Leo Burnett Designed a Home Able to Withstand Extreme Weather

Suncorp constructs 'One House to Save Many'

In 2019, Australia's Suncorp Insurance briefed Leo Burnett on a project to encourage Aussies to prepare for the nation's deadly and destructive cyclone and bushfire season.

"After the initial stages of concepting, we had a realization," recalls agency senior copywriter Eric Franken. "Instead of focusing on the protection that comes with insurance, what if we focused more on prevention? Could we make the homes themselves more resilient? As natural disasters cost Australia's insurers upwards of $150 billion a year, the concept of a more resilient Australia was instantly appealing to Suncorp."

The team engaged Glue Society for design help, ultimately collaborating with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), James Cook University and Room 11 Architects to develop "One House to Save Many," a prototype of a home devised to withstand extreme weather.

You can explore the three-bedroom/two-bath structure—modeled on Queenslander-style homes popular for decades Down Under—in this online experience. The 23-minute documentary below offers sundry One House details and emotional interviews with unfortunate folks whose homes were ravaged by storms.

"One House is designed to be affordable for the average Australian to have built," Franken says. "To achieve this, it uses standard materials. But as with any house build, location and topography would affect the price, and equally, large-scale production would reduce costs."

Footage of the crew testing the 375-square-meter prototype was shot at James Cook U. This minute-long video shows the dwelling resisting jets of flame, driving downpours and snarling winds:

One House to save many

"To simulate wind, a wall of high-powered fans was used to produce the effects of a category 5 cyclone," reveals Leo Burnett producer Lucy Appleyard. "A sprinkler system was used to produce the 'wind-assisted rain' that so often occurs during a storm. Fire was created using ember cannons."

"As the simulations were so unpredictable," she adds, "Glue Society set up six cameras in and around the house so there was maximum coverage every time we rolled."

In terms of the ultimate goal, "the true intent of One House is to challenge conventional thinking around how we build homes, encourage homeowners, builders and institutions to view resilience as a vital consideration," says Burnett executive creative director Andrew Ferguson.

"We wanted to generate a conversation around building codes, as it's important they continue to be reviewed in the context of the increasing impact of extreme weather," Ferguson says. "If we can improve resilience and adapt to a future of more extreme weather, generations to come will be better protected and less likely to be displaced before, during and after natural disasters."

The ideal next step, he says, "is engaging national building companies to both include features of the One House in their designs, while also offering the actual One House to Save Many as a home that Australians can choose to live in."

The Meet Graham-esque idea coincides with a Suncorp project called "Built It Back Better." If a policyholder's home is substantially damaged, "it will be rebuilt stronger with some of the resilient features that are found in the One House design," Ferguson says.


Client – Suncorp
EGM Brand and Marketing: Mim Haysom
Head of Mass Brands and Sponsorships: Rapthi Thanapalasingam
Suncorp Insurance Manager Marketing: Travis Hughes
Suncorp Insurance Marketing Lead: Jade Thomas  
Suncorp Content Lead: Lyndall Theodore & Ashika Naran

Creative Agency – Leo Burnett Australia
Chief Creative Officer: Jason Williams
Executive Creative Director: Andy Fergusson
Copywriter: Eric Franken
Art Director: Marijke Spain
Creative Technology Directors: Laurent Marcus & Chris Jovanov
Group Business Director: Grace Vizor
Project Director: Erin Stace
Business Directors: Shae Jones & Kim Thompson
Business Executive: Sidonie Young
Head of Strategy: Graham Alvarez
Strategy Director: Abigail Dubin-Rhodin
Head of Production: Adrian Jung
Digital Director: Afshin Saffari
Producers: Lucy Appleyard, Ronald Regis & Chloe Burns
Multimedia Studio Manager: Dan Crozier
Digital Design & Development: Janifer Wong & Keong Seet

Project, Documentary & Film Production
Production Company: Revolver
Project, Documentary & Film Director: The Glue Society
MD/Executive Producer: Michael Ritchie
Executive Producer: Pip Smart & Jasmin Helliar
Producer: Alex Kember
Post Production
Post Production Company: The Glue Society Studios
Post Producer: Scott Stirling
Editing: Luke Crethar, Alexander Harrod, Paul Bruty
Colourist: Andy Clarkson
Flame Compositor: Viv Baker
3D Animation: Cameron Robertson
Music and Sound Design: Otis Studios
Narration: Nathan Page

Stills Production - Flint
Photographer: Andreas Smetana
Producer: Taryn Mueller

Consumer PR Agency – Herd MSL

Media Agency – OMD

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