M&C Saatchi’s brutal Heist film for Royal Mail warns of identity theft dangers

M&C Saatchi has created a hard-hitting spot called Heist for Royal Mail that compares identity theft to a violent bank robbery.

Following cinema bank heist conventions, the film is shot inside an apparently normal bank as young families, pensioners and other citizens go about their day. When balaclava-clad, baseball bat-wielding robbers storm the building yelling “this is a robbery”, the twist is unveiled.

People fall over themselves to hand over cash, but the attackers ignore it: instead they bellow questions about people’s email addresses, passwords, mothers’ maiden names, home addresses, and so on, as one jots down their responses on an iPad. It’s a very tragicomic mix of absurdity and real fear.

M&C Saatchi, Royal Mail Heist film still

The denouement delivers the message “your identity is now your most valuable possession”, and viewers are directed Royal Mail’s ID Fraud Centre for help and advice on those matters.

M&C Saatchi won the Royal Mail account in June 2015, and unveiled its first project for them, a spot promoting Royal Mail’s redirection service, in June last year.

This latest work is far more brutal than we’d expect for the usually friendly, chipper brand, and hints at a step change for the postal service as it grapples with modern dangers around data and digital crimes. It’s certainly a shift from January’s saccharine, onesie and unicorn-filled “Realmoji” campaign, which encouraged people to send their emojis as real, physical objects rather than virtual icons.

M&C Saatchi, Royal Mail Heist film still
M&C Saatchi, Royal Mail Heist film still
M&C Saatchi, Royal Mail Heist film still