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UL close before you doze

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute’s (FSRI) “Close Before You Doze” campaign encourages people to close all the doors in their homes each night before bed. Its research shows a closed door can be an effective barrier against deadly levels of carbon monoxide, smoke and flames in the event of a house fire.

The campaign aimed to inspire real behavior change and UL FSRI chose Allison+Partners to lead the consumer-focused campaign, including creation of a consumer-facing video, an Instagram influencer program and a robust earned media program. We surveyed thousands of U.S. adults and found less than half of respondents believed it was safer to have doors closed during a house fire. We realized the campaign needed a powerful visual and emotional connection with consumers.

Our bold idea was to capture a live fire on video and insert regular people into the story, surprising them with a dramatic unveiling of two replica bedrooms – one with its door open, and one with its door closed. We secured an exclusive with TODAY Show’s Rossen Reports, placed cameras throughout the replica house, and set up roving, hand-held units to capture the focus group’s reactions. Then, we lit a fire.

Jaws dropped as the veracity of FSRI’s research could not be made more clear or real. The side with doors closed in the replica bedroom was visibly and demonstrably safer during the blaze.

At the start of Fire Prevention Week, we posted the campaign video to and FSRI’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo. UL FSRI’s Steve Kerber participated in back-to-back SMT interviews, and the team distributed the press release, unveiling the video and key findings from the consumer survey to national and regional broadcast, print and online media.

We leveraged UL FSRI’s existing relationships with fire departments around the country to arm them with information and pitch them regionally as spokespeople for the campaign.

For our influencer campaign, we identified home décor, family, general lifestyle and pet influencers to share the “Close Before You Doze” message to key audiences on their social channels.

In October alone, we secured more than 80 pieces of coverage and a front-page USA Today Snapshot with data from our consumer survey. The campaign became a trending topic, and in addition to our proactive outreach, we fielded multiple inbound inquiries requesting to feature the video, resulting in dozens of local news outlets covering it.

From the moment the video launched, it ignited powerful conversations. People shared their stories of surviving home fires due to a closed door and hundreds committed to closing their doors. It also sparked discussion from fire professionals sharing the video and urging everyone to close their doors.

By the numbers:

Our influencers further helped spread the message resulting in nearly 1.2 million impressions. With an ultimate goal to get this life-saving information to a general audience, our total reach to date is nearly 2 billion across earned and social media. The video, which generated 2.5M views and 40,000+ shares in the first 48 hours on Facebook, now has over 12 million views across channels. Adweek called it one of the most effective PSAs it had ever seen. The campaign resulted in more than 2,700 media stories in consumer outlets. A follow-up, year-over-year consumer surveyshowed increase in those who sleep with the door closed because they believe it’s safer in case of a fire.Of respondents who think it’s safer to sleep with the door closed, 31.7% said they heard it from an expert such as a firefighter or police officer, 29.8% saw it on the news and 22.1% saw it on social media. Of those who saw or read the information on social media, 95.7% saw it on Facebook.

The campaign is one of the most successful public advocacy efforts in UL’s 125-year history and fire professionals around the world now use it.


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UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI)