Basic Event Information
Location: Online (online SACO fair)
Organiser: Brand Arena Nordic Group AB
Client: Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten)
EVENT CATEGORY: CATEGORY B2C
EVENT SUBCATEGORY: Best Brand Activation
EVENT FORMAT: DIGITAL
Event description and key objectives
Digital Escape Room project at the online Saco fair for The Armed Forces.
The Armed Forces is a Swedish authority whose ultimate task is to preserve the country’s freedom and protect our right to choose how we should live. Prior to the Swedish Armed Forces’ participation in Saco’s student fair, BANG Agency was commissioned to be responsible for the booth. In order to attract the target group, we needed to stand out from the crowd. Among the young target group, The Armed Forces could be seen as a “boring” and “strict” authority. We wanted to change this perception and move The Armed Forces identity into the future – to the younger people, online. We created a digital escape room – an exciting collaborative exercise where students got to do something fun, and at the same time got connected to employees at The Armed Forces. The concrete, measurable goal was to have an occupancy of 50% for all slot times, i.e. an average of 2.5 participants per slot time.
The purpose of the Armed Forces’ participation at the Saco fair was to increase knowledge of the Armed Forces’ various offers and to be seen as a potential and interesting employer. The challenge was to interact with the visitors and to draw attention online to our digital booth. We created an appreciated digital activation that stood out from the crowd, engaged the target group, and attracted visitors to the Armed Forces’ digital booth. The activation should feel analogous and innovative, even though the fair was digital.
With the help of research, we concluded that other exhibitors at trade fairs such as SACO don’t have any form of interactive activations, with some exceptions for seminars. Therefore, we decided to create a digital activation that engaged the target group and made the Armed Forces stand out at the fair. We would also bring awareness to our activation by making a cool ad on SACO’s start page. During our customer journey, we realized that it was important to create a fun and unexpected digital activation that would appeal to all genders. We came up with the idea to create a digital Escape Room – an exciting collaborative exercise that tests a lot of skills you also need with The armed forces as an employer; quick on your feet, quick-thinking, good collaboration skills and time management. Digital Escape rooms are a popular activity within the target group in real life, and we, therefore, believed it would attract the target group to a new context in a digital space.
The solution was innovative and fun, perfect for the target group. Moreover, the secret message “future” also led to a natural conversation between the Armed Forces to talk to the young people who participated in the activity. They could ask all the questions they wanted, high and low and of course ask about their future vision and whether they see the Armed Forces as a potential employer. If the student didn’t see the Armed Forces as an interesting employer in the future before, they maybe can after this activation.
Visitors booked a playing time and, via zoom, met a professional soldier stationed in a dark office. We had set up a landing page which you were redirected to when you clicked on our digital ad. Once on the landing page, there was a booking system where you could choose a slot time. When the activation started, the soldier held a quick summary and instructions and informed them that in the end there would be time for them to ask questions. Then the clock started, and their problem-solving ability was tested as visitors would instruct the military to find hidden letters. Before the time runs out, they must have found all the letters and combined them to find the secret message. The secret message was the word “future”. This, in turn, led to a natural conversation between the Armed Forces to talk to the young people who participated in the activity and ask about their future vision and whether they see the Armed Forces as a potential employer in the future.
The concrete, measurable goal was to have an occupancy of 50% for all slot times, i.e. an average of 2.5 participants per slot time. We had 53 slots distributed over the three days of the fair. We had 206 participants who actively participated in the activation via zoom. It gave us an average of 3.8 participants per slot time, and we exceeded our goal in every conceivable way because the activity was so popular! With its 1385 clicks, the ad for the Escape room was also the Saco fair’s most clicked ad ever.
Except for great measurable results, we also got to have 53 good quality talks, one at the end of every slot time, and received very good feedback from the participants.
The use of sustainable practices
During the talks with the visitors, The Armed Forces had the opportunity to talk about their social and economical sustainability work focused on work environment, procurement, gender equality and circular economy. The sustainability work is based on the UN’s global goals for sustainable development according to Agenda 2030, and Sweden’s environmental goals. According to the mapping that the Swedish Armed Forces has done to identify how the authority works with sustainability, it is clear that the authority affects and contributes positively to most of the seventeen goals in Agenda 2030.