NSW Rural Fire Service asks ‘How fireproof is your plan?’ in awareness campaign

Leading into the bushfire season, Australians who lost their homes and livelihoods are reflecting on their experiences and the lessons they have learned from the 2019/20 bushfire season.

It is the first campaign from the NSW Rural Fire Service since last summer’s bushfire season, which took the lives of 26 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes.

The campaign is led by a film following South Coast resident, Jim Hughes, who lost his home on New Year’s Eve while those over the road survived. A poem written by Hughes titled ‘I just want to go home’ is also featured in the campaign.

The campaign, by Wunderman Thompson, builds upon the platform ‘How fireproof is your plan?’, which began in 2018 and continued last year.

The agency’s chief strategy officer, Angela Morris, said this time around it was important to treat the platform with sensitivity.

“Despite last year’s devastating bushfire season, there is still a need to remind households in at-risk areas that they need to plan and prepare properly for this season. The question at the centre of last year’s campaign, ‘How fireproof is your plan?’, resonated strongly, so we wanted to build on this. Our challenge was how to do this sensitively,” she said.

“Our solution was to tell authentic stories, based on self-reflection about the fires and preparation, to really ensure the message about the importance of proper preparedness gets through. That’s why creatively this year’s campaign features the perspective of fire affected residents like Jim, rather than messages from the RFS.”

The campaign will run throughout the fire season to March 2021.

Anthony Clark, director communications and engagement at the NSW RFS said: “Last fire season was unprecedented in terms of fire danger, fire activity and impact on the community. So often after fires we hear how people wished they did more to plan and prepare, and this is one of the key fire lessons.

“The challenge has been delivering a campaign that is authentic and sensitive and by using real people and real stories, it underlines the very real danger posed by fires while also giving some hope as communities continue to recover from this terrible fire event.”

The campaign launches with 60, 30 and 15 second TVCs and will extent to OOH, social media, online video, digital banners, radio, localised press campaigns and website takeovers. Media is being executed by Atomic 212.

In February, Wunderman Thompson and the NSW Rural Fire Service thanked the US and Australian firefighters defending the country throughout the crisis with a 77-foot billboard in Times Square.


Wunderman Thompson
Simon Langley, National Chief Creative Officer
Angela Morris, National Chief Strategy Officer
Steven Hey, Associate Creative Director
Simon Koay, Associate Creative Director
Ana Lynch, Partner
Sheridan Turner, Group Engagement Lead
Rebekah O’Grady, Engagement Manager
Gabe Hammond, Senior Broadcast Producer

Wunderman Thompson Post-Production
Phil Horn, Editor, Film
Matt Fezz, Colourist
Richard Lambert, Flame Op
Chloe Marshall, Post-Producer
Kel Gronow, Editor, Social

Revolver/ Will O’Rourke
Richard Bullock, Director
Michael Ritchie – MD & Executive Producer
Anna Mannix, Executive Producer
Alex Kember, Producer

Lucky Break Creative

Sound Design

Media: Atomic 212°
Ashleigh Hall: Group Account Director
Ilona Evans: Client Lead
Jay Malig: Planning & Trading Director
Madeline Mann: Planning & Trading Manager
Kristian Whitfield: Planning & Trading Executive.
Benjamin Xu: Performance Director
Ashley Vaughan-Riley: Performance Manager
Anne Mui: Programmatic Executive

‘I just want to go home’, written by Jim Hughes

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