American Police need a brand refresh

American Police need a brand refresh

Do little kids still want to grow up to be police officers in America? By the time they’ll be old enough for the job, they’ll have seen a constant stream of news of police officers making major mistakes and causing significant damage to their professions reputation.

If Police in America were a major airline, which killed random customers daily and “accidentally” do you think they’d still be “flying the friendly skies?”

Reputation management is something we do at The Next Wave. This would be a major challenge, up there with getting kids to stop smoking, or people to trust a brand again after a major fail. We believe we need a national conversation to take place about what it means to “serve and protect” and being an “officer of the peace” looks like in 2021.

One thing we’re certain of, showing up in military gear to a legal protest is probably not the best way to diffuse the situation. We put together a series of posters/memes to try to show how ridiculous this has become. Note, we don’t own the rights to these photos, nor do we have permission to use them. However, since it’s educational and for public criticism of the new “trade dress” of police in the US- we believe it falls under fair use.

Cops no longer dress for sucess. They dress to kill

Are police making a fashion statement?

If you think you need an MRAP to serve and protect you've already failed your job

If this is how far the balance of power has shifted, police have failed.

Does this look like "the pursuit of life liberty and happiness"

Fear is a horrible motivator.

We believe it’s time for a national re-training of the police in this country, It’s time to re-examine what service police are here to provide and it’s value and values. When protesters say “No justice, no peace” what does that mean?

Can you honestly tell little kids that being a police officer is still a desirable job when they will hear stories of police shooting people in their garages, holding a subway sandwich, or in a raid in the middle of the night, or even when an officer comes “home” to the wrong apartment and shoots it’s occupant? The common thread- is the victims are Black. I’m not linking to any of these stories or naming names, because to do so is actually minimizing the scope of the problem. It’s happening way too often, way too frequently, and that’s the basis of our call for a rebrand and some reputation management.

It starts with public perception. It starts with how you come dressed to the party. It’s time for reform.

 

 

Government warnings on being black in America

Mixing business with politics is an old school no-no. Not at The Next Wave. We believe in using our creative powers for good, to make people think, to change the world.

When these hit Facebook there was instant discussion.  We’re looking to change the conversation about what being Black means in America, because #BlackLivesMatter.

Government warning on Drinking wile black

GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, BLACK MEN should not drink alcoholic beverages because it’s now a legal excuse for police to kill you. (2) Being black impairs your ability to live free in America, and may cause police problems, including being shot in the back.

Governement warning on black men interacting with polices

GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, BLACK MEN should avoid all interactions with police. You are more likely to be arrested, beaten or shot. (2) Being black impairs your ability to live free in America, and may cause equality issues, including being shot in the back.

Government warning running while black

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Running causes BLACK MEN a higher chance of death in encounters with police. You are more likely to be arrested, beaten or shot than a white man (2) Being black impairs your ability to live free in America, and may cause equality issues, including being shot in the back. Quitting running now greatly reduces serious risks to your life, unless it’s part of being a pro athlete.

These are all internal work for messaging to the masses. No client involved. If your media outlet wants to run them- contact us for press ready versions.

Our soul won’t be sold

Soul stabbinbg logo. It's not a principle until it costs you moneyThe email came from another local agency. Can you please give us all the access to the client site, passwords, login info, account data etc. The client was copied on the email.

It wasn’t just any client, it was one of our oldest. One who we helped them birth their business, outgrow a location, move, go through many management changes. Dropped everything to make things happen for them- without rush fees. Their business was like a second home, comfortable, inviting. We know the staff by name and they know us.

Getting the dear john email hurt. The conversation that followed hurt more. The client was crying.

Our activism had collided with their politics.

For almost 20 years we’d been their champions, and they’d been ours. But, now that was all coming to an end. Because we won’t sell our soul to the machine, and they became a part of it.

The loss of their account won’t damage us at all financially. They may find out that they will pay a lot more to work with the competition. They may find out that the drop everything and get this done costs a lot more. It might not get done as quickly. They may pay for the learning curve of a new agency- or, they may just listen a little more, and do things outside what their comfort zone allowed before and feel absolved. These things happen.

But, when it comes to our soul, if anything, we’ve hardened our resolve to continue to fight the machine, to make things better in our community.

Because as the legendary ad man Bill Bernbach of DDB said “it’s not a principle until it costs you money.”

 

Torture isn’t OK in 3rd World countries, or the local jail

Dayton is the county seat for Montgomery County. That means the county lock up is here. And, it’s run by the local sheriff. He’s also the chairman of the county Republican Party, which is sort of a conflict of interest, since in Ohio, on election day, the Sheriff has the last word on election issues.

We’re engaged in the community. Our Chief Creative Officer, David Esrati, has maintained a blog since 2005 that is widely read. It’s part of our “practice what we preach” philosophy, using WordPress for content management. Because of his provocative and informative, take no-holds approach to covering local issues, he’s developed a network of confidential sources. When the local jailers got caught in a cover up over pepper-spraying a restrained inmate the Sheriff called it an “isolated incident.”

A month later, it happened again, and a source asked David to investigate. Finding a way to get the video that the victims lawyer couldn’t, we put together a video to expose this heinous practice and begin the push for a full fledged investigation into the conditions in the jail. The post is www.esrati.com/deadly

As a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business, the oath to uphold and protect the constitution is inviolable, no matter how it risks keeping our doors open.

The video:

What’s the secret to better schools?

You won’t find a team of people at The Next Wave that believe educational “drill and fill” is the answer to solving tomorrow’s problems. But, that’s what our schools have been reduced to. In poor urban districts, like Dayton’s, they bought chromebooks for a 1 to 1 initiative, but won’t let the kids take the computers home, won’t teach them to code, and won’t encourage media/content production, the keys to the future economy.

We want to see kids engaged in creative personal exploration, but the currently mandated educational standards are all modeled on tested proficiency of a “common core” which leaves little room for creativity. The district is plagued with funding issues, high teacher burnout/turnover and challenged to compete with charter schools.

Our Chief Creative Officer sits on the Technology steering committee, and has tried to push for open source tools, providing the infrastructure to bridge the “digital divide” and to make the district differentiate itself from charters. Somehow, the message just isn’t getting through, nor is the district capable of selling its strengths to the community, causing a loop of bad PR, lower housing values, lower property tax revenue, less resources, more bad PR.

We crafted a video giving an overview of our turnaround strategy- one that involves rethinking the school year, how we approach the common core, and how to sell our community on a different way to learn. We did this on our own dime. It started a conversation. We’ll see if the discussion moves forward.