DDB and the Red Cross partner to raise funds for the bushfire crisis with a burnt Christmas tree

DDB Sydney has partnered with the Red Cross to encourage city dwellers to support and spread Christmas cheer to bushfire-affected communities.

A burnt Christmas tree has taken up residence in Sydney’s CBD, designed by Scoundrel’s James Dive, constructed with logs and branches and decorated with burnt objects found in bushfire-ravaged areas. The tree is also surrounded by banksia seeds, which require fire to sprout, as a symbol of rejuvenation.

Members of the public viewing the tree can listen to an audio guide which details the experiences of Australians who have been affected by the fires. Until the 19th of December, visitors will also be able to scan QR codes or tap their cards on the presents beneath the tree and donate to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

DDB Sydney, Scoundrel and The Red Cross worked with the City of Sydney on the activation, and leveraged the creative agency’s partnerships with Volkswagen Group Australia, Westpac and McDonald’s.

The presents under the tree give people the opportunity to donate to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund

Dive said of the project: “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.

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

Instead of a star the tree is adorned with a burnt bicycle wheel

DDB Sydney chief creative officer, Tara Ford, said: “The devastation to families and community is beyond what many of us can even comprehend. 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 and Scoundrel are not the only agencies doing their bit for the bushfire crisis. Recently, WPP agencies Wavemaker and Ogilvy have opened a Go Fund Me to raise money for the Rural Fire Service and sell a range of brightly coloured P2 Masks called Smoggys – designed by employees Ben Drummond, Marco Del Castillo, Jack Burton and Lucas Fowler.


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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