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How Do You Ask a Nation to Make Their Homes Safer?



INFLUENCERS: CHE Proximity's Ant White and IAG's Caroline Hugall on changing behaviours with NRMA Insurance's 'First Saturday' campaign

How Do You Ask a Nation to Make Their Homes Safer?

During the recent catastrophic bushfires in Australia we watched in horror as firefighters raced towards rampaging flames that destroyed more than 18 million hectares of land. Weeks turned into months as the firefighters—or “firies” as they are affectionately known—fought tirelessly to save people, homes and wildlife across a drought-parched nation that had transformed into a tinderbox. 

The apocalyptic scenes broadcast into our living rooms night after night were shocking and frightening, but the darkness of the recent bushfires dubbed ‘Black Summer’, was tempered with a deep sense of gratitude and respect for the brave men and women putting their lives on the line to fight the fires. Their unwavering dedication in the face of such terrifying adversity is hard to truly comprehend. Even more so when we’re reminded that the majority of them are volunteers, fighting for the survival of their communities and the natural world surrounding them. 

In July 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions were being lifted in Australia, The Lab Strategy Group conducted a segmentation survey to understand changes in consumer mindsets. The research showed a shift in society towards appreciating community and connection, as people engaged in the outside world and felt more optimistic and secure. A focus on self-betterment and individualism was being replaced with a renewed appreciation for the importance of others. 65% of the sample agreed that “Going forward, close friends/relationships are the only ones that matter”, while only 23% thought that “Right now it is every person for themselves.”

The powerful dual forces of the bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic have caused significant shifts in culture and the collective mindset of Australians. Community, benevolence, selflessness all wrapped up in a newfound national pride inspired our latest preparedness campaign for NRMA Insurance, First Saturday – a purpose-driven movement that calls on all Australians to help protect first responders being called to danger by doing one small safety task around their homes on the first Saturday of every month. 

True behaviour change happens when you combine authenticity with commitment. Patagonia, REI and UNICEF are all classic case studies in how a brand can successfully deliver real behaviour change by truly living their purpose in the service of the greater good.

NRMA Insurance is Australia’s leading insurance provider and our purpose is to make your world a safer place. With more people at home than ever before, we saw an opportunity to encourage people to do a small task around the house to reduce the risk of danger.  According to Community Preparedness for Emergencies, most house fires can be prevented with a fire blanket, but over 85% of homes don’t own one. Furthermore 85% of homes lost by bushfires are caused by embers igniting garden debris, (CFA 2010). Simple tasks like clearing gutters, trimming back gardens, testing smoke alarms and purchasing fire blankets could have enormous benefits.

The significance of marking a day to take part is to counter the historical days etched into our national conscience – Red Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Black Friday. Generations of Australian’s can remember these days vividly, so for all the days Australians felt they couldn’t help, now there’s a day they can. First Saturday’s aims to give people a sense of control in a world where our safety can feel under threat. Helping people understand that by protecting their own home, they are protecting the many men and women that selflessly respond to disasters. 

The belief underpinning our campaign is that selflessness spreads. By portraying the incredible selflessness of the firefighters, First Saturday aims to inspire selflessness amongst all of us. With a 12-month calendar of tasks for the First Saturday of every month, we want Australians to take action on the safety in their homes. To feel a better sense of control over their environment. To make their world a safer place, one small task at a time.

Ant White is chief creative officer at CHE Proximity

Caroline Hugall is group brand strategy director at IAG 

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CHEP Network, Tue, 18 Aug 2020 13:24:11 GMT