“Thank You” Grant Program with Leary Firefighters Foundation

The Challenge

Two years after launching their first smoke alarm, smart home technology leader Nest was seeking ways to raise consumer awareness of its Nest Protect alarm during October’s Fire Prevention Week and to position Nest as a technology leader in the safety industry to the fire service community (fire departments). Fire service leaders at every level are incredibly influential in advising consumers on which smoke alarm to purchase to keep their families safe, however, these community leaders are difficult to reach, and even harder for a brand to impress.

Our team identified the Leary Firefighters Foundation (LFF), an organization started in 2000 by actor Denis Leary. The Foundation’s mission is to provide funding and resources for Fire Departments to obtain the best available equipment, technology and training. LFF agreed to partner with Nest to launch a new “Thank You” grant award that aligned with the joint mission of using cutting edge technology to save lives by sponsoring equipment improvements for local US fire departments.

The Thank You grant didn’t start with fire departments filling out a grant application. Instead, we engaged directly with consumers, asking them to nominate their local department with a simple vote by providing their zip code. An extra vote was added for those entries that included a personal “thank you” comment or story. The departments with the most votes would be the finalists for LFF’s grant application process.


Due to our fire department and trade outreach, all the leading fire service verticals and dozens of fire departments nationwide helped spread the word about the grant nominations through their social channels and newsletters. LFF founder and celebrity Denis Leary himself tweeted about the contest, creating the largest spike in entries during the run of the promotion.

Consumer engagement with the Nest social content was off the charts, even for a popular brand like Nest, garnering 3.5x their average post engagement in 2015 and the first contest post was in the top 5 Nest posts for entire the year (they average 4-5 posts per week on Facebook).

Ultimately, over 3,200 individual consumer nominations were received, not even including the 1,100 bonus “Thank You” story votes, 300% over the goal!


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1,100 bonus “Thank You” story votes received
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Individual consumer nominations received
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Garnered 3.5x Nest's average post engagement in 2015

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