QFES urges drivers to ‘Back It Up’ in new floodwater campaign

15 January 2020

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This is the latest take on the ‘If It’s Flooded Forget It’ campaign.

‘Back It Up’ is this year’s take on Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) ‘If It’s Flooded Forget It’ campaign from GrowthOps.

It highlights the psychology behind the reasons why people might make a bad decision and drive through floodwater.

If It’s Flooded Forget It is QFES’ annual campaign to stop people from driving through floodwaters.

Too many Queenslanders are still risking their lives, and the lives of others, with 37% backing themselves to drive through floodwater.

“Social and environmental pressures, past experiences and overestimating one’s driving abilities or car’s capabilities, are all decision-making factors that can overwhelm drivers into making the wrong choice under pressure,” GrowthOps Brisbane head of strategy and innovation Caroline Starecky says.

“We’re asking drivers when they’re faced with floodwater, to mentally and physically ‘Back It Up’.”

Bringing the campaign to life required a two-night shoot west of Brisbane.

The highly technical production involved four car roofs being cut open, a camera crane, a decommissioned road flooded by a dam, rain machines and more.

The TVC passes through a line of vehicles stopped by floodwater in one smooth continuous shot.

Inside each car, viewers experience four very different scenarios, represented by the cohorts more likely to drive through floodwater – a nervous new driver, young males, a distracted mother and a 4WD owner – reducing the likelihood of these audiences self-exempting themselves from the message.

The glimpses inside each car, juxtaposed by outside sequences of driving rain, captures the fear, pressure, bravado and decision-making process behind the decision to drive through floodwater or not.

The campaign was produced by production company Happy.

“Creating four different environments and four uniquely tense moments within the cars, with limited time for talent performance was the biggest challenge," Happy director Miles Murphy says.

QFES campaign coordinator Jennifer Kerr says the production delivered the campaign message in a way that would stay with viewers.

“The idea, complemented by the cinematic execution, will be hard for drivers to ignore. It is empathic to the reasons why people may get carried away when faced with floodwater, but ultimately promotes the decision to ‘Back It Up’ as being the bravest and smartest thing to do,” Kerr says.

“Our hope is that the decision to ‘Back It Up’ becomes second nature, so that in the event of a flood, drivers immediately know what to do and also that their actions positively influence others to do the same.”

The integrated ‘Back It Up’ campaign features above and below the line media, including a TVC screening on commercial television, YouTube, Facebook, and cinemas and other venues throughout the summer, in addition to radio and various Out of Home executions.

Agency – GrowthOps
• Creative Director: Lindsay Thompson
• Senior Art Director: Simon Budzevski
• Senior Copywriter: Tim Kelly
• Producer: Natalie Mitchell
• Account Director: Dianne Grice
• Account Manager: Dan Paull
• Video Editor: Nic Fornasier & Tom Coade
• Sound Designer: David Gaylard
• Senior Mac Artist: Steve Wallwork
Client – Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES)
• Campaign Coordinator: Jennifer Kerr
Production Company – Happy
• Director: Miles Murphy
• Producer: Angela Murphy
Post-Production – The Post Lounge
• Damien Bredberg

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