The New Zealand Police Department has a relatively straightforward mission: recruit new staff from diverse backgrounds to better represent the communities it serves. To achieve the goal of better parity in the country’s police department, a new, funny recruitment ad that features 60 real cops answering questions from potential prospects was recently launched.
Problem is, many of the hopefuls featured in the ad may be a lost cause.
For instance, one young woman likely won’t meet the “minimum visual standard” needed to join the police force after she attempts to shake hands with a tree. At another point in the film, two Austrians are disappointed to find out that it’s Australian—not Austrian—citizens who are eligible to join.
Later in the video, a breathless woman stops mid-run to ask an officer how in shape one needs to be to qualify. The officer assures her that while you need to be “reasonably fit” to get through, the organization provides a lot of support along the way.
According to New Zealand Police commissioner Mike Bush, the ad answers frequently asked questions in a “fun, creative and accessible” way.
“A common thing we hear from people considering joining (the police force) is that they have a lot of questions and they want to put these to some of our staff,” he says. “This innovative campaign sets out to ensure any question a potential future cop has is answered, and we’re confident that will mean more people sign up to join our fantastic organization.”
The campaign, which features cameos from the stars of comedy series Wellington Paranormal as well as comedian David Correos, aspires to attract women, Māori, Pacific Islanders and Asians in particular. Created by Ogilvy, the campaign follows last year’s successful recruitment video, which resulted in a surge of new applications for the department.
According to the New Zealand Police, this year’s video is already seeing promising results as well: less than 24 hours after it launched, 380 people had started the application process to become a cop.
“We’ve been absolutely blown away by the response to our latest recruitment video,” says Bush.
In addition to the campaign, the police force has rolled out a platform called ChatCops that features roughly 70 videos of staff talking about who they are, what it takes to be a cop and what training involves.