Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Campaign Spotlight: Social impact agency Plus305 wins ‘Talk About Heat Challenge’ with moving campaign

MIAMI, USA — Government agency U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the 10 winners of the Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge. Winners will receive prizes of USD$12,000 each for their innovative strategies and messages to raise awareness of extreme heat risks and protect public health, especially in underserved communities. The Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge was developed in support of the National Climate Task Force’s Extreme Heat Interagency Working Group, which is being led by EPA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with support from the White House.

Plus305, together with its clients from Miami Dade County – Chief Heat Officer Jane Gilbert and Resilience Coordinator Sandra St. Hilaire – have been named one of the winners of the “Talk About Heat Challenge.”

The “Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge” winners are raising awareness on extreme heat risks for more vulnerable groups and individuals, and offering tips on how people can protect themselves from extreme heat. EPA and challenge co-sponsors will work with challenge winners over the coming months to share the winning heat safety messages with communities across the country and help build capacity for communities to communicate the risks of extreme heat.


Social Impact Agency plus305 was selected to communicate Miami-Dade’s heat-related dangers due to climate change by developing a creative social sustainability campaign for the local county. Studies show that vulnerable populations are more at risk of being affected by heat-related illnesses and deaths. According to the Weather Channel, heat has been the leading cause of death in the US among weather-related fatalities for over 30 years and often happens on days with average rather than extreme heat.

Per a 2018 study by a group of climate researchers, Miami has experienced 133 high heat days every year – 27 more than it did in 1995. By 2075, the number is projected to hit 162. Yet, heat has failed to compete for media and government attention with Miami’s other major climate challenge: sea level rise.

The creation of this first-ever heat campaign in Miami was made to protect everyone, but especially those in lower-income neighborhoods inland where tree cover is 30% less than in upscale coastal areas, putting locals at risk during crises due to limited resources; waiting for buses on unshaded benches, no AC unit, and working outdoors on roofs. There is a strong correlation between equity and climate resilience, and the campaign works towards inclusion by targeting vulnerable zip codes. Miami-Dade County is drawing awareness to the dangers in rising temperatures by declaring an annual “heat season” that will run from May 01 to October 31 to increase extreme heat preparedness.

As climate impacts mount, so does the urgency of resolving the equity challenge. Those least responsible for climate change are often the most vulnerable to changes in weather patterns and sea level rise, further exacerbating inequities.

Running throughout the summer, the campaign was launched in partnership with Chief Heat Officer Jane Gilbert and Resilience Coordinator, Sandra St.Hilaire, and Mayor Daniella Levine Cava at the Adrienne Arsht Center during the Forum on Global Resilience in May, on TV, radio, all digital channels and billboards. Miami is the first city in the world to introduce a Chief Heat Officer, with other cities following suit, including Phoenix. While many cities are taking precautionary measures to protect citizens from extreme heat such as fitting cool roofs, pavements, and planting trees, Jane serves as an advisor, connector, and accelerator of public and private partnerships, ventures, and policies that address climate resilience. The CHO will accelerate heat protection efforts, initiate new work that reduces risks of heat stress, working with partner departments such as Parks, Environmental Resource Management, Emergency Management, Human Services, Housing, Transportation, and Public Works.

Nadja Scherrer said, “Heat is a common issue in Miami, but awareness about how heat-related deaths can be avoided is still not high enough. Did you know that America’s number one weather-related deaths are not caused by tornadoes or flooding, but by heat? We can avoid this with proper precautions.”

CHO Jane Gilbert said, “The lessons of the pandemic are shaping the way governments deal with climate threats like heat, where the vulnerable are the most at risk from Covid – elderly people, outdoor workers, minority populations, low-income areas. It’s the same with heat: they’re the ones that we need to double down on protecting.”

Produced in collaboration with Director Sergio Vizuete and local Miami Slam Poetry artist Sharonda Richardson aka Eccentrich, Alberto Jaen said, “Slam poetry came to mind because it connects the audience directly to culture, with a rhythm – like in a music video, creating an emotional connection. For the images, we scoured the streets and filmed to align visuals with feelings, evoking the target like a piece of art. The poet sets the tempo while reciting the words, with accompanying music emphasizing the crescendo towards the end. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of being affected by heat-related illnesses, so we put them in the spotlight.”

Client: Miami Dade County
Client Contacts: Jane Gilbert, Sandra St. Hilaire
Creative Agency: plus305
Campaign Name: It’s brighter to be in the shade
Chief Creative Officer: Alberto Jaen
Sustainability/JEDI Strategy: Nadja Scherrer
Creative Team: Alberto Jaen, Sharonda Richardson, Mireia Roda, Alberto Antón Director: Sergio Vizuete
Producer: Cascabel Films
Director: Sergio Vizuete

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