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BWM Dentsu turned Google Adwords into a real time alert network

BWM Dentsu, Columbus, dentsu X

The threat of bushfires is something many Australians live with every day but existing alert systems were challenged by the unpredictable nature of fire. With lives at risk, failure was not an option. So, we were tasked with translating bushfire awareness into immediate behavioural action in one of the most fire prone regions in the world: Victoria, Australia.

For the campaign to be successful, we needed to simplify the complexities around fire danger warnings. Due to the diverse set of risks posed by fires at a local level, we needed to deliver multiple messages to a wide range of audiences at either different times or simultaneously if conditions demanded. With all activity being intrinsically linked to weather conditions we had to find a creative way to plan for fire danger risks. The true hero of the strategy was our ability to successfully map the CFA (Country Fire Authority) data against nine districts to serve 'hyper' local results.

Our solution was born out of the thing people turn to first in an emergency. Their smart phone. And the first thing they normally see when using their phone: Google Adwords.

So, we turned Adwords into a real time-alert network. A system that served accurate, geographically relevant fire risk alerts. We developed a dynamic content solution which integrated Fire Danger Rating Warnings Data, Weather Alerts and Geographic Zoning.

Using a mobile network location-based targeting system and a distinctive combination of Wi-Fi and telco signal strength, we mapped out locations which helped us accurately identify users' location within fire districts.

Our goal for this campaign was to prevent any casualties. No Victorian lost their life due to fire this season and whilst this cannot be attributed solely to our campaign, our 'alert ads' played a crucial role in educating Victorians and alerting them to take action. Our campaign mechanism helped amplify warning messages, maximising impressions, reducing ad-fatigue and reaching the most users possible - resulting in 1 in 2 Victorians were clicking on our ads during the height of summer. CPC of less than $0.5. Relevance to users was maximised through these trigger rules, resulting in a CTR of over 20%.

AlertAd from Dentsu Aegis Network - ANZ on Vimeo.