US Navy wins World’s Best Social Media Campaign

Detroit-based agency Campbell Ewald were announced yesterday as the winners of the Grand Prix at the 2015 Warc Prize for Social Strategy for their campaign to recruit cryptologists for the US Navy.

Based on a simple strategy of micro targeting “using the one thing that will interest them the most”, Campbell Ewart created Project Architeuthis – an alternative reality game where characters, cryptologic clues, tips and updates were revealed via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr – knowing that the brightest cryptology minds can never resist a seemingly impossible puzzle.

A campaign video showed how the project team laid the digital breadcrumbs to capture the imagination of potential recruits. The 18-day game activated on the U.S. Navy’s Cryptology & Technology Facebook page about a fictitious top-secret weapons system project. Not only did it attract exactly the type of minds Navy Cryptology was looking to recruit, it also dramatically increased the social traffic.

Warc summed up why it won: “Not only was the campaign an incredible engagement success, the Navy’s analysis demonstrated that as participation increased, so did the likelihood of cryptology enlistment: with no paid media, Project Architeuthis had fused target insights, channel knowledge and creativity into one holistic, powerful idea.”

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