26 December 2018

Funny AFP ‘Love Actually’ Christmas spoof goes viral

| Glynis Quinlan
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A funny short Christmas video produced by the AFP has already been viewed by more than 1.6 million people…and counting. The image is a still from the video.

A funny short Christmas video produced by the Australian Federal Police (who police the ACT) is going viral as it adds a dash of Aussie humour to a spoof of a scene from the popular festive movie ‘Love Actually’.

Posted on social media on December 19, the video has already been viewed by more than 1.6 million people, with its audience rapidly increasing. It has received around 5,000 comments and more than 35,000 shares on Facebook alone.

The video, which has a serious crime-fighting message at its heart, captures a serving police officer using cue cards at the door of a home to tell a woman (played by a member of the AFP social media team) how the AFP feels about Australia. In this way, it provides a parody of ‘Mark’ using cards to tell ‘Juliet’ he loves her in the ‘Love Actually’ movie.

The humour is evident right from the start when the police officer reassures the woman that he is not a stripper. It also comes out in lines about what the AFP love, such as ‘We love a snag at Bunnings (onion side down of course)’ and what they don’t love – ‘paying for tomato sauce’.

It’s on the topic of what the police ‘don’t love’ that the serious message comes out. Top of the AFP’s ‘naughty list’ is child exploitation, drug trafficking, organised crime, cybercrime, terrorism and financial crime.

“We are committed to keeping you safe from all these things. Merry Christmas,” state the final cards.

A still from the video showing the final card.

The head of the AFP’s social media team, Laura Haddock, said that the aim of the video was to build community awareness about the types of crimes the AFP covers, while also wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

“We find that using humour on selected social content is a really effective way to engage people on serious issues. The more people who engage and share our content, the more people we reach,” Ms Haddock said.

“In doing so, we are building an audience who are also more aware of the unique work that the AFP does, and are more likely to be receptive to our serious messages.”

Ms Haddock said they were surprised by how popular the AFP video has been.

“When you create a piece of content you hope it does well, but we didn’t anticipate just how popular it has been,” she said.

“When you are using humour, you need to make sure that the humour translates – we want to make sure our audience also finds it funny.”

Ms Haddock said that last year the AFP social media team released a 12 Days of Christmas parody video featuring drug seizures throughout the year. The video received a good response and set a benchmark for this year’s Christmas video.

“This time we wanted to focus on the work the AFP does beyond drug seizures. We brainstormed a few different ideas, but the Love Actually one was a clear winner. We then worked with our in-house production team who did a great job with filming and editing it.”

Some of the social media comments about the AFP video have been almost as funny as the video.

For example, the woman opens her door while cleaning her teeth, with one viewer commenting: “Apparently Australian directors think people answer the door brushing their teeth unexpectedly” and another writing: “What toothpaste does she use? Cause my mouth would be on fire by the time he finished.”

However, it was tongue-in-cheek concerns about littering which really came to the fore. “Did anyone else just keep thinking about how he left all them cards for her to pick up and if she doesn’t she will get a littering fine,” was one of the comments.

The AFP responded with footage of a police officer throwing the cards in a bin and the comment: “Australia – we take your comments seriously. While littering is not a commonwealth offence it is not on (It is a state offence). For this reason, we have decided to release some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage – that was definitely not filmed this morning as a result of a barrage of “witty” comments.”

Ms Haddock said that engaging with comments and interacting with the public is a big part of the AFP’s approach to social media.

“We definitely didn’t expect to have so many comments on our alleged littering faux pas, but we saw that as a chance for us to continue the conversation and come back with a creative response,” she said.

Below is the AFP’s video shared from their Facebook site.

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