RAF film highlights humanitarian role

J. Walter Thompson has created a dramatic cinema commercial for the Royal Air Force which aims to update the RAF’s image beyond its traditional ’defence of the realm’ role.

J. Walter Thompson has created a dramatic cinema commercial for the

Royal Air Force which aims to update the RAF’s image beyond its

traditional ’defence of the realm’ role.



The film, entitled ’payload’, is the RAF’s first major advertising

campaign since the end of the Cold War. The 60-second execution kicks

off with a shot of civilians running across a war-torn landscape,

reminiscent of scenes seen in news reports from the former Yugoslavia.

The civilians, including women and children, are desperately trying to

escape the onslaught of tanks, guns and snipers.



The footage, which was all shot on location in the UK, is set to a

powerful dance track by the Manchester-based band, 808 State. The music

is intercut with snatches of bulletins from news agencies saying such

things as: ’... due to the escalating crisis ...’, ’... people are

terrified. They are desperate.’



At this point, the RAF moves into action. Its jets take off for the

war-zone - doing some nifty stunts on the way. At first it seems the RAF

is about to enter the conflict as the planes move closer to their

target.



However, it slowly emerges that the force’s role is purely

humanitarian.



The planes fly over derelict villages, dropping essential supplies to

the victims below. The film ends with a voice announcing: ’There is

hope.’ The endline reads: ’Their country needs you.’



The film is one of the first commercials directed by Vaughan Arnell

since he split from his partner, Anthea Benton, last August. The ad was

produced by Godman, the new Soho-based production company set up at the

start of this year by Jo Godman, the former managing director of RSA

Films.



The ad was written and art directed by the JWT creative team, Nick

Wooton and Jonathan John. It breaks this Saturday in cinemas across the

country.



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