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BUILDING A SHIP OUT OF PEOPLE
One of the most important things to
remember about a warship is that it is
made up of people. It is not just steel,
machinery and high tech weapons
systems. It comprises a diverse
group of individuals from all walks
of life working in close knit teams
to achieve amazing things.
This idea was the premise for the
new Defence Force Recruiting (DFR)
brand print and online advertisement
for the Navy.
DFR Navy Marketing wanted a brand
advertisement to complement and
extend the successful Navy television
commercials. The intention was to
promote the compelling and unique
truths inherent in Navy, which would
serve to both motivate potential
candidates and inspire current
On 1 December 2009, DFR, advertising
agency George Patterson Y&R, world
renowned photographer Andréas
Smetana and HMAS Albatross
embarked on an ambitious photographic
shoot. The idea was to literally create
the shape of a frigate and the shape
of an LPA out of Navy personnel and
capture it as a photograph.
"Interestingly, it was once we were
on the shoot that we realised only
an organisation like the Navy could
make this ad. No one else has the
level of discipline needed to organise
themselves into such a unique shape,"
said Chris Northam, Senior Art Director
at George Patterson Y&R.
The photographs of the 'ships of
people' were built by lining Navy
personnel up to create the separate
layers of the ship. Staging was
employed to give the Navy personnel
the height required for the top levels.
The layers of the ship were then
constructed together digitally.
The Navy personnel from HMAS
Albatross and various units at Fleet
Base East participated in the shoot
for a long nine hour day, and were
subjected to constant uniform checks,
drill and many hours waiting around.
For photographer Andreas Smetana,
it was the first time he had worked
with DFR. "What I loved on this job
was the commitment the Navy people
showed. Such a good client to work
with, and I think very much part of the
shoot running smoothly," he said.
"It is always great to see the image come
to life, because you get stuck on seeing
the picture just in your head," he said.
The photographs have been used
to create magazine and press
advertisements, internet banners and
posters. The idea can be applied to a
variety of Navy platforms and different
Navy can be featured.
"It is a media neutral idea that can be
used across many mediums. DFR hopes
to undertake the same initiative with
Submariners to create a Collins Class
Submarine in 2010," said Lauren Rago
from Defence Force Recruiting.
A 'making of' video has also been
created of the shoot and can be seen
Defence Force Recruiting would like
to thank HMAS Albatross, Directorate
Recruitment Management Navy
and Directorate Navy Reputation
Management for their outstanding
support. An extra special thanks goes
to Warrant Officer Graeme Bromley,
Executive Officer HMAS Albatross Cmdr.
Darryn Jose and Leut. Kara Wansbury
from Fleet Public Affairs for helping
DFR realise this campaign.
BY LAUREN RAGO
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