Playschool’s Justine Clarke and Bluey’s Melanie Zanetti have fronted a new integrated campaign for Emergency Management Victoria ahead of the high-risk weather season.
Summer in Australia is synonymous with festivals, BBQs, road trips and camping. However, it is also a time of increasingly extreme weather and natural disasters. With experts predicting an increased risk of fires and heat waves this summer, Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) tasked positive change agency Think HQ to make Victorians aware of how to navigate emergency scenarios.
The campaign leveraged the existing national Australian Warning System (AWS) to increase community awareness of VicEmergency channels as Victoria’s centralised source to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.
With the insight that these channels and the AWS are so simple even a child could understand them, the campaign was developed around the central theme of storytelling.
Renowned storyteller and Play School presenter, Justine Clarke and Australia’s favourite family matriarch, Melanie Zanetti, aka ‘Chilli’ front the campaign alongside a series of animated ‘ambassadors’ – the warning signs themselves, representing emergencies like bushfires, floods, storms, and extreme heat.
Justine, Melanie, and the AWS characters take the audience on a journey to learn about the VicEmergency channels through a series of stories that appeal to both kids and those young at heart.
The core stories were then utilised across multiple formats, including video, printed picture books, audiobooks, radio spots and social assets, along with a suite of in-language assets across five different languages.
The campaign utilised every department within Think HQ from strategy and insights through to creative, production, animation, design, technology, PR and CultureVerse – Think HQ’s multicultural communications arm.
“We have really enjoyed working on the project and the chance to bring the warnings system to life through creative storytelling. The execution is really engaging, easy to understand and strikes the right balance between informative with a touch of humour. As we head into summer, we know how useful the materials will be for community members to understand our warnings and what they need to do during an emergency,” said Lucy Bell, manager for operational communications at EMV.
“After spending my summers over the past 10 years in a fire prone area in country Victoria, I have firsthand experience in the risks we face every year. We had a lot of fun collaborating with Justine (Clarke) and Melanie (Zanetti) on set as well as working closely with Think HQ’s team of illustrators and animators to bring the characters and stories to life,” said Think HQ ECD, Rob Barnett.
“Weather-based emergencies can be such scary and difficult things to navigate, which unfortunately many of us know from experience. It was incredibly fun bringing all elements of this campaign to life. I genuinely hope these stories help people feel informed about how to stay as safe as possible,” said Lauren Brown, Think HQ copywriter.
The campaign will be launched by the Deputy Emergency Manager Commissioner, Chris Stephenson at a school in a high-risk area. Stephenson will facilitate ‘storytime’ with the children and each will be presented with a hard copy of the book “A Family Camping Trip Takes A Turn”. Local Emergency Management agencies will also be on-site to answer any of the children’s questions.
Emergency Management Victoria (EMV), is leading the tailored, multi-faceted AWS initiative on behalf of Victoria’s emergency services.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT VICTORIA
Lucy Bell – Manager, Operational Communications
Reegan Key – Manager, Operational Communications
Taylor Woodward – Senior Officer, Public information Georgia Parker – Acting Team Leader, Public Information
Founder/Managing Director: Jen Sharpe
Chief Creative Officer: Andy Lima
Executive Creative Director: Rob Barnett
Copywriter: Lauren Brown
Senior Art Director: Nathan Barrow
Illustrators: Tina Tran, Camilo Suarez
Creative Operations Manager: Rebecca Eastman
Producer: David O’Connor
Offline & online editor, colourist: Matt Fregnan
Offline editor: Nic Song
Animator: Edward Rocha
Motion Designer: Roberta Ramalho & Xiaohong Jiang
Audio Producer: Adam Dixon-Galea
Chief Technology Officer: Olivier Laude
Developer Programmer: Thuan Le
Digital Project Manager: Brogan Palmer
Senior Account Director: Torey Fitton
Account Manager: Tayla Lawson
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