West Midlands Police approached TINKER TAYLOR to help them with their ambitious objective of recruiting almost 3000 new officers within the next two years.
As well as increasing numbers, the priority was to increase the number of new recruits from BAME communities, to ensure WMP can best represent the public that they serve. WMP also wished to address the male / female balance, which although close to half and half, required work to ensure it reached that target and stayed there.
WMP had already launched a campaign that focused on the humanity and skills required of police officers #WeNeedYourSkills driving the creative – and as such, we needed to ensure our videos complimented and enhanced the existing creative direction.
Working with long time collaborator, writer and Director of Photography James Stoneley, our Creative Director, Sam Taylor helped devise and develop a series of short films, each focusing on a different core skill that is needed to become a police officer – and each focussing on a different issue that Police officers encounter.
In each scenario, we present a member of the public, who is found in a distressing situation. A lost elderly man with Dementia, a female victim of domestic abuse, a vulnerable man who has had his home burgled, were our first three narratives. Each person is comforted by an individual, who appears to be a friend or relative, however as the story unfolds, it is revealed that the ‘helpful friend’ is in fact a police officer.
These highly relatable stories, dealing with real and tangible issues, evoke exactly the right emotional response from our audience. This person is a good person, I could do that job, I want to find out more.
With the ongoing pandemic, we are constantly reviewing and improving the ways in which we are working, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those involved.
In addition to our now standard COVID protocols, we had a reserve crew and a reserve cast on standby, incase anyone tested positive and was required to isolate. Thank goodness we did, as the day before the first shoot we were contacted by one of our actors to say she had to isolate. Our stand by actress was waiting in the wings, script learnt and she absolutely nailed the performance.
With our crew size significantly reduced, it was all hands on deck on the day. WMP provided us with a Police officer for the duration of the filming to ensure accuracy on set and to inform interested passers by what was going on, as Police cars and uniforms, combined with a film crew often attracts attention. The officers were brilliant, as indeed they always are. In more than ten years of producing films for Police Forces and Federations throughout the UK, we have only ever been blessed with kind, considerate, highly professional and at times, quite amusing Police officers!
Sam Taylor, our Creative Director, winner of two Royal Television Society awards, has worked with fourteen Police Services / Federations throughout the UK, including all three National Federations.
With credits including Executive Producer of #WeAreYou for the PFNI and #ItsWhatWeDo for the SPF, her vast experience in this sector and a passion for producing work that reflects the true, often brutal nature of policing, positions Sam as a really useful asset when it comes to recruitment, raising awareness and lobbying.
In collaboration with award-winning director and cinematographer – James Stoneley – they make the perfect team. James wrote and directed the ‘#BelieveInBlue’ campaign, produced for the PFEW.
He has worked closely with Sam on various multi-award-winning Police projects over the past 10 years and is a driving force behind the current WMP campaign.
There has been a fast and significant increase in applications to West Midlands Police since the launch of the video-driven campaign in December 2020.
In the first week of the campaign, applications rose to 250 a week, a 6 fold increase in applications. Interestingly, this figure dropped by more than 50% when the initial campaign run ended in February 2021 – directly demonstrating the effectiveness of our video content.
In an 8 week run on Facebook, the first two videos had over 1 million impressions and reached just under 500,000 people. With over 50,0000 clicks and nearly 300,000 interactions, this recruitment campaign is one of, if not the most successful recruitment campaign on record.
Since February, we have filmed the 3rd in the series, due to be released imminently and we have three more scripts in development. Our campaign has caught the eye of the Policing Minster and the National Recruitment team and the Dementia film will be aired as a TV Ad via Sky-smart in the Spring.