Royal Navy creates pixelated recruitment campaign

Ad formed of QR codes can be scanned to reveal a hidden message.

Royal Navy: submarine appears using the structure of QR codes
Royal Navy: submarine appears using the structure of QR codes

The Royal Navy has created a digital out-of-home recruitment campaign featuring a large pixelated image that, when scanned, leads viewers to the service's recruitment website.

The ad, "The most secret job in the world hides in plain sight" by Engine, promotes the Navy's most classified division. An image of a submarine disappearing below the ocean surface is deconstructed and rebuilt using the structure of QR codes.

The tech-driven campaign by creatives Hugo Isaacs and Chris De Roza takes advantage of the recent revival of QR codes spawned from their use at leisure and entertainment venues.

The spot will appear for two days from today (21April) on three screens in London's Westfield centres in Eat Street, Meridian Steps and Northern Ticket Hall and across The Loop networks in Birmingham and Manchester. Media planning is by Ocean Outdoor.

At Eat Street, Look Out audience detection technology will be deployed during a three-hour domination each day. When audiences are detected looking at the screen for more than five seconds, the static QR image begins to move, triggering the submarine to disappear below the waves.

This campaign follows last year's TV ads, also created by Engine, that tell the stories of submariners with some classified information pixelated out.

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