Becoming a firefighter has some of the most demanding physical and moral requirements, so finding qualified applicants is already particularly difficult. Yet despite being one of the busiest departments in the country, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department didn’t quite reflect the city’s diverse population. Seeking to counteract this issue, the director of AFRD launched its diversity initiative in 2018, which aims to retain and recruit a diverse firefighting force and engage the community beyond public safety. To promote the AFRD Initiative, the department entrusted the team at Brunnerto create a digital advertising campaign that exuded feelings of pride, honor, and a sense of duty to inspire women, Latinos, and LGBTQ candidates to become the next generation of Atlanta’s bravest.
One part of their campaign was the Platinum-winning “Pride Banner” (above) for the fire engine used during the department’s procession in the 2018 Pride Parade, which featured six fire extinguishers in a different color from the LGBTQ flag. Underneath the extinguishers, the banner declares that “Fires are indiscriminate; so are we.” The creative design was not only organic to the department but reminded the crowd that “it doesn’t matter how you identify; all that matters is that you step forward and answer the call.”
In the months following its launch, Brunner’s campaign for the department gained full support from the highest-ranking officials, and the department saw tremendous growth in employee morale as well as a growth in recruitment numbers. Due to the high success of the campaign, Brunners was invited by the Atlanta Police Department in a similar effort to fully reflect the diverse population of Atlanta within its first responders.
Beyond the fire extinguisher campaign, the Brunner creative team also launched a Gold-winning “Diversity Recruitment Campaign” (above) highlighting what it means to be a member of the ATL Fire Rescue team, including photos of firefighters in the line of duty and participating in their local pride parade. Next to each photo, the campaign lists the common traits associated with firefighters, such as courage, character, and bravery. This time, however, the campaign specifically underscores that these traits are gender-neutral and can apply to any person regardless of their background, recognizing that the position of a firefighter is often associated with and represented by men of a certain race and ethnicity.
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