The TA live in action, literally!


The Territorial Army (TA) was facing significant recruitment challenges in the face of reduced funding. It needed to dramatically increase the number of full and part-time reservists. 


A common perception of the TA is that it is populated with ‘Weekend Warriors’. In reality, reservists are as well trained and prepared as the army and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in active service. 


In fact, the TA are there… right now, and the ground-breaking ITV advertising campaign, with over 20 individual creative treatments exclusively developed by JWT London with production partner ITN, would capture them live from the frontline at Helmand Province.


Nick, a TA Sapper, drove a Wolfhound truck around a bumpy assault course – a little different from his postman’s van at home. His ad began with the cameraman asking, “The Chelsea v Brentford game’s about to start in England and you’re here doing this...”

21 different live ads were broadcast from Afghanistan over the two-week period, each showing reservists such as Nick, performing different operations on the frontline of battle such as searching for IEDs, lookout duty and preparing the Chinook helicopters.

Each ad was showcased further on the TA’s bespoke YouTube channel, where applicants could also interact.

Of course, we had to overcome massive logistical hurdles:

  • We had to ensure all communications were protected, and complied with rigorous security
  • 21 different ads meant 21 different technical set-ups, and the satellite network and infrastructure was unprecedented

However, despite these potentially disastrous challenges, everything was delivered as planned.



This massive collaboration between ITV, JWT, ITN, and Mediacom was a massive success, generating a huge upweight in new enquiries for the territorial Army (watch our case study above of a TA soldier who was inspired to join the TA after our campaign).

Beyond broadcast, the ads received over 100,000 additional views. To watch the videos visit

  • 31% recall seeing the TA Live ads six months after the campaign
  • 53% saw the live ad as different to normal ads
  • 50% preferred watching the ads because they were live
  • 61% think that the TA should produce more live ads

Source: YouGov Panel, Ads n=1,046

Major General Ranald Munro, Deputy Commander Land Forces (Reserves) said of the campaign: "There has never been an advertising campaign like this. TA LIVE is an incredibly exciting opportunity to bring the TA to life and show just what a TA soldier does on the ground.

"We think this is a great way to demonstrate and educate the public about the role of the TA and the vital contribution they make to the UK Armed Forces." 


  • 0 %
    Saw the live ad as different to typical ads
  • 0 %
    Preferred watching the ad because it was live
  • 0 %
    Think the TA should produce more live ads
  • 0 %
    Recall seeing the Territorial Army live ads after 6 months

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