What have you got to lose? — Picturing a grim future helps prevent it.

Changing climate patterns are driving deadly bushfires into ‘it couldn’t happen here’ locations across Australia. Preparatory action saves lives, but apathy, inertia, ignorance and self exempting are stacked against it. How to break through? We found the answer by posing a provocative question.


Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

  • Behaviour Change Strategy
  • Advertising
  • Digital Tool

The 2019/2020 Queensland bushfire season was catastrophic. Ahead of the next season, QFES needed Queenslanders to better prepare their property and loved ones.

But with many people self-exempting because they didn’t consider their home prone to bushfire, Khemistry posed the question – “What have you got to lose?”.

Using loss aversion as a strategy to emotionally engage audiences, the campaign also positively framed preparatory bushfire behaviours to educate and empower Queenslanders. By getting people to consider for a moment what it would feel like to lose all they love to bushfire, the campaign worked to ensure they would never actually have to.

The haunting visuals and emotive layering did their job. Post campaign tracking found that the campaign delivered a recall of 58%. This was 45% higher than the prior year’s campaign.

Recall is great, rethinking is even better. The campaign saw people in high-risk locations re-evaluating their level of preparedness. It shifted self-assessment rates from an overconfident 71% in 2020 to 65% in 2021, while crucially also increasing their actual level of preparedness.

58%Of exposed QLDRS recalled the campaign (vs 40% recall for the previous campaign)
16%Of QLDRS exposed to the campaign visited the QFES website (vs 6% of those who weren’t)
28%Of high risk QLDRS exposed to the campaign made a Bushfire Survival Plan (vs 16% of those who weren’t)

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Khemistry is part of Asia-Pacific-wide marketing and technology group, GrowthOps. Together, we can help your organisation build and launch transformational products, acquire and retain new customers, and boost capability and performance.