NSW Rural Fire Service preparedness campaign via Wunderman Thompson

Maha Obeid
By Maha Obeid | 26 October 2021
Live Bush Fire Ready

The NSW Rural Fire Service has launched its latest campaign to encourage people to plan and prepare, ahead of Bush Fire season.

The campaign was led by Wunderman Thompson Australia, the recently-reappointed lead strategy and creative sgency 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.

Wunderman Thompson Australia chief strategy officer Angela Morris says the challenge of motivating NSW residents to plan and prepare is critical with the pandemic pushing bush fire preparation far down the ‘worry list’ for many.

“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," says Morris.

"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.”

NSW Rural Fire Service director of communications & engagement Anthony Clark, says the campaign strikes a balance: "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”.

The campaign went live across TV, OOH, radio, social and digital channels with media led by Atomic 212°. 


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
Production: FINCH
Director: Kyra Bartley
Producer: Nick Simkins
DOP: James L Brown
Post: AtticusPost
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


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