The Royal Canadian Legion is marking this Remembrance Day with two campaigns to reach gamers who play war games and have them pause to remember the real soldiers that fought for freedom.
One campaign builds off the Legion’s ‘Digital Poppy’ campaign last year and looks to recruit a new generation of supporters online, while the other is an in-game remembrance of fallen soldiers in Fortnite.
With the help of Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube, along with some of the more recognized influencers and gamers from around the world, the ‘Pause to Remember’ campaign asks gamers to hold an online gaming cease fire that occurs during the moment of silence at 11am, on 11 November.
Prominent players such as PrismaticHub and BigTimeRob have been recruited with the goal to make this a global event. Other global players will be encouraged to pay their respects to both veterans and soldiers currently serving by sharing their efforts and support with their followers under the hashtag #PauseToRemember.
“We recognized the impact that digital media could make in reaching a broader and younger audience with our message,” says Legion Dominion president Thomas D. Irvine. “We need to be relevant in spaces where younger audiences are spending more of their time. This campaign allows us to have a voice that encourages support and awareness in the digital space.”
The film targeting online gamers uses war footage juxtaposed against familiar icons and sounds from the gaming world. The footage pauses as a text-over interrupts the action to remind gamers to pause to remember that war is not a game.
Working with the Legion’s presenting sponsor, HomeEquity Bank, the campaign was created by Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo. Other elements include a series of public service announcements created across TV, online video, and social media. In addition, within the commercial to the mainstream audience, Ardwell “Art” Eyres, one of Canada’s oldest war veterans, was recruited to become the world’s oldest social influencer.
In another effort to reach this younger audience, the Legion has launched ‘Remembrance Island’, a custom Fortnite island featuring recreations of WWI trenches, D-Day beaches, a Canadian military cemetery, the well-known Vimy Ridge memorial cenotaph and more. The island can be accessed in the game’s Creative Mode using the island code 5033-3302-4847.
“It’s our hope that young Canadians will take a few moments to visit this unique environment and learn about the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom,” said Freeman D. Chute, senior program officer at the Royal Canadian Legion. “As time goes on, we have to find new ways to reach young people and tell the story of Canadian veterans. This is a fantastic example of how to do just that.”
The island takes advantage of Fortnite’s graphics and effects, but unlike standard Fortnite gameplay, the only objective for gamers is to discover the 30 museum-like information plaques and follow the poppies until they reach a memorial cenotaph at a central point of the map. There is no fighting, damage or weaponry on Remembrance Island.
The island was conceived by Toronto agency Wunderman Thompson and brought to life through a collaboration with a Fortnite Creative Builder known as JXDVN.