New Year’s Safety Game
Berlin Fire Department

Blasting New Year’s Accidents Away

Challenge

New Year’s Eve in Berlin is loud. We’re talking blitzkrieg loud. And the resulting injuries from improper handling of fireworks are a huge problem. There are four times as many emergency calls than on a normal night, and nearly 500 revelers end their evening with a not-so-festive trip to the hospital. The Berliner Fire Department asked us to come up with a campaign to encourage safer use of fireworks and reduce injuries.

Insight

Telling a teenager not to do something is like daring them to try it. Since most New Year’s injuries involve young men between 15 and 25, we needed to use a medium they trust and present it in a way they could relate to.

Method

So, instead of sternly wagging our finger, we focused on New Year’s as a day of celebration. We developed an online game called Silvesterwunsch (New Year’s Wish), in which participants could sign up online, publicly post a wish for the coming year and try to rack up as many points as possible to go towards their wish. Along with having others vote for them and their wish, participants played daily games related to the New Year’s holiday. One game was a fireworks quiz, and in order to answer the questions, the players first had to read the fireworks guide. At the end of the 60 days, we would create an army of unsuspecting fireworks safety experts ready to combat the blitzkrieg on the streets of Berlin come New Year’s.

The game was promoted through local media and media partnerships. Local sponsors provided weekly prizes to supplement the final prizes for the three winners with the most points.

Results

In the months leading up to New Years, we had over 24,000 website visits and reached a significant percentage of our target demographic. The fire department reported a 20% decrease in accidents that year as compared to the years before.