Home Office partners with Channel 4 to tackle perceptions of the police in bold new recruitment drive

A powerful campaign exploring the public’s perceptions of the police and the experiences of black, female and LGBTQ police officers has launched across Channel 4’s TV, digital and social media channels as part of a unique partnership with the Home Office.

Untold: The Police features members of the public from groups that are less likely to consider a career in policing interview serving police officers from those same communities

The open and honest conversations are unscripted and the potential new recruits raise issues that are closest to them, including reaction of family and friends, inclusion, the Black Lives Matter movement, stop and search, and balancing personal life with work. The campaign includes a branded three-part series for social media from 4Studio, which launched across Channel 4’s Facebook and YouTube accounts and is available to stream in full on All 4.

For linear TV, two exclusive 30 second ads have been created from edits of the new series – the first debuted on Channel 4 during The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer. These will also run as a digital campaign on All 4, including an interactive format providing viewers with the option to click through to view the relevant full-length social film.

In addition, a collection of police-focused ‘blue-light’ programming sponsored by the Home Office will be hosted on All 4, including Untold: The Police – collectively making this integrated cross-platform partnership the first of its kind.

Untold: The Police is part of the Home Office’s wider Make Your Difference campaign to recruit 20,000 additional police officers over three years. An extra 8,771 officers have been recruited so far and the numbers of female officers (45,996) and those from black, Asian, and other minority ethnic backgrounds (10,218) are the highest on record.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said: “The Government’s push to recruit 20,000 extra officers gives us a once in a generation opportunity to make the police more representative of the communities they serve and ensure they are drawing from the full range of talent that this country has to offer.

“To do this, we need to be bold, honest and tackle difficult issues head on, and that is exactly what this exciting partnership with Channel 4 is doing.”

Produced by Armoury London, Untold: The Police was commissioned by Digital Commissioning Executive Thomas Pullen, working closely with 4Studio’s Group Content Manager Jenny Porter and the specialist commercial team. The partnership with the Home Office was brokered by 4Sales and MG OMD.

Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital Innovation & Partnerships, Channel 4 said: “Untold: The Police is a brilliant example of Channel 4 working with advertisers to create powerful content that reaches new audiences with a thought-provoking message – wherever they’re watching.”

“We’re really proud that Channel 4 is now the UK’s most viewed social branded entertainment content partner thanks to our unique and award-winning, social-first offer.”

Matt Hichens, MD, Armoury London said: “It’s been a great project to be involved with and we are pleased and proud of the end results. The topics and subjects we have covered have meant it has been a delicate balancing act at times, but we hope and think we have created a fair and honest set of films.”

Since launching its first Branded Entertainment social series in September 2020, 4Studio has become the UK’s most viewed social branded content entertainment partner, amassing over 39 million views for a multitude of successful and award winning campaigns on Channel 4 across Facebook and Instagram alone (source: Tubular Labs).

Channel 4 is the only UK broadcaster to offer a slate of social-first branded entertainment opportunities to advertisers for publication across its quality, brand-safe, social channels – including Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

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