Category A05. Music / Sound Design
Idea Creation WCRS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Name Company Position
Ben Long WCRS Creative Director
James Hodson WCRS Creative
Jason Keet WCRS Creative
Alex Honnor WCRS Agency Producer
Craig Townsend WCRS Designer
Darren O'Donoghe WCRS Designer
Dave Gordon WCRS Director of Technology
Mark Harrop WCRS Digital Strategy
Gon Fernandez WCRS Creative Technologist
Laura Hale WCRS Account Handler
Lawrence Beatt WCRS Account Handler
Will Lever WCRS Account Handler
Matt Rhodes WCRS Planner
Olivia Stubbings WCRS Planner
Sam Child WCRS Digital Project Manager
Steve Lane Grand Central Recording Studios Sound Designer

The Campaign

The RAF needed to recruit Intelligence Analysts. They wanted to find young people with a talent for picking out details from surrounding noise, but who didn’t know it yet. So we worked with RAF Intelligence to develop a unique solution and help find prospective candidates.

Creative Execution

Sound Skills is an innovative online test of auditory concentration, designed to assess users’ selective auditory attention (selective hearing). The test lives on the RAF website and asks people to listen to five realistic soundscapes (a song, a football commentator, a festival, a phone call and a conversation in a pub) and after each asks the player a question relating to what they heard. The scenarios, which use binaural sound to create an immersive 3D experience - layering sounds to create realistic and complex audio environments - have been carefully designed to evaluate whether people have the skills required to excel in the role and get increasingly difficult as the test goes on.  The project called for sound that was ultimately difficult to hear, which is the opposite of what we normally aim for in sound design. Different techniques were used to mark the points of information we wanted to be identified, and binaural sound was used to stretch focus away from these elements. The use of binaural created a realistic soundscape and brought to life the surrounding environment to distract and test the viewer.    Approaching the sound design was a challenge, as sound can be very subjective. Lots of testing was carried out to gauge the right level and find a sweet spot that would help identify those with the skills the RAF are looking for. Creative on Facebook and YouTube drove people to the experience, after which users are invited to read and apply for the role.  The experience proved challenging and addictive. People spent an average of over 10 minutes engaging with Sound Skills. Not only is it rewarding to use, but it has become the main way the RAF find naturally talented Intelligence Analysts.