NEW DELHI: "Oh gore gore baanke chore, abb kuch din ghar par bitaya karo" reads an Instagram post on the official handle of Punjab Police as it aims to spread awareness about coronavirus outbreak albeit in a fun way.
The department has joined the league of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru police that are leveraging films, cricket and pop culture references to not only educate, bust myths but also create shareable content across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to fight coronavirus outbreak.
From GIFs, memes to videos, digital experts believe that the choice of using quirky and entertaining content is also positioning these police departments as a brand that is humane and easily approachable amid such crisis.
Carol Goyal, executive director of marketing agency Mogaé Media that has worked with Mumbai and Punjab police on coronavirus campaigns, said both these departments have unique styles.
"The Mumbai Police Twitter handle has a legacy and is known for its smart, witty, intelligent and topical humour. While Punjab Police content uses quirky humour to connect to the masses," she said.
Co-created with advertising agency Lowe Lintas, the Mumbai Police #MaiBhiMumbaiPolice campaign shows citizens promoting self policing and ensuring that their families abide by quarantine rules. The Punjab Police campaign #SaddeSuperHeroes has been co-created with Wunderman Thompson using real policemen in the communication with rehashed Bollywood song lyrics.
"We also activated the Punjab Police’s Instagram and TikTok accounts. The campaign has been a wild success ever since it went on air. The TikTok account has become a chartbuster garnering over 5 million views on a music video, " added Goyal.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru police has been using memes of popular Kannada film characters to warn and educate people about covid-19 pandemic and promoting staying at home messages. Delhi Police, on the other hand, is using influencers across entertainment and sports fraternity.
According to Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, chief executive, Gozoop, an independent digital marketing agency the strategy adopted by various state police departments is to create a relatable, inclusive and shareable campaigns.
"By coupling the message in a funny, relatable way and pushing it in a stressful environment does not only give the viewer a momentary relief, but as a natural extension one would like to share it further," he noted.
With digital penetration touching over 600 million in India, it's pretty evident that a huge population is accessing the internet and this is the time when state authorities should leverage digital said Shradha Agarwal, chief operating officer at digital agency Grapes Digital.
"The choice of using quirky and entertaining content is also positioning them as a brand who is easy and available to talk and this is important because majority of the country is afraid to go to the police. Social media has given a platform, voice, and personality to our police departments. This, like any other brand or influencer, will help us building an affinity towards our police department for sure," she added.