River Plate veteran the voice behind hit Navy recruitment campaign
27 October 2012
The voice of the Navy's new recruitment campaign, Vince 'Cyclone' McGlone
The television commercial for the Navy’s new recruitment campaign quickly became a hit, driving thousands of extra visitors to the recruiting website, the Navy’s Facebook page and its YouTube link between its premier during New Zealand’s Got Talent on 23 September and the campaign’s conclusion on 14 October.
The commercial features the legendary Vince “Cyclone” McGlone—a veteran of HMS ACHILLES at the 1939 Battle of the River Plate—reciting the verses of God Defend New Zealand to a fast-moving video montage of Navy action.
It was shot over four days at the Devonport Naval Base and aboard HMNZS TE MANA with the help of many additional Navy personnel including the Operational Dive Team, 6 Squadron (the Navy’s Seasprite helicopters), Medics, the Recruit Training Squadron, Te Taua Moana Marae, the One Stop Clothing team and seamstresses and lastly Lieutenant Karl Vetter of the Fleet Support Organisation who pulled all the logistical requirements together.
By the end of the campaign, the commercial had driven more than 4000 new fans to “like” the Navy’s Facebook page (up from 6000 to 10,000).
Visitor numbers to the Navy’s recruitment website increased from 4054 in the previous three weeks to 12,437 during the three weeks of the campaign. The number of website pages viewed increased from 6958 to 18,417 in the same period.
More than 22,000 people viewed the 30-second, 60-second and special two-minute versions of the commercial on YouTube and almost 4000 voted in a Facebook survey asking what the best part about being in the Navy is.
The campaign’s objectives are to raise the awareness of what the Navy does, convey what a Navy career might look like for young New Zealanders and create interest among them to find out more. It is timed to encourage applications for the January 2013 Basic Common Training intake and will also be used for future campaigns.
Ninety-six year old Vince McGlone served in the NZ Division of the Royal Navy and the RNZN from 1932 to 1946 and was a gunner on HMS ACHILLES at the famous Battle of the River Plate near Montevideo, Uruguay, the first naval battle of World War II.
Despite his ship (along with HMS AJAX and HMS EXETER) coming under heavy fire and sustaining damage and casualties from the German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE, the three cruisers inflicted such damage on the much superiorly armed GRAF SPEE that it fled into the neutral Montevideo port, leading its captain to scuttle it rather than risk the lives of his sailors fighting their way through what they believed was a superior British force waiting for them.
Vince left the Navy in 1946, but still remembers and talks fondly about the amazing career he had; full of travel to overseas ports, opportunities, adventure and rare experiences.
He is one of just five remaining Navy sailors from ACHILLES but still has the same sense of belonging and feeling part of a tight community as he did during his sailing days.
He also often attends ceremonies at the Devonport Naval base and enjoys the laughter and camaraderie over a cup of hot tea in the Vince McGlone Galley that opened in 2011.
The commercial on YouTube is here.
The Navy’s recruitment website is here.
The Navy Facebook page is here.
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