Best Public Sector/Government Marketing Campaign 2023

In New Zealand one in four house fires start in the kitchen, with half of fatal house fires involving alcohol or drugs. Fire and Emergency NZ want to help change this. 

This statistic ignited Fire and Emergency NZ to take matters into its own hands to help the ‘disengaged’ – a young demographic who don’t see unattended cooking as low risk – practise safer cooking. 

 Identifying that this audience were most likely people flatting in a rental property and believe a house fire won’t happen to them, Fire and Emergency NZ knew this demographic often have a ‘here and now’ mindset. 

The organisation was tasked with the challenge of changing this mindset within the notoriously difficult disengaged audience about leaving cooking unattended, meaning the approach had to be as relatable as possible. 

‘Never drink and fry’ and ‘Never get high and fry’ was the approach the organisation came up with in
the hopes of seeing an increase in the perceived risk of leaving cooking unattended.

In order to reach this disengaged audience, Fire and Emergency NZ targeted the young people who are hungry for authentic and TikTok-esque content that reflected funny content seen on popular Instagram pages such as

Fire and Emergency NZ leaned into this by creating an easy and safe recipe book that doesn’t require an oven or stovetop titled ‘You’re Cooked, Recipes to Avoid Disaster’, that can be used when one is cooked. 

The cookbook was designed to reflect the drunk sensory cues with large text and easy visuals. 

Adding fuel to the fire, they created a video campaign making use of a mobile test kitchen to involve an audience and prove the effectiveness of the recipes. 

On a big night in Auckland, the organisation invited people who fit into the disengaged category and were cooked to the test and filmed their experiences creating late-night feeds, reinforcing the campaign line “if you’re cooked, stay off the stove”. 

This campaign was widely successful across TikTok and wider social and paid SVOD as the people in the campaign provided authentic and hilarious content. It was light-hearted, entertaining but also serious and called for safety. 

Fire and Emergency NZ also used platforms such as Tinder, TicketMaster, University orientation weeks, local pubs and bottle stores and even creating ‘Cooked’ playlists to get in touch with this audience. 

The campaign was a viral sensation, with over 14 million campaign impressions, 3000 social reactions, over 1500 shares, over 35,000 Cooked Book views and over 650,000 views on TikTok. 

Fire and Emergency NZ had set out to increase perceived risk of cooking while drunk or high by five percent, and instead, achieved significantly more at 12 percent. 

Though it is hard to dictate behavioural changes, Fire and Emergency NZ recognised its authentic and entertaining approach behind this fiery campaign resonated with the intended audience. 

Best Public Sector/Government Marketing Campaign


Fire and Emergency NZ

Marketing Initiative

You’re Cooked – Recipes to Avoid Disaster

Marketing Partners

Motion Sickness, MBM, Kantar Public

Judges’ Comments

Great creative idea, fit for the audience and well executed. Thoughtful tactics, strategies, and learnings to deliver great results.


ACC, Fire and Emergency NZ (Wildfire Prevention), New Plymouth District Council, Te Whatu Ora

This article was originally published in the September/October 2023 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

Avatar photo

About NZ Marketing Team

One of the many talented NZ Marketing team writers made this post happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *