Above+Beyond’s ‘The Good Fire’ raises money for Shelter

‘The Good Fire’ allows audiences to raise funds for homeless charity shelter by simply watching on Youtube

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


The festive period is well and truly upon us and while for many this marks a season of excess and holiday parties, winter can be one of the toughest times of year for those without a home. Above+Beyond’s ‘The Good Fire’ in support of housing and homelessness charity Shelter, is one of the most heartwarming ads of this festive period as the agency launches a virtual log fire on YouTube to raise funds.

Audiences are able to raise money for the charity by simply watching ‘The Good Fire’ on YouTube, for as little as a minute or all day long, with advertising revenue generated all to be donated directly to Shelter. 

Capitalising on consumer behaviours

Virtual fireplace videos are an online phenomenon, and their popularity has soared during the pandemic as the home became a sanctuary from the unpredictable outside world. Throughout the pandemic, there was a significant increase in the use of streaming services like Youtube and so Above+Beyond creatives decided to meet consumers where they are to create a simple way to give back; allowing audiences to simply stream the fire from home to donate funds.

“Consumers are spending a lot more time at home and we wanted to think about how we can make that time feel cosier and safer,” explained Dominic Goldman ECD at Above+Beyond. While at the same time “the homeless community suffered greatly during the pandemic with fewer people out on the streets campaigning or making donations, no commuters. We wanted to connect these two things.” 

Shelter were extremely receptive to the idea as Zaid Al-Zaidy, CEO at Above+Beyond explained, “When we came up with this observation on how people were spending time at home we connected it to homelessness and took it proactively as a thought to shelter. We have a strong proactive creative culture and are constantly looking at how our ideas can transform or do good. That’s how we came up with the concept.”

Drawing people in with creativity

Alongside the fire, Above+Beyond created a launch team as “an asset to drive traffic, so people don’t just understand the idea but feel the idea” said Goldman.

The simple yet powerful film begins with a shot of the fire inside the home and then gently zooms out to reveal the wider scene, reminding audiences that while they are warm and cosy inside, the outside tells a very different story. 

Goldman explained; “The film we made in a simple way clearly explains the idea but in the end packs a punch to make you think; all you have to do is watch the fire and you can help people out there suffering in the cold. It’s a simple thing that people can do and they are compelled to help and act.”

The launch film completely embodies the wider winter scene and the juxtaposition of the two different environments as the team “deliberately paid attention to the contrast of the interior to the extra, not just visually, in the warmth and the lighting, the soundtrack, there was a lady on the sofa reading her book.” continued Goldman, “But, it’s completely mirrored outside with the girl whos homeless and colour pallets of blue with snow falling and the soundtrack of distant cars and wind to create a feeling as well as a message”

Technology for good

The team “worked hard collaborating with Google” on the project, explained Al-Zaidy as “essentially any content on Youtube with enough subscribers and views will naturally generate advertising opportunities. Where normally this generates revenue which you would then see a portion of, for this project Google is donating it in its entirety to us.”

With this cooperation from Google, The Good Fire is able to provide an extremely simple way for viewers to donate to Shelter, making it a no-brainer to use ‘The Good Fire’ as the go-to fireplace both for comfort and warmth but to give back easily. 

“From day one we’ve been able to generate revenue thanks to the team’s cooperation at Google” Al-Zaidy continued: “ and while this is something we’re launching now, it should be able to stay around forever given that log fires online have been something that people do and will continue to do. We see no reason that this can’t be the log fire destination.”

Out of the frying pan and into the fire

The team at Above+Beyond are passionate about growing the campaign and ensuring that the fire reaches as many people as possible, as the simple switch to watching this fireplace will have an extremely big impact.

“Ideas are the easy part but the implementation, craft and the execution is the hard part.” says Goldman, in collaboration and using their wider networks they’ve seen the project come to grow; “Smuggler, the production company and Number 8 both helped us bring the project to life.”

To maximise on the campaign Al-Zaidy says that “We want our ideas to live within culture. To do this we have to make it smart, make it beautiful, make it matter. It doesn’t stop with the film, it starts with the film.” 

The Good Fire is a simple, beautiful idea with no barriers to entry so that for consumers it's easy to be a part of the movement. The team calls for everyone to get involved, as it's so simple to put the fire in homes, offices or even shops to create a cosy feeling whilst doing something good.

To support The Good Fire please click here, to find out more about Shelter, please click here.

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Christmas charity