Element’s not-so-hot calendar boys

Who: Element fire extinguishers, with The Local Collective.

What: “Putting fires out of business,” the first North American ad campaign for Element. The campaign is built around an “unsexy fireman” calendar featuring shots of bored and underemployed firemen who are out of work because Element fire extinguishers are so good at putting out fires.

When & Where: The calendars are being distributed with the purchase of two fire extinguishers, and are being promoted through a social media buy, CRM and PR. The calendars are also for sale, with all proceeds going to National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Canadian Fallen Firefighters Association.

Why: According to Element, there are more than 388,000 household and outdoor fires each year, and Element says its extinguishers represent a breakthrough in fire protection: 80% smaller and 10% of the weight of traditional extinguishers.

“It’s such an innovative product, the design is fantastic, and it’s a complete disruption of the category,” said Matt Litzinger, founder and chief creative officer at The Local Collective. “As their first-ever campaign, we want to really show the product in a way you might not expect, keeping in mind that fire safety and those that protect us from fires is serious business.”

How: Each month of the calendar features unglamorous glamour shots of firefighter models like “Pensive Pete” and “Laidback Larry,” who can relax and focus on passion projects rather than worry about actually fighting fires. “It was important to put out a message that had a playful element to it, would grab people’s attention, and quickly highlight that there is another solution to fire extinguishers than maybe we thought,” said Litzinger.

And we quote: “We know that most people think there’s only one option for a fire extinguisher and they’re awkward in size and shape—kind of like Mr. September—but the truth is that military, police, and special forces were using alternative technologies for many years that are substantially safer and more convenient to put out fires. We felt that everyone deserved to have these tools available to keep their families and property safe.”— Robert Calisi, owner, Element.

David Brown