Of late, going by Twitter performance, Indian politicians and public service departments have been thwarting all stereotypical notions that the Indian babu has no sense of humour. One such department is the Mumbai Police, who have time and again nailed it on Twitter, not only responding to tweets efficiently and with that edge of humour, but also running hashtag campaigns that would weed out perpetrators and law breakers, or even as warnings.
Remember the #HoshMeinAao campaign the department ran in January 2016? Not only was it a great use of Internet pun, but also displayed how our law enforcers can spot a great pun, when they see it.
Rolling ahead with that same sentiment, the Mumbai Police’s Twitter PR cell has jumped on to the Pokémon Go bandwagon that has gripped the world. In the US, where the augmented reality gaming app was first released, traffic departments started putting out warning signs to players-cum-drivers whose Pokémon catching activities would be hazardous to not only their lives, but others on the road as well.
Closer home, in Chennai recently, a huge group of players gathered at a park hoping to catch a rare Pokémon, raising much alarm. It was just a day after a stampede broke out in a US park for similar reasons, so the alarm was not exactly unjustified. Thankfully nothing happened, but the possibilities were there. And as the craze around the game spreads, the risk of players disregarding or even forgetting safety at finding random Pokémons on Indian roads also increases.
Addressing this pressing concern, the Mumbai Police started funny but relevant campaign called “Pokémon Can’t Go”. On July 24, the department tweeted out a GIF with a policeman catching a Pokémon, with the message: “Life is not a game. Especially not one to be played on the roads! #RoadSafety”
The tweet had a mixed response as some took the caution seriously, while others decided to go one up in the punning department – only to get trolled themselves. Here are some of the interesting replies:
Well, it’s true you can’t win ’em all, but at least the message had a widespread reach.