The New Zealand Fire Service launched an unsettling campaign today via FCB, which draws attention to the importance of smoke alarms through a newspaper ad that's been printed with a combination of ink and ash.
The campaign was launched after NZ Fire Service won News Works’ inaugural Day of Influence challenge, giving the client $300,000 worth of free advertising.
For the initiative, NZ Fire Service and FCB used the remains of a South Auckland home and infused it with ink, using it to print an article which ran in today’s New Zealand Herald, according to a release.
The article tells the story of how a fire swept through the home of Cathylyn Palaa, where she lived with her brother, his wife and their six children; as well as confrontational statistics on house fires in New Zealand to emphasise the importance of a working smoke alarm.
The New Zealand Herald article was also the basis of a TVC, showing how the articles were created and featuring Palaa and family members revisiting the burned down home, where the family lost everything except their lives.
Local stories infused with ink and ash from recent regional fires are also running in todays’ Otago Daily Times, Southland Times, Christchurch Press, Hawke’s Bay Today, Bay of Plenty Times, Waikato Times, Taranaki Daily News and the Dominion Post.
“Without that smoke alarm I wouldn’t know that there’s a fire and I want to encourage people to put in a smoke alarm. Don’t think it’s a waste of time or money to buy an alarm, it can help to save lives,” says Palaa.
A release says at 80 percent of the house fires the New Zealand Fire Service attends, there are no working smoke alarms.
NZFS national advisor fire risk management Todd O’Donoghue says if people don’t have working smoke alarms, a fire is well established before it makes any noise.
“It’s the smoke that actually kills people, long before the flames get to them. Even a very small fire can impart toxic smoke.”
More than 3,200 house fires take place around the country every year with 19 deaths as a result since July 2015.
NZ Fire Service's previous campaign (its first through FCB), dubbed ‘Your only voice’ warned that a working smoke alarm was often one's only voice to warn loved ones and friends of a fire.
One ad, called ‘Families’ features a father trying to get his daughter to wake up due to a fire in the house and the other called ‘Flatmates’ has a friend trying to get his flatmate to wake up in similar circumstances. The two figures then disappear and their yelling turns into the beeping of a fire alarm, with the ads’ messages being that you can’t always be there to warn your loved ones when a fire disaster happens, but a smoke alarm can.