The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service asks people to ‘Back It Up’ and not risk driving through floodwaters

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has launched a safety campaign ahead of its upcoming flood season, asking people to stop driving through floodwaters.

The TVC, created by GrowthOps, travels through a queue of cars banked up in heavy rain, considering driving through floodwaters, until the driver at the front decides to ‘Back It Up’.

The four scenes inside the cars – a nervous new driver, young males, a distracted mother and a 4WD owner – were carefully selected as they are the cohorts most likely to take the risk and drive through flood waters. This was done with the goal of preventing these groups from exempting themselves from the message.

Research supporting the campaign found that 37% of Queenslanders still risk their lives by driving through floodwaters.

GrowthOps Brisbane head of strategy and innovation, Caroline Starecky, said in a statement: “Social and environmental pressures, past experiences and overestimating one’s driving abilities or car’s capabilities, are all decision-making factors that can overwhelm drivers into making the wrong choice under pressure.

“We’re asking drivers when they’re faced with floodwater, to mentally and physically ‘Back It Up’.”

QFES’ campaign coordinator, Jennifer Kerr, said: “The idea, complemented by the cinematic execution, will be hard for drivers to ignore. It is empathic to the reasons why people may get carried away when faced with floodwater, but ultimately promotes the decision to ‘Back It Up’ as being the bravest and smartest thing to do.

“Our hope is that the decision to ‘Back It Up’ becomes second nature, so that in the event of a flood, drivers immediately know what to do and also that their actions positively influence others to do the same.”

The OOH execution for the ‘Back It Up’ campaign

Production of the TVC took two night time shoots, the removal of the four car roofs and the flooding of a decommissioned road. The noise of the rain, created by rain machines, was used to highlight the pressure that surrounds the decision to drive in the flood conditions.

Director of the TVC, Miles Murphy, from production company Happy, said: “Creating four different environments and four uniquely tense moments within the cars, with limited time for talent performance was the biggest challenge.”

GrowthOps Brisbane creative director, Lindsay Thompson, added: “As a safety message, convincing people not to drive through floodwater is notoriously difficult to do simply, and in a relatable, memorable way. Together, we’ve created a quality campaign we’re all very proud of.”

The TVC will appear on television, YouTube, Facebook and in cinemas. It will be supported by OOH and radio.


Agency – GrowthOps
Creative Director: Lindsay Thompson
Senior Art Director: Simon Budzevski
Senior Copywriter: Tim Kelly
Producer: Natalie Mitchell
Account Director: Dianne Grice
Account Manager: Dan Paull
Video Editor: Nic Fornasier & Tom Coade
Sound Designer: David Gaylard
Senior Mac Artist: Steve Wallwork

Client – Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES)
Campaign Coordinator: Jennifer Kerr

Production Company – Happy
Director: Miles Murphy
Producer: Angela Murphy

Post-Production – The Post Lounge

Damien Bredberg


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