‘A Cut Above’ Indian Air Force woos youth to join its ranks

With its new campaign, created by Grey Group India and shot by Asylum Films, the Indian Air Force is hoping that it can attract the right candidates to join the ranks


Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag (centre) with honourary Group Captain of IAF, Sachin Tendulkar, on the occasion of the 84th Air Force Day parade at Hindon Air Force base in Ghaziabad on Saturday. Photo: PTI
Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag (centre) with honourary Group Captain of IAF, Sachin Tendulkar, on the occasion of the 84th Air Force Day parade at Hindon Air Force base in Ghaziabad on Saturday. Photo: PTI

Mumbai: It’s a job like no other, and far more exciting and challenging than any average nine to five. With its new campaign , created by Grey Group India and shot by Asylum Films, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is hoping that it can attract the right candidates to join the ranks. The campaign that comprises three television commercials, radio spots, 20 different press ads and 40 different hoardings, also commemorates the 84th anniversary of the IAF.

The idea behind the campaign was to highlight the glory and bravado associated with life in the IAF. It was based on a simple human insight, said a statement from the agency, “There is an innate wanderlust in every one of doing new things, a quest for knowledge, exploring new places or meeting new people and a need to get more out of different aspects of life. The campaign aims to motivate the youth to join the Indian Air Force family and be ‘A Cut Above’ from the potential derived from the regular job.”

Shot across the country, including air force bases such as Leh, Pokhran, Hindon, and Pune, over two months, the campaign shows how a position in the IAF is a cut above the same experience in a regular day job. “Here, ambition goes beyond a corner office on the top floor. Colleagues don’t just share food, they share fate. A job in the Indian Air Force is an opportunity to do everything, except, only better,” said Varun Goswami, executive creative director Grey Group India.

No file footage was used for the ad whether it was the fighter jet sortie or the plane formations in mid-air—everything was shot for the campaign.

Director Razneesh Ghai had to work within certain limitations. Considering that a fighter jet cannot accommodate more than one or two people, some of the footage of the jets flying and the formations for the campaign was shot with special cameras that were fitted on to the pilot’s helmet. “We actually worked with the pilots and showed them similar footage to give them an idea of what shots to get and what angle to tilt their head at while capturing these shots,” said Goswami, adding that all the people in the campaign were actively associated with the IAF. “We didn’t use any models, as it is important to stay authentic, if you want to inspire young people.”

Samir Datar, senior vice-president and office head, Grey Group India, said that while the IAF has always been an aspiration for those who want to join the armed forces, for a while interest in the organization has been waning. “This campaign aims to attract even those who have stopped looking at armed forces and Indian Air Force as a career option,” he said.

The campaign will soon see the launch of two other television commercials, and numerous print, outdoor and radio ads over the next few months. The films will focus on different aspects of the IAF, which include the search and rescue operations, its fire power in the form of fighter jets, transport and choppers, ground operations as well as the Garud commando force, the special forces under the IAF.

“The film seeks to inspire people to consider the Indian Air Force as a career. The selling point is ‘a career that is exciting, not run-of-the-mill and fulfilling’. The film deploys high quality, hi-adrenaline visuals and a script that contrasts the Air Force career against a 9 to 5 desk job, to create a sense of pride in the former.”

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