City of Sydney and the Australian Red Cross build The Burnt Christmas Tree to help communities rise from the ashes via DDB Sydney + Scoundrel
Over the past few weeks, the bushfires across Australia have cast a shadow on what should be the most festive time of year. To show the human cost of this devastation, but importantly hope for the resilience and recovery of our communities, a burnt Christmas tree has been built in Sydney’s CBD.
Designed by Scoundrel’s James Dive, the tree was crafted entirely with logs, branches and shrubs sourced from bushfire-affected areas of New South Wales. The tree is also decorated with burnt objects like a farm gate and bicycle and is topped with a star fashioned from a burnt-out bike wheel. These objects exist alongside signs of regeneration, including banksia seeds which require fire to sprout.
While the public are viewing the tree, they’re encouraged to listen to an audio tour reflecting on the experiences of Australians whose lives have been thrown into chaos by the fires.
Produced in partnership with the City of Sydney and the Australian Red Cross, Scoundrel, DDB Sydney, as well as its key partners Volkswagen Group Australia, Westpac and McDonald’s, created The Burnt Christmas Tree to raise funds Red Cross and their ongoing efforts to help people prepare for, cope with, and recover from disasters.
From today until Thursday 19 December, people can visit and make a donation to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund by tapping their card on the presents beneath the tree.
Says Tara Ford, chief creative officer, DDB Sydney: “The devastation to families and community is beyond what many of us can even comprehend. We hope this twist on the traditional symbol of giving and joy at this time of year will help capture people’s attention and provide them with an easy way to donate.”
Says Dive: “From arms’ length it can be difficult to comprehend the true impact of the bushfires on the ground. The act of collecting and building the tree from remnants of the fires has been sobering.
“We all want to help, and right now generosity is needed towards those who’ve lost everything, especially at this time of year.”
Creative Agency: DDB Sydney
Chief Creative Officer: Ben Welsh Chief Creative Officer: Tara Ford Deputy Executive Creative Director: Matt Chandler
Creative Partner: David Jackson Art Director: Elaine Li Copywriter: Jared Wicker
Senior Designer: Ramon Rodriguez
Head of Integrated Content: Renata Barbosa
Editor: Silas Basich
Senior Sound Designer: Andy Stewart
PR Agency: Mango Sydney
Managing Director: Tabitha Fairbairn
Head of Consumer: Ben Handberg
Senior Account Manager: Gina Leung
Production Company: Scoundrel
Artist: James Dive
Executive Producer: Adrian Shapiro
Director BTS: Selina Miles
Construction: Greg Sets
Client: Red Cross Australia
Director Engagement & Support: Belinda Dimovski
Head of Marketing & Communications: Astrid Mallard
Emergency Campaigns Manager: Kate Moore
Marketing & Campaign Coordinator: Sarah Gallagher