As Bush Fire season begins, the NSW Rural Fire Service launches its latest campaign to encourage people to plan and prepare.
The campaign was led by Wunderman Thompson Australia, the recently reappointed lead Strategy & Creative Agency for the NSW Rural Fire service – seeing the agency hold the account for its ninth year following a competitive pitch in May.
This year, the “Live Bush Fire Ready” campaign revisits iconic photographs from the Black Summer fires, to remind everyone of the importance of planning and preparation before and during this year’s season.
The integrated campaign sees everyday Australians dealing with key bush fire prep, juxtaposed with the harsh realities of past experience seen through powerful images of the very same people in the Black Summer bush fires.
Angela Morris, chief strategy officer at Wunderman Thompson Australia explains that the challenge of motivating NSW residents to plan and prepare has never been more important with the pandemic pushing bush fire preparation far down the ‘worry list’ for many.
Morris said: “Our insight into how to re-engage people in bush fire risk was derived from research that showed awareness of community preparedness is a bigger influence on individual behaviour than telling individuals what to do.”
“Our strategy therefore, was to leverage the behavioural power of social norming and this changed our approach; from the RFS talking to individuals, to those who have experienced the Black Summer bush fires firsthand calling on their peers to remember the risk and to join in on planning and preparing.”
Steve Hey, associate creative director at Wunderman Thompson Australia said: “For many Aussies, bush fire is a fact of life, but no one knows the importance of being ready for it better than those that have had to face it first-hand.”
“We thought back to some of the faces of people in the midst of the worst bush fires, immortalised in some terrifying images we’ve all seen over the years. We realised they represent communities that now take their own preparation seriously given what they’ve been through. So they’re a pretty powerful example for everyone else to live bush fire ready too.”
Anthony Clark, director of communications & engagement at NSW Rural Fire Service added: “As we look back on Black Summer, as well as a pandemic that has occupied our minds and lives over the past year, we knew this campaign would be incredibly important to get right.”
“We needed to strike a balance between showing the devastating impact of fires while being respectful to people’s recovery. This campaign builds upon more than a decade’s work in improving the level of planning and preparation in the community”.
“Over the past nine years, Wunderman Thompson have been a creatively strong and effective partner and after a competitive pitch process, we knew they would continue to drive the important behaviour change needed.” Clark continued.
The campaign went live across TV, OOH, radio, social and digital channels with media led by Atomic 212°.
Ilona Evans, client lead at Atomic 212° concluded: “Our media strategy leverages the emotive creative produced to deliver awareness and drive action at an individual level through media partnerships and highly targeted and dynamic media. It was a pleasure collaborating and working with RFS and Wunderman Thompson”.
Client: NSW Rural Fire Service
Director of Communications and Engagement, Anthony Clark
Creative Agency: Wunderman Thompson Australia
João Braga, Chief Creative Officer
Simon Koay, Associate Creative Director
Steven Hey, Associate Creative Director
Steve May, Senior Creative
Angela Morris, National Chief Strategy Officer
Carnelian Easton-Jones, Senior Strategist
Ana Lynch, Partner
Laura Hawdon, Group Engagement Lead
Jacqueline Gualdi, Senior Engagement Manager
Alistair Pratten, National Head of Production
Terry Kerr, Senior Producer
Director: Kyra Bartley Producer: Nick Simkins
DOP: James L Brown
Post Producer: Kani Saib
Editor: Delaney Murphy
Flame Op: Drew Downes
Media: Atomic 212°
Ashleigh Carter – Group Account Director
Ilona Evans – Client Lead
Jay Malig – Planning and Trading Director
Rory Peters – Planning & Trading Assistant
Kate Brown – Planning & Trading Assistant
Benjamin Xu – Performance Director
Matt Baker – Performance Manager
Immanuel Ho – Performance Assistant