Cannes Lions

Air Rescue

MEDIACOM, Sydney / WESTPAC / 2017

Presentation Image
Supporting Content
Case Film






At a time when there was a feeling of unease around the world in the media, particularly with the impending US election, Westpac were perfectly placed to profile and amplify positive rescue stories.

We knew there was an appetite for heroics and positivity in Australia – with 4 of the top 10 grossing movies of 2016 being in the superhero genre. The parallels existed in real life too – our crew watch over communities as well as flying under the radar when they’re out of their uniform.

We were so proud of the men and women in the service, yet they’re incredibly humble. They see themselves as ordinary people, with an extraordinary job.

We couldn’t directly call them superheroes, yet by borrowing from the genre, we could take inspiration around character development, story arcs, filming direction and an epic original music score to tell their stories.


A 6 part observational documentary series ran on free to air television in a primetime slot featuring dramatic and awe inspiring rescues. We extended the stories with network trailers across TV and over 70 pieces of unique social content.

Facebook delivered action highlights and custom formats such as 360 video, placing viewers in the pilot’s seat mid-flight, and experiencing a water winch.

Snapchat delivered pieces to camera from the young crew, taking the audience from a morning surf to a behind the scenes tour of the helicopter base.

Instagram shared beautiful shots from the sky, cinemagraphs of the rotor blades and flat lays of the kit. 3 prominent Aussie photographers also experienced a high-octane flight and created a photojournalism style 3rd party perspective on the work of the crew

Twitter synced content across screens, as well as leveraging weather targeting to trigger rescue content during bad weather.


We reached 38% of the country, watched by 5.2m Australians, an 11% lift from previous years, and an audience favourite ranking, in the top 10 shows (Metro markets) and top 5 shows (Regional markets) during its first 3 weeks on air

Social extended our stories to 4.1m young Aussies, triggering 2.1m social engagements

Best of all, it worked. Brand tracking through Facebook shows a phenomenal uplift in brand favourability by 9.9pts during one month of activity. The biggest ever lift seen for Westpac. But that’s not all, we made a real difference to the bottom line, with a 4.6% increase in site traffic driving new customers

Over all 4 seasons Air Rescue has reach 30m people, generated $7.5m in PR value and has now been sold into 100 markets globally making it the most in demand brand funded format on the planet - something even Superman would be proud of.

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