In Conversation with Kieran Moroney

This year we want to highlight some of the ads and campaigns that grabbed our attention for all right reasons. The recent recruitment campaign for the Royal Australian Navy stopped us in our tracks and we appreciated the opportunity to talk to Kieran Moroney, VMLY&R Creative Director, about the work.

After more than a year of research, production, and approval processes, Kieran Moroney and his team launched their remarkable campaign for the Royal Australian Navy. The intent is to show how fulfilling life at sea can be, but  it is not the usual gung-ho delivery we have come to expect from defence force recruitment ads. This somehow manages to be both epic and intimate.

The campaign theme is ‘Live a Story Worth Telling’ and the TVC has a cinematic quality with moments of beauty and vulnerability breaking into the broader heroic sweep.

It shows the breadth of experience it’s possible to achieve from a career in the Navy.

“We wanted to show how different their world is”, said Moroney. “ It is remarkable and special”.

The TVC featuring Naval personnel was shot over 4 months off the coast of Tasmania, Victoria, Sydney, Townsville, Cairns as well as Garden Island and Rottnest Island in Western Australia. On the larger more complex shoot days in Cairns there were more than 100 people on set. Kieran Moroney was involved in the entire shoot except for a few days absence when his daughter was born. This will be another story worth telling, especially to her.

This advertising campaign mainly speaks to those looking for more from their working lives.

“We wanted to capture the generational shift”, said Moroney. “People are looking for careers with purpose, a real sense of contribution. They want to feel that what they do matters.”

He said the success of the campaign could be put down to ‘a spirit of real collaboration and impeccable organisation’.

Every element including the soundtrack and voice over reinforces the humanity of the message. The agency worked with an embedded detachment of naval personnel while developing the campaign and this collaboration led to the initial ideas and final result surviving research virtually unchanged. Moroney also made special mention of the production team who were able to change schedules at a moment’s notice –essential when you’re working with a naval fleet which has higher priorities than advertising.

From the outset this campaign was impressively ambitious in its scope, and everyone involved, including the Royal Australian Navy is deservedly proud of its emotional  richness and potential longevity.

Creative Agency: VMLY&R Australia
CCO: Paul Nagy

Group ECD: Jake Barrow
Creative Director: Kieran Moroney
Senior Copywriter: Jess Wheeler
Creative: Shane Geffen
Head of Design: Lewis Brown
Designer: Lewis Barnes, Simon Gray

Executive Producer: Rachel Rider

Senior Producer: Stevi Russell
Managing Director: Sarah Bailey
Group Business Director: Bindy Bassingthwaite // Rhys Thomas
Senior Account Director: Meaghan De Laurier
Account Director: Sarah Latremoille
Senior Account Manager: Alex Aikman // Madi Moorhead // Jen Moffatt
Account Executive: Jess Osrin // Tom Hogan

Production Company: DIVISION
Director: Jason Bock
MD | EP: Genevieve Triquet
Producer: Alice Grant
DOP: Jeremy Rouse

Offline: The Editors
Editor: Bernard Garry & Lily Davis

Online: Fin Design

Music Supervision: Big Sync Music
Musical Director: Ramesh Sathiah, MassiveMusic
Composer: Adrian Sergovich, MassiveMusic
Sound Design: Abby Sie, MassiveMusic
Voice Over Casting: Ralph van Dijk, Eardrum
Stills: FLINT

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