M&C uses TV for special constables

The Home Office is using TV to attract more special constables in a campaign that abandons its established tactic of getting celebrities to boost police numbers, but still asks the question: "Could you?"

The national TV, press and poster initiative marks the debut work on special constables by M&C Saatchi, which developed the "Could you?" campaign.

The advertising is aimed at educating the public about the specials, who do the same job as regular officers and have similar powers, but work on a volunteer basis, on top of another job.

In the 30-second TV execution, which breaks on Monday, a regular officer talks about the difficulties of police work. This is interspersed with scenes of a special constable in action - from dealing with an agitated crowd to comforting an accident victim. The spot ends with the special opening the shutters on his computer store.

"To do all that as a volunteer and then to go back and do a regular job?" the officer says. "I couldn't do that."

The endline then asks: "Could you volunteer?"

The commercial was written by Simon Dicketts, the agency's executive creative director, art directed by Fergus Fleming and directed by Malcolm Venville through Therapy Films. Media is being planned by Naked and the TV campaign is being bought by Starcom MediaVest.

Richard Alford, the M&C Saatchi deputy managing director, said: "The campaign will target high-calibre individuals. Specials play an important role in policing the streets and keeping people safe."

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