U.S. Air Force Academy
Recruitment in the Digital Age
As one of the top-ranking colleges in the world with an acceptance rate of only 12%, the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) is duty-bound to reach the best of the best through its recruitment strategy. Yet, finding the high-achieving students and athletes built to survive the rigors of military life is a needle in a haystack situation. Prospective students are inundated with options when it comes to choosing the path their education will take and with each class it becomes more challenging to cut through the noise. USAFA needed an extraordinary recruitment campaign to attract extraordinary students.
To achieve this, we created an epic multi-part 360º simulation that can be experienced on desktop, headset, and (most impressively) as a communal immersive theater event inside the historic planetarium at the Air Force Academy campus outside Colorado Springs, Colorado.
USAFA spent $5 million over a 15-year period renovating the school’s planetarium but they had no standing-ovation worthy material to screen in it. With the use of VR technology and our own proprietary post-processes, we designed a 360º immersive theater installation that allows students and their families to find out what it’s like to learn, live, and fly as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy.
Click and drag on the interactive 360 photo below to find the play button and watch a clip of the live planetarium experience.
Through this adrenaline-fueled experience, you can immerse yourself in the daily life of a cadet and experience first hand what it’s like to pilot a glider, parachute into a football game, fight in a war simulation, and work on a project with a NASA scientist.
Through this project, thousands of visitors a week discovered the historic campus and USAFA exceeded their recruitment goals for the next generation of military leaders.
As Andrew Hamilton, USAFA’s Marketing Lead put it–
Within months the planetarium became one of the top-rated tourist destinations in Colorado and the virtual tour was generating 31,000 new leads yearly.
The cumulative edition of this campaign was in the form of an interactive virtual tour that can be viewed on any platform or device from anywhere in the world. In creating this virtual tour, we employed a non-linear storytelling structure that allowed users to choose their own adventure and behavior-driven algorithms that delivered intelligent calls-to-action based on each user’s personal interests.