Not just for laughs

Bengaluru City Police has upped their game, and are using TV show characters to get people to follow Covid-19 protocol

Published: 25th May 2021 06:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2021 02:05 PM   |  A+A-

Lockdown, Bengaluru

Shops closed during the lockdown in Bengaluru. (Photo | Shriram BN, EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Although the #Arrest- Corona campaign was launched a year ago to educate people about safety protocol, Bengaluru City Police (BCP) has now tapped into sitcoms and TV shows to remind pandemicweary people that it’s not over yet. And so, through the month of May, the BCP’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have been filled with characters such as Mr Bean, some from Friends, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Schitt’s Creek, to create awareness.

For example, to reinforce the messaging on physical distancing, they’ve used Mr Bean with one leg high up in the air – a feat that would make any gymnast proud – indicating that you must maintain distance from other people. To ensure everyone stays at home during the lockdown – imposed on May 10 and in force until June 7 – the team has deployed David Rose, a character from the English sitcom Schitt’s Creek. Drawing on the character’s fear of germs, the poster shows him reluctant to venture out and putting off his plans for sometime. Isha Pant, DCP Command Centre Bengaluru, and social media head for BCP, says, “Including comics does not mean trivialising things.

We are trying to catch people’s attention. Generally, people tend to ignore messages through other mediums but humour actually catches people’s attention. The response to these international fictional characters has been good as Bengaluru has a global citizenry and they are more tuned to international characters.” The messaging is not just about reminding people to follow safety measures. The police also have a big thank you for the residents, for keeping the faith even in times of adversity.

For this, they used Captain Holt, a strict officer from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, to tell Bengalureans that their perseverance is appreciated. On whether such messaging would have the intended effect on people, a cop associated with the campaign says the theme was decided after much thought and research. “As per our audience analytics, many in the city do watch these sitcoms. Besides, as part of the #ArrestCorona campaign, we have also featured many city-based celebrities from sports and film sectors to spread word on Covid appropriate- behaviour,” he says.


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