City of Toronto burns its ads

A fire prevention campaign aims to show how fast unattended cooking can lead to disaster by torching things surrounding it in out-of-home and digital.


Cooking is one of the biggest causes of house fires, with fires started by unattended ovens and stovetop cookware resulting in 24% of preventable fires (roughly 1,500) annually in Ontario, according to the Canadian Fire Safety Association.

To help reduce that stat in Toronto, two of the city’s departments have launched an effort aimed at communicating just how quickly a kitchen fire can get out of hand when you’re not paying attention.

In a campaign for Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Community Housing, agency Publicis Toronto created ads showing a stovetop pot set ablaze have also burned through their surrounding, be it the top of the transit poster or the window of a building it is appearing on.

Publicis_COT_TSAThe out-of-home portion of the campaign is focused on Toronto’s Regent Park neighborhood, which had more fires started by unattended cooking than any other area of the city during a two-year period, according to data from Toronto Community Housing. But it is also activating in geo-targeted social and digital posts that take the destructive potential of a fire to new areas.

On Facebook, the fire started by the pot reaches up to burn the text of the post above it, with display ads doing the same to nearby banners. A version utilizing Instagram’s Stories format shows the same pot on fire, but when the user taps through to the next story posted by the City of Toronto, it is eventually burned through by the fire as well.

The campaign launched last week and runs until Nov. 4.