We have shown you advertising campaigns that focus on the betterment of society. Advertising, when used to bring light to events in our lives or causes that have affected us in some way, can be very powerful. Such is the type of ad campaign we are about to show you.
First, some background. The following ad campaign is being put on by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria, Australia. It depicts an event that happened on a Saturday in 2009. They call it Black Saturday.
Unlike the U.S.'s Black Friday, this has nothing to do with shopping.
On a Saturday in 2009, over 173 people lost their lives due to a bushfire. The CFA and the Fire Prevention Minister reported that close to 75% of residents in fire-prone areas do not have a fire plan. They made this advertisement in hopes that the government could scare them into thinking about it.
The ad itself isn't gory, and you cannot see much, but it does a fantastic job capturing the terror of a family that is facing its final minute together and alive.
The role of advertising is to let people know about things they need, things they want, and things they should think about. One would think that a person in a fire-prone area, after witnessing the kind of disaster that happened in 2009, would have a fire plan. But, like in the U.S., people would think that after the spike in lung cancer and other diseases, people would stop smoking.
Advertising is a call to action for consumers. Every good call-to-action shows the problem, the consequence for not solving the problem, and a way for people to avoid that consequence. We are focusing on the negative reinforcement of a call-to-action since it appropriately fits the ad campaign.
Support groups for the families who were affected by the 2009 fires were consulted before the ad was shown, and the organization added a warning before the actual advertisement for those affected by the fires to turn away while the ad is being shown in case they wanted to avoid re-living such a scene.
Below is the ad:
Before writing this post, we were thinking about writing one about how we think the advertising industry may take itself too seriously. When we stumble upon campaigns like this, we are extremely humbled, and wonder why the advertising world isn't taking itself seriously enough.