Madeleine Roberts and Julie Vahry

M&C Saatchi and Ikon Communications took to the streets, or rather street art, to spread the word and recruit more police officers in New Zealand. They commissioned NZ artist Otis Frizzell to create the street art installations, and each police portrait tells of a real experience the police officers have had - all in a days work.

Madeleine Roberts and Julie Vahry (first image) for example, found a burglar and as Julia was chasing him through the street, only able to see him when the flashes of lightning shone, Madie came from around the corner and greeted him with open arms. The perfect pincher moment. Gotcha!

The second image tells of when the CTV building collapsed in the Christchurch earthquake. Constable Nao Yoshimizu was there to help and comfort the 28 Japanese families who had loved ones trapped or lost in the devastation. Yoshi speaks Japanese, and became the surrogate for the families, leaving flowers in areas where civilians were not allowed to enter (due to the danger).

If you're thinking it looks a bit Bansky, well, perhaps a tad. Lee Parkinson of Ikon Communications explains more:

It’s street art, and so of course it’s a homage to Banksy, but the street art installations are only one part of a deeper campaign. There is a compelling back-story to each of the installations.
They are each inspired by real events, and show different facets of Police work, the real people who make up the police force, and the community benefit of their work. One of these stories involves the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.
We partnered with TVNZ U (a TV and online channel targeted to our audience) to shoot and develop each of the installation’s back-stories into 2 minute ‘minimentaries’.

The mini docus were then aired on TVNZU and hosted on, as well as on the NZ Police’s own recruitment site, ‘new cops’.
You can check the film clips here: Yoshi's story, Madeleine's and Julia's story, Kylie's story.

Currently, the media are having a field day over the fact that a Police Recruitment campaign is using "graffiti" (street art) to reach new recruits. It is nicely juxtaposed.

Agency: M&C Saatchi, New Zealand & Ikon Communications, New Zealand Production: String Theory Executive Creative Director: Dave King Art Director : James Bowman Art Director : Rene Van Wonderen Copywriter : Nicci Doak Agency Producer : Nick Barnes Illustrator : Otis Frizzell Artwork: Woody Account Team: Christina Mossaidis & Lizzie Yates Client Contact: Campbell Moore

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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