JWT Creates Chilling PSA Warning Of The Dangers Of Fire

JWT Creates Chilling PSA Warning Of The Dangers Of Fire

The speed, danger and unpredictability of bush fire is highlighted in a haunting new NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) public awareness campaign launched this week, developed and executed by J. Walter Thompson Sydney and GPY&R Sydney after a competitive pitch.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

“Research has shown that most people, even some of those living in high risk areas, do not consider themselves to be personally at risk from bush fires. Around half of those in at-risk areas believe their property would survive a bush fire, even if they had made no preparation,” explained NSW Rural Fire service director of corporate communications, Anthony Clark.

“But the reality is that bush fires are an annual threat across NSW. There are approximately 1.3 million properties at risk from bush fires in NSW, occupied by around 3 million people.  The NSW RFS needed a high-impact, attention grabbing campaign to reiterate that there is a very real risk for many people, and that simple steps like having a conversation can make a big difference.”

J. Walter Thompson executive planning director, Angela Morris explained the strategic approach: “We needed to reframe risk and discovered that people are less afraid of a risk they think they have some control over and more afraid of risks that are personified than anonymous.”

As J. Walter Thompson ECD Simon Langley explained: “Entitled ‘Fire has a plan’, this campaign makes it brutally clear that since fire has a plan for your destruction, you also better have one for your own protection.  The creative approach of personifying fire as a sinister force that knows exactly what it’s going to do and how it’s going to do it, was developed to make people feel personally at risk. Combined with compelling facts about what fire is capable of, including how easily and quickly it can move and take down homes, we hope it will drive NSW residents to get prepared for the upcoming bush fire season.”

The integrated campaign will run and evolve over the next three fire seasons (2015-2018), and comprises a 60” TVC, 2x 30” TVCs, 2×15” TVCs, a bespoke pre-roll, print executions, digital banners and radio spots.  Each individual element has been created to highlight specific bush fire dangers and simple actions people can take to make themselves safer.

To support the TVCs and other campaign elements, GPY&R was appointed to develop a new bespoke online hub www.MyFirePlan.com.au. The hub helps people quickly and easily assess their risk and gives them simple, clear and easy tasks to reduce their risk. The tasks are tailored to their risk profile and provide information in formats and timeframes designed to motivate them to act, help them learn quickly and change their future behaviour.

A state-wide Get Ready Weekend was also held on September 12/13, with a focus on creating a groundswell of bush fire preparation activities in NSW. More than 600 events and activities were held across the state to provide bush fire preparation tips and motivate the community to plan ahead.

J. Walter Thompson Sydney has worked with NSW RFS for the past three years to make residents of NSW aware of the very real risk of bush fire and take simple actionable steps towards protecting themselves and their homes. This next powerful creative platform takes another step in continuing to prepare residents of NSW.

Creative credits:

Creative agency – J. Walter Thompson Sydney

Simon Langley – Executive Creative Director

John Lam – Associate Creative Director

Laurie Geddes – Creative Group Head

Simon Cox – Senior Art Director

Angela Morris – Executive Planning Director

Amanda Slayter – Broadcast Director

James Tracy-Inglis – Group Account Director

Rachel Wintle – Account Director

Amanda Porritt – Account Manger

Rachel Townsend – Production Manager

Hatti Apps – Digital producer

Thanh Lu – Studio Director

Renee Robertson – Senior Project Manager


Production Company – The Pool Collective

Director: Simon Harsent

MD: Cameron Gray

Line Producer: Kare Godsell

DOP: Ross Giardina

Pyrotechnician: Lou Stefanel, Pyromania


Post Production Company – Heckler

Post producer: Georgina Selby

Executive Producer: David Kelly


Edit: Greg Constantaras

Colourist: Yoomin Lee

Vfx Sup: Garry Jacques

Design: Luke Carvell

Compositing: Chris Jackson

Online: Jamie Watson


Sound Post – Nylon Studios

Sound Designer: Simon Lister

Studio Producer: Emma Hodge


Media: UM

Digital Hub: GPY&R  

Research: GFK


NSW Rural Fire Service

Campaign manager: Laura Ryan