|Title||WALL OF FLAMES|
|Brand||NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE|
|Product / Service||NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE|
|Category||A07. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government|
|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|
For weeks, the Australian bushfires featured in every news bulletin in every corner of the globe. They received so much coverage that people started to become desensitised to the fires and the plight of those fighting them. By transforming a space in Times Square, one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks, we were able to shift the conversation; driving PR and appreciation for the heroes brave enough to take on this enormous challenge.
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, using Times Square’s largest billboard to contextualise the huge scale and ferocity of a bushfire. Giving thanks to our brave heroes by giving passers-by, and the world, a better understanding and appreciation of the enormous challenges they face.
News stories 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. We did this by giving news outlets a story that put the scale and ferocity of these fires into context for the world, using one of the most Instagrammed places on the planet: Times Square.
Once the billboard went live, it was hard for media to miss the story. On February 19th, the NSW RFS sent out a single tweet featuring a video of the billboard, it was then amplified by a media release which dramatically increased 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.
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.