7 Best ads in public interest
Commercials to sell products, increase awareness, launch campaigns are rampant, but equally important are those which give out a social message. While the whole advertising industry thrives on big conglomerates and the act of selling their products, it is also advisable for them to initiate some social responsibilty.
Public service ads can either be issued by the government or one of its agencies. Many a times large firms come ahead to take up an issue pertaining to the public, in general, and associate with it their corporate identity to give out a social message.
PSAs serve us moral compasses for us to guide us in various aspects of life. Right from childhood, where we see the importance of education to our adulthood where we are taught about rights of the consumer, drug abuse, drunken driving etc, it is they who guide us to seek redressal and undertake the path of righteousness to evolve as morally responsible citizens
The most interesting part about some of the best PSAs is that they give out a very important message in the most satirical way possible. Read on to see 7 such PSAs which drive their point home without being preachy or pushy.
1. Brain on Drugs
The very simple and very effective brain on drugs campaign was done with the Partnership of a Drug Free America. Produced in 1987, this PSA makes use of oil and eggs to compare your normal brain to a fresh egg while the one on drugs to a fried egg. All of 11 seconds, this ad is considered one of the most influential PSAs in history.
2. Dangerous can be delirious
Created over 27 years ago by the New York’s Poison Control Center, this 1985 ad features 4 hand puppets as its protagonists. Shaped as pills, this was one PSA, which was intended to inform children about the fact that the medicines which might look very edible and tasty are not actually sugar candies. The idea was to abstain children from self prescribing prescription drugs in the most adorable fashion.
3. Parents who use drugs, have children who use drugs
Another ad by the Partnership of a Drug Free America, this was one PSA, which mocked the entire Hippie generation of the 1960s. This ad showed a father grilling his son when he found out that he had been smoking pot. The teenager in his defense retorts by saying ‘I learnt it from you Dad, by watching you!’ The ashamed father simply hung his head in shame while the voiceover continued ‘Parents who use drugs, have children who use drugs’.
4. Take a bite outta crime
Man’s best friend, a coat adorned, pooch appeared in 1980 representing the National Crime Prevention Council. The dog very adorably goes about explaining the residents to remember to lock their doors before sleeping so as to prevent any mishaps or giving any chance for crime to happen, as the dog believed that all that crime needs is a chance!
5. Only you can prevent forest fires
This PSA on forest fire features the Smokey Bear who puts the sole responsibility for the creation and prevention of forest fires on the people itself. For over 65 years, the grizzly bears has been reminding the citizens to protect the forest fires if they want the continuous inflow of water and other natural resources. Started by the US Ad council in 1944, the Smokey Bear now has posters, comic strips and his very own commercial stamp too!
6. You can learn a lot from a Dummy
A very effective campaign on wearing seat belts while driving, this ad shows that how much of heavy clothing you wear or puff yourself with air bags, there is no replacement for seat belts. The ad uses 2 dummies who survive a blow by wearing air bags only to be hit somewhere else and end up breaking bones and limbs. The ad ends with the punchline ‘You can learn a lot from a Dummy’. Making their first appearance in 1985, the duo has since added a number of action figures, video games and a folk rock band to their kitty.
7. Make a Satur-dae
With the rising levels of obesity in America along with the falling interest of children in having fruits, this was one PSA which came just at the right time. The ad talks about kids, who at any time, in any mood can deliciously enjoy something that they could call a sundae. Made simply out of pineapple, bananas and yoghurt a saturdae is a good and a much healthier substitue for a sundae!