Don’t drown in toxic smoke

The UK government has launched an integrated advertising campaign raising awareness of the need for smoke alarms in homes. The television commercial at the centre of the campaign introduces the tag line, “Don’t Drown in Toxic Smoke”. The campaign, part of the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Fire Kills initiative, tackles the deadly belief that in a housefire, smoke would wake people, allowing them to escape by illustrating the fact that just two to three breathes of toxic smoke will render you unconscious. In just under 50% of cases it’s not the fire that kills, its the toxic smoke.

Smoke Under Water in Don't Drown in Toxic Smoke

The “Don’t Drown” advert shows a couple sleeping in a bedroom filled with water, using the analogy of drowning to demonstrate how defenceless sleeping people are in the face of toxic smoke. The commercial is supplemented with print, radio and online ads that will run from October 2009 through to March 2010.

Click on the image below to play the video.

See more pictures from the making of the campaign, online at Flickr.


The “Don’t drown in toxic smoke” campaign was developed at RKCR/Y&R, London, by executive creative director Damon Collins, creatives Mike Boles and Jerry Hollens.

Filming was shot underwater at Pinewood Studios by director Dougal Wilson via Blink Productions. Other underwater scenes shot at Pinewood Studios include the Venice sequence in the James Bond film Casino Royale.

The ad was voiced by Lesley Sharp, known for her roles on Red Riding, Clocking Off and Prime Suspect.

Saint, RKCR/Y&Rs digital division, has backed up the campaign online with home page take overs to launch the campaign on The Sun, Heart FM and Absolute FM as well as digital banners used as reminders to test your alarm today throughout the duration of the campaign period.