New Zealand Red Cross launched their national annual appeal this year with a provocative television advertisement featuring people posing as victims of an unnamed disaster. The super: “A disaster could hit anywhere, anytime. Call 0900 733 267 to donate. Annual Appeal 27 FEB – 5 MAR Disasters don’t discriminate and neither do we. New Zealand Red Cross.”
A shopping trolley stands unattended in a supermarket aisle. On the floor lie a woman and her son. The hum of air conditioning changes to the whir of an unattended photocopier. Papers spill out and fall over a man collapsed on the floor. Out in the alfresco café a security alarm sounds as the camera pans over customers lying on the pavement. woman sprawls on the ground. Three students lie beside their sports gear on a school sports field. Members of an orchestra have collapsed where they sat.
The ad was developed by advertising agency Y&R New Zealand by creative director Jeneal Rohrback, creatives Jon Horner and Kat Gwilliam, and agency producer Zoe Yendell.
Sound was designed at Liquid Studios.
From the NZ Red Cross
Disasters can happen anywhere, at any time, and New Zealanders need to be prepared for one in their own back yard, New Zealand Red Cross Director General Andrew Weeks says. “There is a view that disasters are the preserve of Third World countries. They are not and the next major disaster could be our one. It’s crucial that kiwis are prepared so they can minimise the impact on their families, and possibly even save lives,” he says.
This year New Zealand Red Cross is helping to raise awareness of the possibilities for disaster at home through its Annual Appeal campaign, “Disasters Don’t Discriminate.” The campaign is intentionally provocative says Mr Weeks.
“Our intention is not to scare people or cause undue alarm, but we do want to get people’s attention. Disasters and disaster preparedness are major issues and it is Red Cross’ objective to help make people think about how they could be affected.”
Part of the funds raised through the Annual Appeal, held from 27 February to 5 March, will go towards emergency preparedness and response in regions throughout New Zealand.
Funding will also go towards sending aid workers to help those in other countries, and community services such as refugee assistance and hospital transport services.
This year’s appeal theme is particularly relevant, as the number of disasters throughout 2005 proved that it is not only third world countries that are devastated by disaster, Mr Weeks says.
“Hurricane Katrina showed us that help is always needed in a major disaster, even in a first world country. Kiwis are very generous about helping out overseas when other countries are hit by disaster, but they also need to be in situation to help themselves.”
This year is the 75th anniversary of New Zealand Red Cross, and as it was born out of one of New Zealand’s greatest disasters, this is an appropriate time to ensure kiwis are still prepared, Mr Weeks says. “New Zealand Red Cross was set up as a result of the Red Cross response to the Hawkes Bay earthquake in 1931.”
A copy of the Emergency Preparedness Plan, which outlines how families can prepare to survive the aftermath of a disaster until emergency services arrive, is available as a PDF on the Red Cross site.