Marketing and Advertising RFP Issued By Department of National Defense

Marketing and Advertising RFP Issued By Department of National Defence


The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) requires the services of a firm specializing in marketing and advertising using a mix of traditional and digital channels, in support of the Canadian Armed Forces attraction program in support of recruiting. Services to be provided include account management, creative and strategic development, brand development, production management services (creative and technical), digital engagement strategies, and possibly more, in support of advertising campaigns. Using various digital and social media tactics, the contractor will conceptualized and create local, regional, national strategies and creative content that is compliant with the technical standards of numerous digital channels (internet, mobile, social media, video, etc…) and be able to strategically target young Canadians of various backgrounds.

Media planning and buying is undertaken by the Agency of Record (AOR). As such, the contractor will need to work in close collaboration with the AOR in order to determine appropriate technical specifications for the mediums indicated in the media plan to reach the target audience. The creative products are the primary focus of the contractor whereas the media planning, media strategy, buying and programming functions rest with the AOR.


The Department of National Defence’s Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs), through the Director General, Marketing (DGM) and Director, Marketing and Advertising (DMA), in consultation with Chief Military Personnel, is responsible for implementation of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) marketing and advertising programs in support of recruiting. Responding to the recent defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, and the Fall 2016 Report of the Auditor General of Canada, DND and the CAF must make recruitment a priority and increase the number of members in order to meet its defence needs. In addition, the CAF needs to establish appropriate representation goals for women for each occupation and for people with diverse backgrounds (Indigenous peoples and visible minorities) and implement targeted measures to attract enough qualified applicants for all occupations for which it is difficult to attract applicants.

To meet these objectives, DND/CAF launched the nationwide digital recruitment advertising campaign Dare to be Extraordinary in 2017 to generate awareness for the numerous and diverse career opportunities available in the CAF. DMA has the mandate to support the recruitment efforts and objectives of the CAF by maintaining a  high level of awareness about the CAF, promoting the CAF as an employer of choice and dispelling myths about life in the CAF using marketing and advertising strategies and tactics. In addition, a Priority Occupations campaign has continued annually until the present. The objective of this campaign is to fill in-demand positions in the CAF as quickly as possible in order to maintain its operational capability.  All campaign elements promote a call-to-action that drives the target audience to jobs, a content-rich source of information about careers, education and life in the CAF.

All recruitment marketing follows an Integrated Marketing Approach. This approach prescribes uniform messaging and a common look and feel across all DND/CAF recruitment channels, including: advertising and marketing campaigns,, recruiting centres, exhibits and displays, events, and recruitment support products.

Scope of Work:

Advertising Objectives and Expected Results Objectives

The requested Canadian Armed Forces advertising will:

  • Maintain the awareness of the Canadian Armed Forces;
  • Ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces brand remains visible and credible.
  • Using a call to action, increase the level of attraction of serious and quality candidates, especially among the target age group of 18 to 34, who would consider a full- or part-time military career in the Canadian Armed Force or the Reserve Force;
  • Motivate a greater number of young Canadians of all races, gender and background to contact a Canadian Armed Forces recruiter through, the e-recruiting website, or by going to a Canadian Armed Forces recruiting centre or a Reserve unit;
  • Encourage more women and visible minorities to seek out information on various job opportunities with the CAF;

Other objectives may be determined by the Project Authority (PA) depending on the campaign and target audience(s). The Contractor shall deliver services to achieve these objectives on an as-and-when- required basis. The Contractor will be authorized to perform particular tasks and submit appropriate deliverables by Task Authorizations pursuant to the resulting contract.

Expected Results

Over the next few years, the CAF must increase the Regular Force by 3,500 members (to 71,500) and the Reserve Force by 1,500 members (to 30,000). In addition, by 2026 the proportion of the CAF  represented by women, visible minorities and Indigenous peoples must be increased to the following: women to 25%, visible minorities to 12% and Indigenous peoples to 3.5%.

To be considered successful, the marketing and advertising campaigns are intended to:

  • Maintain the awareness of the Canadian Armed Forces’ employment opportunities.
  • Persuade a greater number of prospects, including women and Canadians with diverse backgrounds (Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and their influencers), explore opportunities, consider a career in the Canadian Armed Forces, and ultimately apply.
  • Fill in-demand jobs in the Army, Navy and Air Force, Health Services and CANSOF as required.

Target Audience(s)

Primary Target Audience – Canadians 18 to 34 Years Old

This primary target audience is segmented by life stage with tailored messaging to address their unique motivations and barriers with an emphasis on:

  • Diverse audience: women, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and their influencers
  • Targeted high-schools, colleges and university campuses, and specific education programs
  • Young adults in specific trades and professions – to recruit for our difficult to fill occupations
  • Women in non-conventional jobs such as firefighters.

Secondary Target Audience – Influencers and Intermediaries

This audience is composed of adults, between 30 and 60 years of age, and includes: parents, family members, educators, guidance counselors, community leaders and other individuals who play a role in the career decisions of the target audiences.

Key Messages

  • The Canadian Armed Forces is a first-class, professional employer that offers rewarding and challenging careers with competitive pay and benefits;
  • Serving your country from which you obtain a sense of purpose and belonging.
  • A career with the Canadian Armed Forces can take many forms: long-term or short-term; full-time or part-time;
  • There are more than 100 different career opportunities in the Canadian Armed Forces;
  • The Canadian Armed Forces is an inclusive workplace that is working to reflect Canadian society; all genders from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds are welcome.
  • Benefits include: Paid education, paid leave and life-long skills

Other messages may be determined by the Project Authority (PA) depending on the campaign and target audience(s).

Environmental Considerations

The CAF faces a recruitment conundrum: while the vast majority of Canadians have a positive  impression of the people in the CAF, only a small majority of Canadians would recommend it as a career. Source: DND’s Views on the Canadian Armed Forces – 2016 Tracking Study (Phoenix SPI)

  • Today, 90% of Canadians have a positive impression of the people who serve in the CAF, but just 57% of Canadians would view favourably the decision of a young person joining the CAF.
  • 29% of Canadians consider Canada’s military to be “modern,” whereas almost as many (21%) think of the military as “outdated.”
  • 28% of Canadians say the CAF does a poor job taking care of personnel compared to 63% who say the CAF does a good job.
  • 49% of Canadians say that the CAF does a poor job of dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace compared to 33% who say the CAF does a good job.

While visible minority Canadians have very positive views of the CAF organization, comparable with the general population, they are slightly less likely than the general population to consider it a top-of-mind career. Visible minority youth were not likely to rule out the military because it was unknown but rather put the military aside in favour of alternatives – most notably, entering civilian university. Need to showcase that the CAF provides education, training and experience that will open doors for you throughout your life.

Women surveyed demonstrate having a generally favourable impression of the CAF and a particularly favourable impression of the people who serve in the CAF.

  • Women who are still students or only working part-time are more likely to consider a career in the CAF than those who are already employed full time.
  • Statistically speaking, no women are currently identifying the military as the career of greatest interest. Conversely, the military is the second most common answer when women are asked which career is of least interest, ranking behind only mining and selected as often as banking.
  • The pool of women likely to consider a career in the CAF triples if women discover it is possible for them to pursue their career of greatest interest within the Forces.
  • The logical implication of simultaneously wanting career paths that are offered within the CAF and not wanting a military career are that women have a definition of a military career that either precludes or excludes the thought of pursuing a career of greatest interest (e.g. healthcare).
  • The pay, an intellectual challenge, a satisfactory work-life balance and the existence of job opportunities in the field are the most common considerations in determining whether a career path is of interest.
  • Women most want to avoid careers that are physically risky; are deemed to offer poor work-life balance; and options that would require moving far away.

Services Required

The Contractor will be required to liaise regularly with the Agency of Record (AOR) to ensure alignment between the creative and media strategies.

Strategic Planning and Development Services

The Contractor will be required to produce an overarching campaign strategy. The campaign must ensure maximum exposure among the target audiences, within the budget available, in order to meet DND’s objectives. The strategy must include general awareness for millennials and sub-targeted campaigns to persuade a greater number of women and Canadians with diverse backgrounds (Indigenous peoples and visible minorities) to join the Canadian Armed Forces.

As part of the strategy, the contractor will need to include optimization of marketing campaigns to reach women and visible minorities more specifically in order to communicate more directly and effectively with these groups and communities. Using segmentation tools to identifying the appropriate demographic and behavioral data to better qualify and reach the targeted audience will be necessary in order to speak to these cultural communities and maximize our spending.

The strategy should include:

  • Initial media strategy discussion with Agency of Record (media)
  • a summary of the insights that support the strategic recommendation(s);
  • a description of the creative idea, the central message(s), sub message (s) and a rationale of why the idea will resonate with the target audience(s);
  • clear and specific content
  • measurable objectives;
  • production budgets per tactic;
  • critical path; and
  • evaluation process (including benchmarks against industry and other relevant standards).

For all creative, as applicable to each medium, the contractor is required to:

  • Oversee and provide direction on overall quality of all creative elements, concepts, development, and production of all advertising products as well as any marketing/partnership materials developed in support of the advertising products;
  • Produce creative concepts in the form of mock-ups, story boards, treatments, or scripts;
  • Provide creative material for focus testing in both official languages, and other languages, if required;
  • Revise and finalize the creative concept based on focus testing results and/ or PA’s recommendations; as well as changes that can arise throughout the approval process;
  • Write and edit text for all drafts through to final materials;
  • Translate/adapt to the other official language and non-official language(s) all text for drafts through to final materials;
  • Work with the AOR to remain fully informed on media specifications prior to presenting concepts.
  • Produce graphics, photographs and design layouts through to pre-press for all printed materials;
  • Script, shoot, and post-produce through to final edit for broadcast, video, and cinema materials;
  • Design, program and test through to final release for new media and Internet materials;
  • Print, resize or duplicate copies (including quality assurance) for distribution to media outlets;
  • Acquire all copyrights (for pictures and artwork) and negotiate talent fees following appropriate Canadian unions (e.g. Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), Union des Artistes (UDA);
  • Distribute (traffic) materials to media outlets for non-digital creative and to the AOR for digital creative;
  • Deliver a CD master copy of final materials (including all working files) to the PA; and
  • Manage and ensure quality control of sub-contractors’ work.

Due Date:

February 5, 2018


National Printing Bureau
45 Sacré-Coeur Blvd., 2nd Floor Room C2104-85
Gatineau Quebec, Canada

Strong government PR firms include Ketchum PR and Burson Marsteller.

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