Politie Nederland: Buurt = Heet

Hero image 1500x500 Buurt Heet

Hip hop brings youngsters and police officers closer together

The idea behind Buurt=Heet is simple: young musical talents record a hip hop track in a converted riot police van; community beat officers are invited to come and have a look. The purpose? To encourage a dialogue between youngsters and the police. Maak developed the concept and made a content series for this project.

Early 2021, the Dutch police and VWS started a collaboration. This was triggered by the tightened COVID measures, which had a huge impact on the mental well-being of teenagers. In several cities, anger led to fierce riots. Youngsters and police officers found themselves on opposite sides. And so, the police and VWS called for creative solutions. Any suggestions were welcome.

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Better rap than talk

The winning idea was RapMee (‘rap along’), created by research agency Garage2020. The concept was clear: young rappers are given the chance to record a track in a riot police van converted into a music studio. Together with a professional music producer, of course. Garage2020 noticed that more and more youngsters are engaged in hip hop, and that it is sometimes easier for them to rap about their problems than to talk them.

Fiery marketing plans

Maak was responsible for the concept development, recruitment campaign, content production and the internal campaign for the police. The creation of a strong concept started with a change of name: RapMee was renamed Buurt=Heet. This term matches the target group better – if a neighborhood is ‘hot’, it means that there is a lot going on.

To make this project authentic for young talents, we work with creatives who are popular among the target group. Like designer LeRoi3, who also designs the albums of the greatest Dutch hip hop artists. The set designers of Studio Ricco converted the riot police van. Krankjorum produced the beats; the well-known YouTuber Youssef hosted the content series. All to prevent the project from being a project initiated by the government trying to be hip.

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Including the target audience

We get better than anyone that, if you want to understand your target group, you must talk with them rather than about them. We set up a focus group, where youngsters could share their views on the COVID measures. That way, we gave them a voice in the pandemic – something they clearly needed. We also wanted to better understand the perspective of the police. So our colleague Omar accompanied a community beat officer in Rotterdam for a day. And guess what? He really knew the youngsters from ‘his’ neighborhood and could pinpoint exactly who had musical ambitions.



"I even received emails and DMs from community beat officers, asking if the van could come to their neighborhoods as well."

Four locations, four talents

We called community beat officers throughout the country to scout talents. We ended up with four young rappers. Host Youssef and producer Krankjorum drove the riot police van to Winschoten, Ede, Kanaleneiland in Utrecht and Zielhorst in Amersfoort. The rappers recorded their tracks, the local officers joined to observe. To listen, but also to engage in a conversation We filmed both the tracks and the conversations and processed the recordings to a content series of four episodes. Youssef – known under the name of YousToub – posted them on his account.

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A project to be proud of

Buurt=Heet led to both nice and surprising encounters. Like the story of Mo, who started by saying that he hated the police because they always seemed to have it out for him. In the end, however, he stayed and talked to them for two hours and he even texted the attending beat officer later that evening. The police were enthusiastic too: Youssef received e-mails from community beat officers afterwards, asking if the riot police van could come to their neighborhoods as well.

We believe this makes the project ‘new era marketing’. We respond to the new reality: the increasing frustration among youngsters. We think ahead and anticipate on current events. This way, with Buurt=Heet, we have created a place where policemen and youngsters meet.

Maak works for all kinds of interesting clients. Every one of them are businesses that also believe in our idea of new era marketing. Want to know more? View our other cases.

Omar Kbiri

+31 6 28986345

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