Summer is a huge time of year for armed services recruiting. We see a lot of recruiters integrating experiential elements into their efforts – from pushup contests at NASCAR, to stand-alone events modeled after training and teambuilding exercises.

We’ve been working with recruiting forces for a US military service group to boost their efforts for the past couple of years now, and this summer it’s shaping up to be a fantastic program. We put Ricoh FotoZap® Cameras into the hands of dozens of guardsmen across the nation, and created an online platform that integrated into the service’s website to create a bridge to their “Talk to a Soldier” program.

Using Picture Marketing has amplified the US recruiting effort in a couple of key ways. The photo opp acts as an icebreaker, giving recruiters a smooth point of entry for a conversation with passers-by. When campaigns include an experiential element like a physical fitness challenge, the photos commemorate the accomplishment.

Insert-a-Face Photo Game for recruiters

As with most Picture Marketing integrations, users pass through a brief survey before viewing their photos. The campaign survey allows recruiters to collect contact information from each participant, much like they would do with paper and a clipboard on most occasions. But by moving that process to an online platform (and incentivizing it with the gift of a free photo), the campaign streamlines the data collection process and eliminates manual sign-ups and data entry. We think it’s pretty clever.

Notably, this recruiting campaign features our Insert-a-Face™ application. Insert-a-Face allows individuals to add their photo to a branded scene. It lets us bring the action online, and adds another experiential element that helps the campaign live beyond the event itself. In the recruiting service’s case, there are dozens of scenes to choose from. Participants can be a sports hero, an action hero, or a national hero… and invite their friends to do the same.

Insert-a-Face is one of our Virtual Greenscreen™ apps, which means that it can be combined with other VG options so that users can add text to the scene, drag and drop photo elements or props, and play around with fancy recoloring and resizing options to make their faces fit right in to the scene (dare we say… camouflage?).

We’ve also incorporated a slew of social networking options into the recruiting service’s Microsite, so that creative Insert-a-Face app users can share their masterpieces with friends. Which, incidentally, is helping to drive the service’s Facebook fans likers through the roof. Last month, the site had over 48% of its 19,000 unique visitors go through Facebook to see the photos.