In insecure times, codes and codebreakers matter more than ever. So military and intelligence services worldwide face a problem – how to recruit people with the very specialist skills and interests required to become cryptologists and break high-level codes? In 2014 the US Navy launched Project Architeuthis, its innovative stab at cracking this particular conundrum.
Architeuthis was a recruiting program with a difference. It centred on an augmented reality game, where players, alone or in teams, followed a trail of clues around the web to solve extremely hard cryptology puzzles. The prize was an unusual one – encouragement to apply to become a Navy cryptologist.
The game was a massive success. Fuelled by a bubble of media attention from Mashable to the Daily Telegraph, wannabe code-crackers from around the world took part, and the US Navy found enough people to fill its recruiting quota.
Project Architeuthis won enormous acclaim among marketers and the media for its sheer cleverness and its elegant solution to a tough recruiting challenge. It carried off the WARC Social Strategy prize this year, and it’s a deserved winner.
But the very things that make it such a great project also point to one of the biggest challenges for using social media effectively as a marketer. How do you get lightning to strike, not just twice, but repeatedly? Continue reading