Their intentions were good, but this ad about real police stopping motorists to give them free ice cream has left some critics saying the feel-good attempt is little more than a corporate-sponsored abuse of power.
Opinions are clearly mixed on the commercial for Unilever-owned Wall's Ice Cream, known in America under brand names like Eskimo and Good Humor. With 500,000 views and 1,266 thumbs-up votes (compared to just 96 thumbs down) on YouTube, the spot seems to be a winner. But the video's comments are awash in negative feedback.
"Oh great, make me late for an appointment so you can play a joke on me," notes one commenter. "I'm sorry, but this is an unacceptable use of government resources."
"Apparently abuse of power and playing on people's fear of arbitrary prosecution is cute now," says another.
This isn't exactly an easy time to be building social media goodwill around police officers. The recent #MyNYPD initiative meant to encourage positive photos of cops in the community instead led to a deluge of images of police beating and wrongfully detaining suspects. So it's understandable that some viewers wouldn't enjoy seeing police (or in this case California's Plumas County Sheriff's deputies) pulling over innocent people on a corporation's dime.
But the ad also has its share of fans, several of whom laughably dismissed the haters by pointing out that the ad ends with the comment, "People need to lighten up a little bit."