The Metropolitan Police is trying to talk to teenagers in a language they understand – the language of violent video games – as part of its campaign to halt the rising tide of knife attacks.
The Met’s advertising agency, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, has created a video, called Knife City, which uses imagery based on the look of a computer game to ram home the point that carrying knives can destroy lives.
The video starts with an animation of a teenager in a “hoodie” putting a kitchen knife in his back pocket as he leaves his home in a squalid council block. Moments later, he is involved in a fight with another teenager – also armed with a knife – and stabs him. At this point, the video starts flickering between
game-style graphics and real video, as the police arrive and arrest the “hero”.
The video ends with a shot of the teenager – first as a computer game character, then as a scared youngster – seen through the slot in a cell door. The final message is/ “Carrying a knife – it’s not a game.”
It is unclear whether the video will be distributed as a viral or in some other form. The Met refused to comment as Marketing Week went to press. However, earlier this week it launched Operation Blunt, an anti-knife campaign which will see police with handheld metal detectors deployed at knife-crime hotspots across London. They will target bus, rail and Underground stations as well as colleges, pubs and clubs.
Miles Calcraft won the Metropolitan Police account – then worth &£2m – nearly two years ago (MW January 8, 2004) and has worked on a number of high-profile campaigns targeting gun crime, hate crime, street crime, domestic violence, burglary, drugs and terrorism.