Saanich police have taken the unusual step of warning teens in the community about the dangers of the "Tide pod challenge" by posting a comedic video on YouTube.
The video was released Wednesday and combines slapstick humour with singing, dancing and cheezy sound effects on a platform aimed squarely at teen consumers of social media.
"Starting today, we're going to start our own hashtag," says officer "Adam" in the video. "Hashtag NoPodInYourBod."
The "Tide pod challenge" is a recent and dangerous trend on social media where young people film themselves putting the pods in their mouths, biting into them and releasing the poisonous liquid.
Jereme Leslie with Saanich Police says one of their priorities was to find a way to connect with young people in the community, and do it in time for the Friday release of the force's new strategic five-year plan.
"What can we do besides working in the schools?" said Leslie. "How can we impact young people and make a positive difference in their lives … Using a social media platform is extremely important." he said.
Officers "Adam" and "Jeff" created the video called, "What to eat and what not to eat," on Tuesday.
The officers go through safe things to eat like carrots and sandwiches, and some not-so-safe things like a candle and a gaming system.
The messaging turns somewhat serious by the end of the video as the cops tell teens that "retweets aren't worth your life" before promoting their own hashtag.
Reaction to the video on the Saanich Police Facebook page has been swift — with almost 9,000 views and close to 200 shares in 24 hours.
In January, the CEO of Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Tide pods said the company was working with social media companies to remove videos showing people biting into the detergent pods.