NRMA Insurance implores homeowners to do their bit to prevent bushfires in new brand platform

Starting Saturday 5 September, one year after last summer’s bushfire crisis began, NRMA Insurance is asking Australians to take the first Saturday of every month to do one task that will make their homes safer from bushfires and support first responders.

Ant White, chief creative officer of CHE Proximity, the agency behind the campaign, told Mumbrella that the idea came from a “comment from an exhausted fire chief at a low ebb during the last year’s catastrophe about whether it was right to send firefighters into danger trying to save homes if the owners hadn’t done their part to make it safer.”

First Saturday, the insurer’s new brand platform, is backed by the rise in DIY projects undertaken by Australians in lockdown, and NRMA Insurance’s COVID-19 Brand Navigator Report, which found Australians value their safety above everything else. The campaign positions tasks such as clearing gutters and garden debris, trimming branches and acquiring safety equipment, as household tasks that make a meaningful difference to first responders.

White said the campaign reframes household chores, not just as jobs to protect homes, but as acts of selflessness.

“Selflessness spreads and true behaviour change happens when we are doing something for the greater good of the community. That’s why we reframed chores that make our homes safer to doing small acts around our homes that help protect our first responders,” he said.

The campaign was created in partnership with the NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service and the Australian Red Cross.

A 90 second campaign film brings the viewer inside a fire truck responding to the bushfires, building a sense of tension as they are reminded of bushfire crises throughout recent Australian history.

White said it was “designed to take us all back to the times when we felt helpless.”

The film features real NSW Rural Fire Service workers who fought during last summer’s crisis. It was directed by Justin Kurzel, who directed feature films True History of The Kelly Gang, Macbeth and Snowtown.

Kurzel said: “It was pretty extraordinary to work with actual firefighters from RFS NSW. For them to reflect on their brave and committed actions last summer, and give such open and committed performances, was a real privilege to direct. Thanks to CHE Proximity and NRMA Insurance for their boldness and trust in placing real firefighters who risked their lives at the centre of this film.”

NRMA Insurance marketing director, Sally Kiernan, said: “First Saturday isn’t just another campaign, it’s an ongoing legacy of Help, which is at the core of NRMA Insurance’s brand purpose. We’re giving Australians a reason to make their homes safer and by encouraging the completion of just one task a month, we’re making it easy for people to get involved and feel like they’re doing their bit.”

The campaign launched last night, leading up to September 5 with radio spots that will reflect bushfire responses, task-based films bringing to light what customers can do, social activations, newspaper spreads and out-of-home.

White explained how the campaign’s assets will build with each month, proposing a new task for Australians to take on.

“There are layered communications for each First Saturday of the month – the brand film sets out the motivation. The directional information gives people easy tasks to do that will make a big difference – like fit a fire blanket, prepare an emergency evacuation plan. This year nearly 50% of the homes lost didn’t have one, and the media will prompt people to act around the designated day”

In addition, the tasks promoted each month will vary based on where customers live and will include jobs that can assist Australians in natural disasters beyond bushfires.

White explained: “For regional customers, bushfire preparedness covers tasks specific to regional environments whilst our metropolitan customers receive messaging around planning for emergencies and how to help friends who live in regional areas.

“Similarly, for storm preparedness in November, regional customers targeted with information specific to gutters, downpipes around their homes. In metropolitan this information is similarly relevant to homeowners, if you live in an apartment however, you get information on checking seals around windows, contacting strata management to confirm they have cleaned gutters and downpipes as part of the maintenance of the building.”

Overall, NRMA’s call to action will remain consistent in all marketing across the country.

The list of tasks that will be promoted each month

First Saturday will run on the first Saturday of every month for the next year.

“By calling attention to this and inciting preventative action we are keeping families and first responders from harm’s way, and living out the NRMA’s core purpose to make your world a safer place,” White said.

An example of the OOH execution


Brent Smart – CMO
Sally Kiernan – Director, Brand Marketing
Zara Curtis – Director, Content & Customer Engagement
Caroline Hugall – Director, Group Brand Strategy
Luke Farrell – Director, Marketing Operations
Sam McGown – Creative & Innovation Lead
Elizabeth Stokes – Creative & Innovation Lead
Mahsa Merat – Creative & Innovation Specialist
And thanks to the entire IAG marketing team.

CHE Proximity
Ant White – Chief Creative Officer
Chris Howatson – Chief Executive Officer
Holly Alexander – Director of Production
Glen Dickson, Wesley Hawes – Executive Creative Directors
Gavin Chimes – Creative Director
Mark Tallis – Senior Art Director
Cameron Dowsett – Senior Copywriter
Katie Dally – Client Partner
Charles Todhunter – Senior Account Manager
Nick Andrews – Director, Brand
Darren Cole – Head of Design
Vanessa Saporito – Designer
Reece Lawson – Digital Design Lead

Media Agency -Mindshare

PR Agency – Thinkerbell

Production Credits
Director – Justin Kurzel
Managing Director/Executive Producer – Michael Ritchie
Executive Producer – Pip Smart
Producer – Serena Paull and Ian Iveson
Director of Photography – Sam Chiplin
Production Designer – Pete Baxter
Editor – Jack Hutchings
Post Production – Heckler
VFX Supervisor – Tom Corbett and Jamie Watson
Executive Producer – Bonnie Law
Colourist – Olivier Fontenay
FX Artist – Mark Chataway
Senior Compositor – Maxence Pellion
Senior Flame Artist – Brad Smith
IO & Edit Assist – Dan Page
Sound and Music Company – Sonar Music
Music Composer – Antony Partos
Mixer – Andy Wright
Sonar Music Executive Producer – Sophie Haydon
Stills Production Company – The Pool Collective
Photographer – Matthew Thorne
Producer – Christiana Roberts
Post Production, Stills – Iren Skaarnes

McGregor Casting – Stevie Ray


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