Fire and Emergency New Zealand takes away smell to reiterate the importance of smoke alarms

While ‘someone took your nose’ is typically associated with humour, in the case of Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s new campaign, via FCB, a missing nose puts you at risk while you sleep. 

Called ‘Senseless’, the campaign features a series of images of people sleeping and strikingly, their noses have been removed. As an explainer, each image features a smoke alarm and the line ‘When you sleep you lose your sense of smell’ spelt out in smoke.

The idea of losing your sense of smell in your sleep led to the campaign’s creation, with FCB’s creatives say it’s not a widely known fact, but it makes the case of smoke alarms in bedrooms all the more compelling.

“It is rare to have new news to share in an advertising campaign these days so we created some print work that communicated in a strong, simple way, just how vulnerable people are when they’re asleep.”

That point was demonstrated in a study conducted by the Irondale Fire and Rescue Service in Alabama, which found that only two out of 10 adults in a test group woke to the smell of smoke. The conclusion was smoke alarms were essential as 80 percent of people won’t be woken by smoke.

Adding to the powerful nature of the campaign, it uses some of the most vulnerable people in the community, including a child, an elderly woman and a baby.

The serious, striking nature of this campaign differs from Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s previous campaign, which saw comedian Thomas Sainsbury transform himself into a smoke alarm, barbecue and frying pan.

In a series of videos, he swapped faes with the items to share witty tales about their roles in house fires.

About that campaign, Mel Weddell, from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, said in over 80 percent of fatal fires, smoke alarms are either not installed or not working and it’s vital that it continues to drive awareness around the importance of checking and replacing them.

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