18.6 million hectares (that’s 46 million acres) destroyed. More than 5,900 buildings including 2,779 homes obliterated. 1 billion animals and 34 people killed. Australia’s 2019-2020 bushfires were off the scale, even for a country in which bushfires are a regular summer occurrence.
The Australian government’s response was pitiful. Still is. But the world rallied to help.
Wunderman Thompson Australia and the NSW Rural Fire Service have created a massive tribute to the firefighters who gave up their entire summer to battle the fires and the people and organisations throughout the world that supported them.
They have placed a 23.5 metre (77-foot) billboard in Times Square, the third most instagrammed location in the world. The billboard was donated by Silvercast and sends a message of thanks in a 15-second sequence.
Anthony Clark, director corporate communications at the NSW RFS, stated, “We’ve seen incredible support from all areas – from individuals, big corporations, our overseas firefighting partners and the community, so when we were offered this free ad space we thought it was a chance to return the favour and say ‘thanks’. The support has been amazing – it’s a small sign of gratitude on a big scale.”
Simon Langley, National Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman Thompson Australia, commented, “With Australia having experienced one of the worst fire seasons in history, there has never been a more important time for us to recognise our firefighters, both locally and internationally, who have bravely battled the bush fires to keep our country and people safe. It has been a privilege to work alongside NSW Rural Fire Service and Silvercast to create the global tribute our firefighters deserve.”
Agency: Wunderman Thompson Australia
National Chief Creative Officer: Simon Langley
National Chief Strategy Officer: Angela Morris
Creative Director Sydney: Sinead Roarty
Creatives: Lachlan Newham & Jack Elliott
Partner: Ana Lynch
Engagement Manager: Rebekah O’Grady
Post Production: The Cannery @ Wunderman Thompson
Producer: Chloe Marshall
Senior VFX Artist: Kel Gronow
Client: NSW Rural Fire Service
Director Corporate Communications: Anthony Clark