IPA Effectiveness Awards 2005: Silver Award - Best New Client

FIRE AUTHORITY FOR NORTHERN IRELAND Campaign: Writing on the wall Client: Fire Authority for Northern Ireland Agency: Ardmore Advertising Principal authors: Orla Ross, John Keane, Stephen Roycroft Media used: TV, print, outdoor, press


The aim of Ardmore's campaign for the Fire Authority of Northern Ireland was single-minded and straightforward: to save lives and property from fires.

This case study demonstrates how advertising educated the public on the causes of house fires, raised awareness of safety practices, effected a significant change in habitual behaviour and, crucially, reduced the number of fatalities and injuries.

Images of human handprints strewn across charred walls provided the creative basis of the campaign, an idea born out of agency fire training days and from watching forensic tapes of real post-fire scenarios.

The advertising campaign embraced television, radio, press and outdoor, with some additional airtime and media coverage secured through sponsorship.

The communication strategy involved strategic and integrated campaign planning and produced some extraordinary results. These were a 14 per cent year-on-year reduction in the total number of household fires, and a 12 per cent year-on-year decrease in the number of injuries from fires.

Sixty per cent of respondents to a survey of the target group said they were, as a direct result of the advertising, influenced to take practical action to prevent fires.


This was a big task because a lot of information needed to be transmitted through the advertising. The campaign used a very strong creative idea and an interesting mix of media. All in all, this is a very joined-up and compelling presentation - from objective to insight to execution to results.


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