Guilt trip campaign aims to alarm you

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M&C Saatchi and the New Zealand Fire Service have launched a new multi-media campaign ‘Could you live with yourself?’ to promote the installation of smoke alarms. Currently over 90 percent of fire fatalities the New Zealand Fire Service attends do not have working smoke alarms.

The campaign again highlights the consequences of a house fire without having working smoke alarms, but instead of focusing on the fact that a house fire can kill you, focuses on the fact that your loved ones could be harmed and left with long lasting consequences. In this instance, the ad features a father who feels responsible for his daughter being permanently scarred.

The reason for this approach is that a large number of Kiwis believe ‘fires’ happen to other people and death from a fire is improbable. Living with the consequences of fire in the form of scarring, however, was seen as far more probable, more believable and far more compelling. The fear of your child having terrible scars as a result of your inaction was the most motivating reason to install or check alarms.

The line for the campaign taps in to this insight and asks ‘Could you live with yourself?’. The call to action: make sure you have working smoke alarms.

To ensure complete authenticity of the scars shown in the ads, New Zealand Fire Service liaised with the incredible specialist Debbie Murray at the National Burns Centre at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital. Her advice and encouragement was immense.

“We haven’t played the guilt card before,” said Scott Sargentina, corporate communications manager for the Fire Service. “But intuitively we know it will be a powerful motivating factor in changing behaviour. When the agency presented the concept, the immediate attraction for us was we could all imagine how the father would be feeling with this daily reminder of his inaction. I’d like to think this campaign will make New Zealanders ask whether they could live with themselves if something similar happened to them. And then do something about it.”

The campaign features, television, press, outdoor, radio and a large retail component driving people to The Warehouse to purchase smoke alarms at a discounted price point. The television spots were shot by director Glendyn Ivin of Exit Films, the stills were shot by photographer Steven Langdon and the radio was produced by sound production house, Franklin Road. The ads were created by M&C Saatchi. All of the other people mentioned in the credits were instrumental in the making of the ads.

Client: New Zealand Fire Service
Client Contacts: Scott Sargentina and Craig Pearce
Executive Creative Director: Dave King
Concept: Dave King
Account Director: Christina Mossaidis
Account Manager: Lacey Swanepoel
Copywriting: Dave King and Wicky Tafau
Art Direction: Frances Cooke
Agency Producer: Joide Hari
Production Company: Exit Films
Director: Glendyn Ivin
Producer: Susie Cole & Declan Cahill
DOP: Ari Wegner
Makeup FX: Andrew Beatie
Offline Editor: Peter Sciberras, The Butchery Melbourne
Online Editor: Jon Baxter, Perceptual Engineering
Music: Stephen Rae, Sydney
Sound Design: Shane Taipari, Franklin Road Audio
Photographer: Stephen Langdon
Medical consultant: Debbie Murray
Media: Julie-Ann Hedges
Retail Partner: The Warehouse

Behind the scenes making of video

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