Ad Nut
Oct 2, 2020

NSW Rural Fire Service puts out gut-wrenching film ahead of fire season

A lesson from Wunderman Thompson Australia in inciting emotion without tears or music.

The devastating 2019/2020 summer fires—the worst for New South Wales (NSW) in living memory—took 26 lives, more than 2000 homes, and a significant portion of wildlife.

In a new campaign for NSW Rural Fire Service by Wunderman Thompson Australia, residents affected by last year’s fires speak about their experiences, losses, and lessons learned. The aim of the campaign is to educate residents about fireproofing their homes and planning ahead.

The main film features single dad Jim Hughes, a South Coast resident who lost his home on New Year’s Eve. Hughes is seen recounting the day he watched his home burn down, and in a separate video, recites a poem he penned called ‘I just want to go home’.

“The fire is gone but it’s not over… If I could have just one more night in my comfy old bed, get a beer out of my old fridge…” Hughes reads.

Angela Morris, national chief strategy officer at Wunderman Thompson said the challenge was in how to do a campaign sensitively. Ad Nut thinks the work is suitably respectful and manages not to exploit the suffering of those who lost their homes.

This is also a case where one doesn’t need an extravagant film set, a loaded budget, or a swelling background score to create an emotional piece of work. Insurance companies in Singapore, are you listening?


‘I just want to go home’, written by Jim Hughes

Wunderman Thompson

Simon Langley, National Chief Creative Officer
Angela Morris, National Chief Strategy Officer
Steven Hey, Associate Creative Director
Simon Koay, Associate Creative Director
Ana Lynch, Partner
Sheridan Turner, Group Engagement Lead
Rebekah O’Grady, Engagement Manager
Gabe Hammond, Senior Broadcast Producer

Wunderman Thompson Post-Production

Phil Horn, Editor, Film
Matt Fezz, Colourist
Richard Lambert, Flame Op
Chloe Marshall, Post-Producer
Kel Gronow, Editor, Social

Revolver/ Will O’Rourke

Richard Bullock, Director
Michael Ritchie - MD & Executive Producer
Anna Mannix, Executive Producer
Alex Kember, Producer


Lucky Break Creative

Sound Design



Atomic 212°
Ashleigh Hall: Group Account Director
Ilona Evans: Client Lead
Jay Malig: Planning & Trading Director
Madeline Mann: Planning & Trading Manager
Kristian Whitfield: Planning & Trading Executive.
Benjamin Xu: Performance Director
Ashley Vaughan-Riley: Performance Manager
Anne Mui: Programmatic Executive

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