How do you celebrate thirty years of a Royal Navy icon?
The Merlin Helicopter, referred to affectionately as the ‘navy’s workhorse,’ is one of the most flexible aircraft in operation today. First launched in October 1991, the Merlin Mk1 programme was the largest and most sophisticated systems integration project of its kind, providing the Royal Navy with 44 helicopters, state-of-the-art training, and full maintenance and support.
In 2006, building on that successful legacy, a new programme of 30 upgraded and enhanced Mk2 helicopters extended Merlin’s service with the Royal Navy. Merlin Mk2 is now renowned for its unmatched versatility. As well as its primary role of anti-submarine warfare, the Merlin has been used in search and rescue, troop transport and casualty evacuation around the globe. What better way then, to mark three decades, than looking back to where it all began?
Harland and Wolff are arguably the world’s most famous shipbuilders, perhaps best-known for the ill-fated Titanic. But H&W has come a long way since 1912. Now under new management, the company has bold ambitions as a disruptor, pioneering twenty-first century maritime and offshore engineering.
As part of relaunching Harland and Wolff, engage was commissioned to write and produce a new brand movie. Recognising the company’s 160-year history, our script reflects the passion and dedication of a new breed of engineers working across the company’s new sites, including in Belfast, home to the totemic ‘Samson and Goliath’. The film has been met with wide acclaim both within and outside the organisation.
Since then, we’ve worked on bid communications to help H&W cement their place among the world’s most forward-thinking and disruptive engineering companies.
BAE Systems help their customers stay a step ahead when it comes to protecting people, national security, critical infrastructure and vital information. One of the ways the company is able to do this is through their significant investments in Research and Development. But how can you summarise such a massive undertaking across such a diverse company?
To inform customers, government and press about the scale and impact of BAE Systems’ extraordinary R&D activities, Engage produces ‘Innovators’ in digital and print. From interviewing engineers about complex technologies to copywriting, design and production, we work in partnership with the company’s CTO team to capture and communicate the wealth of vibrant innovations throughout the business.
As a result, Innovators is not only a showcase for external stakeholders, but also a celebration of the incredible ‘Innovators’ behind technology advances which will benefit us all.
The Fleet Air Arm Museum is one of the Royal Navy’s flagship museums. It tells the incredible story of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm from its infancy to the present day. Or, as we liked to call it: ‘from Fairy Swordfish to F-35’. In 2022, the museum undertook a major refurbishment of its aircraft carrier exhibition and Engage was asked by Lockheed Martin to develop a unique F-35 exhibit.
Using unique flying footage and our own Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI), we created a film to tell The F-35’s story of incredible power and precision, projected over a moving scale model of the aircraft. A short snippet of that film is included here, but to experience the full effect, and for an incredible day out, visit: https://www.fleetairarm.com/
Since the very first Chain Home Early Warning system during the Second World War, Raytheon has been instrumental in the development of RADAR. So much so, that today more than two-thirds of the world’s air traffic is managed by Raytheon’s technologies. Chief among these is the Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR), invented by Raytheon and used in air traffic control to manage aircraft movements around the globe.
To introduce the new Condor MSSR Mk3, Raytheon commissioned Engage to create a short, modular promotional film for use across media. Working closely with the technical team, we were able to identify key benefits and animate these into a compelling story of an even more accurate, reliable, efficient and affordable product which maintains Condor’s position. As well as the film, we developed a new strapline for the Raytheon Air Traffic Management business: When you think RADAR, Think Raytheon.
BAE Systems exists to protect and serve those who protect and serve us. With a proud pedigree of innovation, the company remains at the forefront of technologies that keep our armed forces safe and removed from harm’s way.
For exhibition and presentation use, Engage was commissioned to communicate the benefits of one such technology, LDEW. Laser Directed Energy Weapons have the power to transform the way adversaries are targeted, offering the potential for greater accuracy, smaller impact areas and reduced casualties and cost. We felt the most effective way to show the capability would be to create a short film of LDEW in action…
Flogas provides gas to homes and businesses in the UK who don’t have access to mains gas. Already, switching to Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) offers major CO2 emissions savings over other fossil fuels (12% less than oil and up to 33% less than coal), but Flogas is going further, faster to help reach net zero by 2040.
Engage was commissioned by Flogas to make a short film to accompany their new 2040 Vision Report, highlighting the company’s positive plans to help tackle climate change.
BAE Systems has a long history of innovation, and of working across industry and academia to stimulate new thinking and fresh ideas. These innovations are often found among a community of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who sometimes lack the relevant capability and exposure to discuss their ideas with the wider marketplace and potential buyers in government.
We helped BAE Systems to create ‘Innovations Live’ to address this opportunity. Bringing together academia, industry and government, we helped to craft a two-day event to share the latest challenges in the defence sector. With over 60 interactive exhibition stands, and five hours of animated plenary content, the event helped to confirm BAE Systems’ reputation for positive innovation.
Raytheon is a technology and innovation leader specialising in defence, security and other commercial markets around the globe. Each year, the company undertakes a ‘Quadcopter Challenge’ STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) education programme for schools. But in 2021, their normal round of school visits, quarterly and national finals was impossible as a result of the global pandemic.
Coinciding with the need to move activities on-line, came the latest NASA Mars Mission, presenting us with a unique opportunity. So, we scripted and produced a series of short films to promote the Quadcopter Challenge as a ‘Mission to Mars’, engaging teams and schools throughout the competition, climaxing in a national virtual final.
A modern warship is a complex amalgam of technologies that enable the vessel to float, fight and fire, while offering maximum protection to those aboard. BAE Systems provides the UK Royal Navy with its ‘Shared Infrastructure’, a digital backbone which supports all those systems which turn a ship into a warship.
Engage was asked by BAE Systems to create a short explainer film to highlight the benefits of Shared Infrastructure, for use at events and exhibitions, as well as across social media. Further edits were then developed in support of specific meetings and presentations.
tpgroup plc is a global leader is a consulting, digital solutions and engineering services business. Building on its successful pedigree in gas and atmosphere management (including support of the UK’s Royal Navy submarine fleet), tpgroup asked us to help launch their new Hydrogen capability.
As a result of lockdown restrictions, tpgroup created a virtual event for press and select customers, which Engage was delighted to support. Alongside presentations from the company’s senior management and technology specialists, we produced an engaging launch video, around an existing script. Despite a tight timescale and limited budget, we created ‘Our Green Future’ using innovative production techniques to help demonstrate tpgroup’s wealth of Hydrogen capability, as well as expanding on the opportunities for hydrogen to meet our net zero targets.
When BAE Systems asked Engage to help them with a stand at the Big Bang Science Fair, no one could have predicted that the world’s first corporate interactive puppet would result. One of the company’s aims, in line with UK government and the remainder of industry, is to enthuse and engage a new generation of engineers, encouraging them to think about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Our concept took the engagement beyond a single event and into an experience which grabbed young people of all ages, surprising them with innovative technology and encouraging them to learn more about life at BAE Systems.
How do you ensure that your bid stands out? How can you bring clarity to complex propositions?
Engage works with a number of clients to create compelling films, and especially animations, to help explain ideas and concepts to non-technical audiences. These short vignettes made using CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) make use of our specialist animation team and their access to myriad models of vehicles, platforms and scenarios from across the defence and security domains.
Films can range from anywhere between one minute and ten minutes in length, with any degree of complexity in their production. But all of them are designed to tell a compelling story with creativity and clarity to help inform and engage audiences.
Back in 2012, BAE Systems asked Engage to create a global video which summarised the company’s capabilities for use in markets around the world. We wanted a film which did justice to the full scale and scope of an organisation with incredible technological and manufacturing strength, but also to reflect the core of the business – its dynamic and diverse people.
We conceived the idea of the BAE Systems Visionarium – a futuristic museum of the company’s capabilities, to be explored by employees at the same time as audiences. Filmed on the UK’s largest green-screen studio and using state-of-the-art CGI, the result is a stunning homage to the company and its people.
Leidos is a global leader in the integration and application of information technology, engineering and science to solve customers’ most demanding challenges. Among these, for defence clients, is the challenge of achieving genuine ‘information advantage’ through seamless interoperability, something Leidos can help with.
Leidos asked Engage to create an introductory video for use on social media and at events to introduce the company’s capability in Tactical Data Links, as part of a wider integrated campaign. Above all Leidos wanted to achieve stand-out in an area of technology marketing that was often considered dry and technical. Our animation approach did just that, and is now being reflected across the customer journey, including a suite of interactive infographics for business development use. What’s more, we’ve introduced other dynamic concepts to bids and presentations which are helping to differentiate Leidos in a crowded market.
In 2014 Bombardier, in Derby, was among the bidders to provide rolling stock for Crossrail – the brand-new Queen Elizabeth Line, opened in 2022. Engage was asked to help in the design and planning of an event to launch the company’s Aventra train bid for the programme.
Research uncovered that the company’s site in Derby, UK, had had a continuous history of train manufacture, stretching all the way back to 1839, which made the decision for the theme of the launch a simple one: a 175th birthday party. We created a brand and materials for the event, as well as generating concepts for everything from train-themed film weeks at local cinemas, to historic rail services to convey dignitaries and decision makers to the event. The Aventra was chosen by Crossrail.
Niteworks was established by the UK Ministry of Defence to provide a unique ‘commercially neutral’ environment to address complex military challenges. This effectively created a team of ‘badge-less’ specialists coming together to share ideas to solve often extremely urgent problems – like those presented by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), for example.
Engage was commissioned to create a new identity for Niteworks that would focus on the strengths of the collaboration and provide certainty and consistency in publications from the group. We devised a new brand logo, colours, collateral and signage to help promote Niteworks and its unique proposition to great effect.
Towry was one of the UK’s largest independent wealth management companies (before they were acquired by Tilney BestInvest). Towry asked Engage to help create and communicate a variety of internal communications programmes including a new Code of Ethics, Best Practice Guides and to launch their Employee Opinion Survey (EOS).
We created an entire campaign to promote the EOS involving screensavers, emails, intranet content and good old fashioned advertising posters placed around the company’s various sites. Take up was higher than any previous survey and, with resultant feedback, helped to embed new behaviours across the organisation.