NZ Fire Service highlights one of the most important voices in the household, our smoke alarms--UPDATED

  • PSA
  • August 26, 2015
  • StopPress Team
NZ Fire Service highlights one of the most important voices in the household, our smoke alarms--UPDATED

(UPDATE) A release says the campaign will include banner advertisements and Facebook outreach, skewed towards key audiences, who identified as likely to believe that a fire 'won't happen to them  '. These include high-risk groups – especially renters, at-risk families, the elderly and people living alone.

FCB New Zealand’s executive creative director Tony Clewett says the campaign was about doing what you can to protect your loved ones.

“80 percent of New Zealand homes have smoke alarms installed, but more than half of those don’t actually work. A tragedy in the making. Our brief was simple: get Kiwis off their butts and up the ladder, making sure their smoke alarms are functioning properly,” he says.

“It doesn’t bear thinking what the consequences could be if we let this slide. The ultimate end goal is to make sure every single New Zealand home has working smoke alarms.”

The release says the key aspect of the strategy is to avoid singling out specific groups or creating blame or scare mongering viewers. Instead, the aim is to show the positive behaviour of installing and checking smoke alarms and how this becomes something Kiwis do for their loved ones because they care for them.

New Zealand Fire Service national communications manager Blair McLaren led the team developing the new ads. He says: "Most people accept that smoke alarms save lives, but frequently they don’t take that next step of buying, installing and regularly checking alarms. Our campaign aims to bridge that gap between awareness and action.”

He says the Fire Service recommended long-life photoelectric smoke alarms because they are more effective than ionisation alarms at detecting slow-smouldering as well as fast-flaming fires.

Original story: August 26

The New Zealand Fire Service has released two new ads, the first since FCB became its creative agency. The ads, part of a campaign called ‘Your only voice’ warn that a working smoke alarm is often one's only voice to warn loved ones and friends of a fire.

FCB won the account after a creative pitch thought to have been focused on the need for Kiwis to change the batteries of their smoke alarms.

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.

Last year, in the lead up to the pitch for the Fire Service account, Y&R NZ made the unorthodox move of announcing its interest in the account by releasing a Guy Fawkes-themed PSA. But the gamble didn’t pay off.

The NZ Fire Service account followed Dave King (former M&C Saatchi chief executive) across to Whybin\TBWA last year after the closure of New Zealand's M&C Saatchi office in April last year. With King at the reins as the executive creative director, the NZ Fire Service has over the course of the last few years released a range of poignant and well-received spots that have used the power of guilt to drive social change. 

"New Zealand Fire Service was one of the most rewarding clients I have worked on," says King. "I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done for them over the past four years, especially the smoke alarms work. I wish them all the best for the future and hope that our paths cross again soon."


CLIENT: New Zealand Fire Service

AGENCY: FCB New Zealand

ACCOUNT SERVICES: Paul Irwin, Melissa Scott, Emily Watts



SENIOR CREATIVE LEADS: Kelly Lovelock, Hywel James



PLANNING: David Thomason

MEDIA: Rachel Leyland, Catherine Selfe, Lucy Sorensen, Anne Lipsham




DIRECTOR: Nic Finalyson

PRODUCER: Anna Stuart / Jimena Murray

DOP: Ginny Loane

EDITOR: Tim Mauger

GRADE: Blockhead – Clare Burlinson

ONLINE EDITOR / FACILITY: Blockhead - VSFX Designer – Stefan Coorey

POST PRODUCER: Blockhead – James Eivers

SOUND STUDIO: Nylon Studios



This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

  • Advertising
  • February 22, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

On Monday, Whittaker’s launched its latest novelty chocolate-lolly mash up with a chocolatey answer to retro bakesale treat coconut ice. The Coconut Ice Surprise chocolate has a twist though, 20c from each block goes to Plunket – a charity which New Zealanders agree is a worthy cause. However, to relate the chocolate to the charity, Whittaker's has built the campaign around baby gender reveal parties, causing a backlash from the public who argue gender norms have expanded beyond blue for boys and pink for girls.

Read more
Next page
Results for

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.


Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit