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Interactive Annual 18:

Life in The Air Force

Launch Live Site

“The Air Force has opened itself to the millennial generation by employing a fresh and interesting recruiting vehicle disguised in a contemporary presentation.” —Michael Potts

“This piece stands apart from other day-in-the-life experiences by elegantly combining temporal and spatial exploration through the timeline. The result is a richly layered narrative that provides breadth, in the sense of place, and in-depth detail about life on a base.”
—David Wright

Overview: Potential recruits have many questions about what life is like in the us Air Force. This section of the us Air Force site provides visitors with the opportunity to explore a “base” and learn what to expect after enlisting. With rich video content, it presents on-base life as varied and full, and with many of the same opportunities and amenities as civilian jobs. A timeline scrubber allows visitors to choose content that’s personally relevant and engage in the story of what a day on base would be like during waking hours.

  • • The site was designed and programmed in five months on a parallel path with shooting and editing the site video.
  • • There are 52 total features and 26 are videos shot with a RED camera.
  • • As the scrubber moves, visitors see the aspects of the base that are most relevant to that time (e.g., in the morning reveille and in the evening taps). Each of three screen formats was built from scratch. The iOS apps are built using Xcode and the iPhone SDK with most non-image content handled through Heroku and the tours through Amazon S3.

Comments by Stephen Land

Why talk about life on base and not just jobs and pay? “Air Force bases are gigantic communities hidden behind heavily secured fences, so anyone not in the Air Force probably has no idea what it’s like on the other side of the wall. This was a chance to show people that each base is like a small self-contained city with schools, grocery stores, Starbucks, gyms and food courts. When people realize it’s not 24/7 marching and saluting, they become more receptive to the career opportunities the Air Force offers.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Over the years, we’ve seen how effective and engaging video is at telling the Air Force story. In this case, we had a very big story with a ton of video. The trick was finding a way to present the video in an interesting way that also added to the story. By using a timeline and the 3-D base, we brought the story to life and kept our content front and center while accomplishing our primary goal—showing what day-to-day life is like in the Air Force.”


Cheyenne Gallion, art director/associate creative director
Stephen Land, writer/creative director
Tom Gilmore, group creative director
Mike Woolf/Andrew Yates, directors
Skyler McGlothlin, sound designer
Laura Busino/Paul Gallardo, producers
Jefferson Burruss/Karen Yates, executive producers
Sara Rosales, project manager
Beef and Pie Productions, editorial company
Coloring Book Studio/Beef and Pie Productions, production companies
Coloring Book Studio/GSD&M, project design and development
GSD&M (Austin, TX), ad agency
US Air Force, client

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