Saturday, January 20, 2018

Care enough to be a cop

The video above is an ad currently running on New Zealand television, and it’s brilliant. It is trying to recruit New Zealanders to join the police, a worthy goal in itself, but it appeals to younger people and also manages to capture so much “new Zealandness” that it’s hard to choose what to talk about.

The physicality of the ad—so many people running!—will appeal to young and fit New Zealanders, but Kiwi humour is throughout the ad, from the very first scene—the “Sh!” to the pipers. The absolute quintessential Kiwi humour is in the scene where the cop interacts with a woman pulling a tyre tied to her waist.

One of the reasons I think this ad works is very basic: It practically made ME want to join the police! Not that they want a non-fit old guy like me, but still. If it worked on me, it will work on others.

There’s a longer cut available on YouTube, but I honestly think this shorter cut is better: Sharper, more focused, and the humour is allowed to shine through better. In short, it’s just better.

The New Zealand Police have had their ups and downs in public perception, but they are among the very least corrupt anywhere in the world, and police on the streets are never the problem (higher-ups, as is so often the case throughout the developed world, can sometimes be). But we need more New Zealanders to join the police in order to improve it (a large number of cops come from overseas because not enough Kiwis are applying).

I like to see government agencies engage in the real world, not deal in platitudes and imaginary ideals of what is proper. This ad is an example of how to deal with real people in the real world. It’s pretty great, really.

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