Back It Up — Seeding a helpful heuristic saves lives on flooded roads.

You can’t always trust your instincts. Not every motorist who encounters a flooded road makes a safe decision in the mental overload of the moment. So we seeded a helpful heuristic to embed a better habitual response. When faced with floodwater, back it up.


Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

  • Brand Strategy
  • Advertising
  • Behaviour Change Strategy

‘If it’s flooded, forget it’ is an iconic platform recalled by 86% of Queensland motorists. But over a third say they would still drive through floodwaters after assessing the situation. Why? Prolonged exposure to messaging can lead to disengagement. And cognitive biases hardwired into our brains can trigger irrational and dangerous behaviour.

To remove the need for over a million Queenslanders to self-assess and make poor driving decisions, we created a powerful, single minded, action-oriented hook: Back it up. We showed how the smartest, bravest and best move you can make when faced with floodwater on the road is to stop. Take a moment. And back it up.

The campaign lockup used a U-turn device for mnemonic effect and to link to the ‘If it’s flooded, forget it’ equity. The creative featured captivating storytelling and visual effects and ran through the summer storm season on tv, cinema, contextual OOH, social platforms and digital channels.

Post flight audience research found that the campaign drove a 38% reduction in the number of Queensland motorists who said 'I would drive through floodwaters if I thought it was safe to do so', achieving our key behaviour change objective.

Collaborate. Ideate. Activate.


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