Red Cross launches the Burnt Christmas Tree via DDB Sydney

17 December 2019

Creative Agency: DDB Sydney

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The tree will pop up in Sydney's CBD to help raise awareness of the bushfires and money for Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

Over the past few weeks, the bushfires across Australia have cast a shadow on what should be the most festive time of year.

To show the human cost of this devastation, but importantly hope for the resilience and recovery of our communities, a burnt Christmas tree has been built in Sydney’s CBD.

Designed by Scoundrel’s James Dive, the tree was crafted entirely with logs, branches and shrubs sourced from bushfire-affected areas of New South Wales.

“From arms’ length it can be difficult to comprehend the true impact of the bushfires on the ground. The act of collecting and building the tree from remnants of the fires has been sobering," Dive says.

“We all want to help, and right now generosity is needed towards those who’ve lost everything, especially at this time of year.”

The tree is also decorated with burnt objects like a farm gate and bicycle and is topped with a star fashioned from a burnt-out bike wheel.

These objects exist alongside signs of regeneration, including banksia seeds which require fire to sprout.

While the public are viewing the tree, they’re encouraged to listen to an audio tour reflecting on the experiences of Australians whose lives have been thrown into chaos by the fires.

Produced in partnership with the City of Sydney, Scoundrel and DDB Sydney, as well as its key partners Volkswagen Group Australia, Westpac and McDonald’s, created the Burnt Christmas Tree to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross and their ongoing efforts to help people prepare for, cope with, and recover from disasters.

From today until Thursday December 19, people can visit and make a donation to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund by tapping their card on the presents beneath the tree.

“The devastation to families and community is beyond what many of us can even comprehend," DDB Sydney chief creative officer Tara Ford says. 

"We hope this twist on the traditional symbol of giving and joy at this time of year will help capture people’s attention and provide them with an easy way to donate.”

DDB Sydney
Ben Welsh – Chief Creative Officer, DDB Australia
Tara Ford – Chief Creative Officer, DDB Sydney
Matt Chandler – Deputy Executive Creative Director
David Jackson – Creative Partner
Elaine Li – Art Director
Jared Wicker – Copywriter
Ramon Rodriguez – Senior Designer
Renata Barbosa – Head of Integrated Content
Silas Basich – Editor
Andy Stewart – Senior Sound Designer

Mango Sydney
Managing Director – Tabitha Fairbairn
Head of Consumer – Ben Handberg
Senior Account Manager – Gina Leung

Production - Scoundrel
Artist - James Dive
Executive Producer - Adrian Shapiro
Director BTS - Selina Miles
Construction - Greg Sets

Red Cross Australia
Director Engagement & Support - Belinda Dimovski .
Head of Marketing & Communications – Astrid Mallard
Emergency Campaigns Manager – Kate Moore
Marketing & Campaign Coordinator - Sarah Gallagher

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