Saving lives in New Zealand

April 3rd, 2012

A new multi-media campaign driving New Zealanders to make sure they have working smoke alarms is being launched by New Zealand Fire Service this week. The key goal is to decrease the number of fire fatalities and fires that the New Zealand Fire Service attends that do not have working smoke alarms (currently 90%+ and 80%+ respectively. Source: NZFS SMS Station Statistics, 2009-2011).

The campaign again highlights the consequences of a house fire without having working smoke alarms, but instead of focusing on the fact that a house fire can kill you, focuses on the fact that your loved ones could be harmed and left with long lasting consequences. In this instance, featuring a father who feels responsible for his daughter being permanently scarred.

The reason for this approach is that a large number of Kiwis believe ‘fires’ happen to other people and death from a fire is improbable. Living with the consequences of fire in the form of scarring, however, was seen as far more probable, more believable and far more compelling. The fear of your child having terrible scars as a result of your inaction was the most motivating reason to install or check alarms. (Source: Research International 2010 & 2011).

The line for the campaign taps in to this insight and asks ‘Could you live with yourself?’. The call to action: make sure you have working smoke alarms.

To ensure complete authenticity of the scars shown in the ads, New Zealand Fire Service liaised with the incredible specialist Debbie Murray at the National Burns Centre at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital. Her advice and encouragement was immense.

“We haven’t played the guilt card before,” said Scott Sargentina, Corporate Communications Manager for the Fire Service, “but intuitively we know it will be a powerful motivating factor in changing behaviour. When the agency presented the concept, the immediate attraction for us was we could all imagine how the father would be feeling with this daily reminder of his inaction. I’d like to think this campaign will make New Zealanders ask whether they could live with themselves if something similar happened to them. And then do something about it.”

The campaign features, television, press, outdoor, radio and a large retail component driving people to The Warehouse to purchase long-life photoelectric smoke alarms at a discounted price point kindly being offered by The Warehouse in support of the campaign and Fire Service.

 The television spots were shot by director Glendyn Ivin of Exit Films, the stills were shot by photographer Steven Langdon and the radio was produced by sound production house, Franklin Road. The ads were created by M&C Saatchi. All of the other people mentioned in the credits were instrumental in the making of the ads.

The Brand TVC and behind the scenes making of video can be seen on The NZFS Youtube Channel