New Royal Navy campaign Raj’s Story shines light on UK cultural identity

Raj's story royal navy engine campaign 1 - mediashotz

The Royal Navy has launched a powerful new TV recruitment campaign called Raj’s Story, focussing on the complexities of cultural identity in the UK.

The ad, created by agency Engine Creative, tells the story of Lt. Raj, a serving Naval officer in the Submariner service, and explores his childhood growing up between two cultures in West London. 

It was runner-up in the Channel 4 diversity competition, which focused on the authentic portrayal of UK BAME cultures.

Raj’s story

The 60-second film, which runs for two weeks from 6 September on C4 and 4OD, takes a subtle twist on the “Made in the Royal Navy” campaign created by Engine Creative, which shows how the Royal Navy has helped individual recruits become the best version of themselves.

The latest execution featuring Raj explores how difficult it can be to understand your own identity growing up as an ethnic minority in the UK, stuck between cultures. 

But shows that the sense of belonging found in the Royal Navy can help you discover pride in who you are.

Mediashotz tip – watch out for the scene which gives a brilliantly subtle nod to the Harry Potter films. Only fans of the blockbuster series will likely get the clever reference.

The film shows Lt. Raj tying his turban before a parade and reflecting on his childhood. It tells the story of how he drifted away from his Sikh culture as a boy and then, to the disapproval of his family, joined the Royal Navy. 

In a voiceover, Raj says that the sense of belonging he found in the Royal Navy helped him to rediscover pride in where he came from and claim back his Sikh identity.

Paul Colley, Head of Marketing, Recruitment and Attraction at Royal Navy, said: “This film came about through the opportunity that C4 presented with their Diversity in Advertising award. 

“The £250,000 of free air time allowed the Royal Navy to provide a different and indeed unique insight into life in the Royal Navy through the eyes of serving Lt Raj. 

“His story is a reflection of diversity in its truest sense and the life you can lead in the Royal Navy.”

Billy Faithfull, Chief Creative Officer at Engine Creative, said: “Made In The Royal Navy is only as successful as it is authentic. 

“When we heard about Raj’s life from the man himself, it was a complex story of conflict and dual identity in a part of British society, Sikhism, you never see in advertising. 

“We’re proud to have played a part in shining a little light on this underrepresented culture, and add another authentic chapter to the ‘Made In’ story.”

Major Daljinder Virdee, Chairman of The Defence Sikh Network said: “Raj’s story showcases what many young Sikh’s face growing up. The Sikh identity is distinctive and has a long and proud tradition. 

“Like Raj, the Armed Forces helped me discover more about my Sikh heritage and ultimately myself. 

“The Defence Sikh Network is grateful to have been involved in guiding this project and to have for the first time a Sikh character at the heart of an Armed Forces advert.”

Engine Creative’s chief creative officer on the campaign was Billy Faithfull, the art director was Hugo Isaacs and copywriter was Chris Da Roza. The film was directed by Sashinski.