertive proposition appealed to both the core recruitment market (expanded to address both the core age group of 16 24 – year- olds and a secondary, still important market of 25 34 – year-olds) and retention market (currently serving full-time, part-time, and standby members), in an effort to meet government targets.^16
By winning the bid to continue serving the ADF in 2017, Havas proved that its pitch had fallen on receptive ears. Between 2013 and 2014, total Army workforce figures increased by almost 1500 personnel, or 5%, matched only once before (in 2008 20 09) during the previous agencys decade of work.^17 Havas also had expanded its objectives, to include targeted campaigns to increase recruitment of women, and female workforce participation rose 1% per year on average during 2014 2016.^18 In addition, CAULD recruitment increased at a similar rate (specifically, among people with nonEnglish-speaking backgrounds 5.7%; indigenous peoples 1.51.8%; disabled persons 3.33.5%^19 20 ). Finally, it sought to
expand the ADFs profile to highlight its demographic representativeness of the Australian population.^21
Supported by government investments to change the ADF both internally and externally, through cultural reform and culturally inclusive communications, respectively, relevant value propositions related to inclusion, acceptance, and shared goals continued to create a pervasive change to the Australian Army brand. A new perspective, involving community-conscious consideration, portrayed the Australian Army as another public service offering that the Australian population could expect. By addressing different client groups with a newfound understanding of their unique motivations, particularly in seeking varied forms of membership in the Defence department, the initiative offered a range of value offerings and successfully appealed to many people in an individualistic, rather than collective, manner.
The resulting improvements were manifest in both the breadth and the depth of the target markets engagement, as reflected in the personal narratives of the DYA campaign. Continuing to open lines of communication represents an ongoing goal for the Army, as is beginning to be realised in its policies and procedures (e.g., relaxing rules about social media posting by military members; increasing official communications shared through social media channels). Such shifts encourage an active, dynamic public service discussion among taxpayers, who can participate on their own terms, regardless of whether they aim to subscribe or participate actively in defence efforts. Ultimately, all members of the Australian public have a right to expect quality service from the ADF.
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ncePersonnel [Accessed March 24, 2018] 18 Brown, G. 2016. 19 Department of Finance. 2017. Reports on Campaign Advertising – Department of Finance. Available at: https://www.finance.gov.au/advertising/campaign-advertising-reports.html March 24, 2018] 20 McIlroy, T. Australian Defence Force launches push for more diversity in Australian military The Sydney Morning Herald. Avilable at: https://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-defence-force-launches-push-for-more-diversity-in-australian-military- 20170730 – gxlkja.html. [Accessed 24 March, 2018]. 21 Huntley, M. 2018. Host/Havas Retains Creative & Digital Duties For Australian Defence Force Recruiting B&T Online. Available at: http://www.bandt.com.au/advertising/hosthavas-retains-creative-digital-duties-australian-defence-force-recruiting [Accessed 24 March, 2018].