NRMA Insurance launches ‘Climate Warriors’, a world first Minecraft bushfire simulation in a new initiative via Thinkerbell
NRMA Insurance has launched “Climate Warriors”, a groundbreaking new Minecraft world, designed to help educate and engage the next generation of young Australians in understanding the importance of preparedness against the increasing risk of natural disasters, in a new initiative developed by Thinkerbell.
Set in a custom-built landscape inspired by Australian coastal towns, “Climate Warriors” is a free interactive game available on Minecraft Education Edition and Minecraft Marketplace that aims to educate children, aged between seven and 12, on how being prepared can further protect wildlife, homes and livelihoods against natural disasters such as bushfires.
The game is part of a body of work that positions the brand as a leader in preparedness against the effects of climate change in Australia. Using NRMA Insurance real-world data and climate change research, the interactive Minecraft experience demonstrates that extreme weather events are already becoming more frequent and severe. This is only going to get worse as the average global mean temperature is expected to rise by another 1°C as soon as 2035.
The integrated campaign will be supported across PR as well as dedicated owned social activity and influencer partnerships. “Climate Warriors” has already been downloaded over 450,000 times since its launch.
Says Paul Swann, executive creative tinker, Thinkerbell: “Climate Warriors provides an immersive digital learning experience to help teach the next generation of Australians about the importance of climate change preparedness. Minecraft is a franchise kids know and love, and through the power of play we want to capture their imagination and educate them on how to prepare for an increasingly unforeseeable future.”
To create “Climate Warriors”, Thinkerbell partnered with Blockworks, an internationally acclaimed design studio of designers, animators, artists and developers who use Minecraft to create experiences, communities and learning environments. Over an eight-month period, they built close to 29 million Minecraft blocks to bring this authentic Aussie inspired interactive learning experience to life.
“Climate Warriors” boasts an array of Australian fauna including a kangaroo, cockatoo, magpie and NRMA Insurance brand ambassador, Arlo the Koala. Also included in the gameplay is a helicopter, mission control centre, emergency services and iconic Aussie institutions such as a fish and chip shop, footy field and a beach with the ubiquitous red and yellow flags.
NRMA Insurance also partnered with Stephen Elford, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Minecraft Global Mentor, to develop a lesson plan and student worksheet as additional downloadable resources to help teachers incorporate “Climate Warriors” into their classrooms.
With the NSW Department of Education providing free access to Minecraft: Education Edition to all NSW government schools, “Climate Warriors” is an additional resource for teachers to use in their classrooms and can be linked to a number of curriculum areas, including Science, English, Sustainability and Critical and Creative Thinking.
The challenges that players face in “Climate Warriors” are inspired by real life scenarios and actions taken during the Black Saturday bushfires. Gamers learn how to be better prepared for natural disasters through a series of drills including installing rooftop sprinklers onto a home to fight ember attacks, helicopter rescues in the NRMA Insurance chopper, testing building materials to withstand extreme temperatures, helping a community during a natural disaster emergency response and saving wildlife, like Arlo the Koala, from fire threat zones.
Says Brent Smart, chief marketing officer, IAG: “We know that climate change is having a significant impact on the frequency and severity of natural disasters like bushfires. Australia’s ability to deal with these natural disasters is drastically increased through community preparedness.
“Climate Warriors provides an immersive digital learning environment to help teach the next generation of Australians about the importance of being prepared through a format they know and love. Through the power of play we want to ensure they are equipped for the future.”
To help support NRMA Insurance’s launch of “Climate Warriors”, climate change advocate Craig Reucassel attended a Sydney primary school to demonstrate an interactive experiment to highlight the impact of natural disasters for students, who were among the first in the country to play the new Minecraft world.
Reucassel was joined at the event by NRMA Insurance executive general manager safer communities, Ramana James, to highlight the brand’s understanding of climate trends and the desire to educate young Australians around the country about the importance of being prepared for natural disasters.
“Climate Warriors” and a corresponding lesson plan, is now available, free of charge, through Minecraft: Education Edition which is played by 300,000 Australian students a month. It is also available for free on Minecraft Marketplace.
 IAG (NRMA Insurance’s parent company) released the second edition of the Severe Weather in a Changing Climate report, in partnership with the US-based National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on 9 September 2020.
Client: NRMA Insurance
Creative & Earned: Thinkerbell
Education Specialist: Stephen Elford
Client: NRMA Insurance
Chief Marketing Officer: Brent Smart
Group Brand Strategy Director: Caroline Hugall
Director of Content & Customer Engagement: Zara Curtis
Director, Brand Marketing: Sally Kiernan
Brand Strategy Lead: Anna Jackson
Creative & Innovation Specialist: Danielle Picker
Integrated Content Producer: Keira McIntosh
Head of Corporate Communications: Amanda Wallace
Advisor, Corporate Communications and Group Corporate Affairs: Joanne McIntosh
Creative and Earned: Thinkerbell
Executive Creative Tinker: Paul Swann
Thinker – Earned: Laura Mitchell
Head Creative Tinker: Sesh Moodley
Lead Thinker: Laura Popa
Thinker: Josh Green
Chief Creative Tinker: Jim Ingram
National Head Production Tinker: Grant Anderson
General Manager: Katie Dally
Head Thinker – Earned: Natalie Duncan
Chief Strategy Thinker: Adam Ferrier
Lead Thinker – Earned: Taylor York
Head Thinker: Ruth Hatch
Production Tinker: Romy Turner
Head Brand Thinker: Gerry Cyron
Chief Executive Officer: Margie Reid