|Title||WALL OF FLAMES|
|Brand||NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE|
|Product / Service||NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE|
|Category||B03. Use of Print / Outdoor|
|Entrant||WUNDERMAN THOMPSON Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation||WUNDERMAN THOMPSON Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Media Placement||SILVERCAST MEDIA New York, USA|
|Production||WUNDERMAN THOMPSON Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Post Production||WUNDERMAN THOMPSON Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Simon Langley||Wunderman Thompson||Chief Creative Officer|
|Sinead Roarty||Wunderman Thompson||Creative Director|
|Jack Elliott||Wunderman Thompson||Associate Creative Director|
|Lochie Newham||Wunderman Thompson||Associate Creative Director|
|Angela Morris||Wunderman Thompson||National Chief Strategy Officer|
|Ana Lynch||Wunderman Thompson||Partner|
|Rebekah O’Grady||Wunderman Thompson||Engagement Manager|
|Chloe Marshall||Wunderman Thompson||Producer|
|Kel Gronow||Wunderman Thompson||Senior VFX Artist|
The media channel we used was pivotal in amplifying this message around the world. Only the sheer scale of Times Square’s biggest billboard could contextualise the huge size and ferocity of a bushfire. And only a destination as iconic as Times Square could capture the global media’s attention.
In summer 2019/20, the world watched as Australia faced its worst bushfires in living memory. These fires burned over 24 million hectares, and firefighters fought flames as high as 70 metres. As people around the world gave what they could, Silvercast Media donated the use of their billboard (Times Square’s biggest) to the NSW Rural Fire Service - who wanted to use the billboard to thank their firefighters and raise the world’s awareness of their brave efforts.
We created a tribute to our firefighters by putting the sheer size of the challenge they faced into context. Turning the huge 77-foot billboard into a life-size bushfire front, that put passers-by in the shoes of Australia’s courageous firefighters.
News of Australia’s devastating bushfires captured the attention of adults of all ages around the world. But it was hard for anyone to relate to how truly dangerous the situation was without being there. To increase the world’s awareness of our firefighter’s courage, we first needed to increase their awareness of the colossal challenge they faced – and this single colossal billboard gave us the opportunity to do just that.
In a bid to stand out from Times Square’s usual bright lights, the animation began with an entirely black screen featuring one small super that read: “Imagine fighting a bushfire higher than this billboard”, before it was engulfed by flames ravaging through a forest. These flames demonstrated both the speed and height that actual bushfire flames can reach. The billboard was aired 1,344 times over a 3-week period in Times Square, ensuring that even after the initial media push, the 330k people who pass through the square everyday would see the gravitas of the message and share via their socials. To further amplify the execution’s reach, footage of the billboard’s animation was shared with global news outlets and via the RFS’s social media channels.
With zero media spend, the billboard was shared by individuals and news outlets across the world, totalling $10.5 million in earned media and over 680 million impressions. Publications include BBC, CNN, CBS, entertainment publications such as LADBible, and all national nightly news shows.