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Westpac’s Rescue Helicopters doco becomes first fully ad funded peaktime free-to-air series

Westpac has commissioned an observational documentary TV series via Mediacom that the agency says is the first fully ad funded ‘ob-doc’ series in Australia to run on a free-to-air channel during peak time and in a survey period.

The programme, 'Air Rescue', will be a collaboration between Westpac, MediaCom Beyond Advertising and Fredbird Productions.

The show comprises six 30 minute episodes airing on Channel Seven.

It has not yet disclosed what editorial control has been exercised by Westpac.

Lisa Ronson, head of mass marketing services, Australian Financial Services said: "Westpac has been a very proud supporter of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service for 40 years. The dramatic and captivating stories highlight the remarkable and quite literally, lifesaving work which the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service performs in the community, making the production of Air Rescue a very natural extension of our partnership.

"MBA has been an integral part of this collaboration. They understood our vision for the show, respected the deep partnership with the Service and brought the concept to life. The series will be aired in a prime time slot during a survey period on one of Australia's highest rating networks, Channel Seven, which is a credit to all involved. We are proud that Air Rescue has captured the true bravery, helpful nature, authenticity and skill of the crew of this iconic Service."

Gemma Hunter, executive creative director and head of MBA said: "It was fantastic to work with Westpac on such a unique opportunity. The inherently dramatic and emotional work performed by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service offered compelling content to work with.

"MBA delivers the most compelling, engaging and entertaining brand stories possible for our clients. To do this, it's vital we understand what audiences find entertaining, what our network partners find appealing and deliver something that only that particular brand could.

"Air Rescue delivers on those promises by taking the ob-doc genre to the next level through a cinematic shooting style, mixed with unique point of view angles and composition to achieve a high-end look. We've heightened the drama through an original composed soundtrack and a soundscape that captures the environment head on."

Kurt Burnette, chief revenue officer at Seven West Media said: " We believed in the vision and work from MBA (MediaCom Beyond Advertising) and coupled with the brand integrity of Westpac, saw a great opportunity to give Australia an engaging and emotional look into the heroes of Air Rescue.

"We've had our best producers work with the team at MBA, along with our promotional team, on the promotion and support across our Seven West Media assets. The process has been best in class which should ensure the outcome is the same."

The broadcast is supported by 15 webisodes.

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