Emergency Management Victoria create awareness ahead of high-risk weather season via Think HQ

12 December 2023

Creative Agency: Think HQ

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With Play School's Justine Clarke and Bluey's Melanie Zanetti.

Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) has tasked positive change agency Think HQ to make Victorians aware of how to navigate emergency scenarios.

Summer in Australia is synonymous with festivals, BBQs, road trips and camping; but it's also a time of increasingly extreme weather and natural disasters.

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 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.

Clarke, Zanetti 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, audio books, 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.

Lucy Bell, manager, operational communications, EMV, said the team has 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," she said.

Think HQ ECD, Rob Barnett, said after spending his summers over the past 10 years in a fire prone area in country Victoria, he has firsthand experience in the risks people 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," he said.

Lauren Brown, Think HQ copywriter, said weather-based emergencies can be such scary and difficult things to navigate, which unfortunately many people 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 Brown.

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. 




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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