7 Most Powerful PSAs ...


7 Most Powerful PSAs ...
7 Most Powerful PSAs ...

I remember the hokey and corny anti-drug PSA from my teen years. They were pretty pathetic, and didn’t really make a point. My favorite, though, was about litter, which actually was pretty good. Then, about ten years ago, I saw the first PSA that ever made me cry: an ad that showed what the world would was like to the 14 million kids who have been orphaned by AIDS. It was stark, emotive, powerful, but still very simple. Nowadays, public service announcements are a lot more thought-provoking, and remarkable. If you’re not sure what could have happened in the past 10 years to change my mind, remember the classic “this is your brain on drugs” fried egg PSA, then take a look at these 7 powerful public service announcements.

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Sussex Safer Roads Partnership – “Embrace Life”

Most ads that promote the use of seatbelts use gory crash images and fear to make us think about using them. But this ad is different — it uses love, not blood. It’s the absolute most powerful PSA I’ve ever seen… and I wish they’d show it in all driver’s education and safety courses. It’s so beautiful. I cry every time I see it… it’s just so compelling.


National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – “Everyone Knows Your Name”

In this day and age, where more than half of all pre-teens have a Facebook or MySpace page, it’s important to remember that friends aren’t the only ones who can see what you have posted on the Internet. As this PSA points out, even people who are not-so-friendly can see it, too… people like pedophiles and stalkers… scary!


Project Safe Neighborhoods – “Gun Crimes Hit Home”

No-one ever wonders what happens to the mothers of the children who are lost in gun violence… or the mothers of the ones who go to jail for it. This commercial shows that heartbreak and agony in a way that makes us all remember that each of those children has a mother — and that even if they’re gone, they’re still missed, loved, and remembered.


Project Safe Neighborhoods – “Babies”

This one just kills me. As a parent, your worst nightmare is losing your child — and this PSA drives that point home. The spot follows a funeral procession as it makes its way through a neighborhood, and little kids join in, disappearing into the hearses and police cars as it goes by, making their parents desperate and devastated, just like in real life… all those children killed by violence are, after all, someone’s sons and daughters…


The American Cancer Society – “Birthday”

How clever, and touching! This PSA finishes with a sweet sentiment: that the American Cancer Society is the official sponsor of birthdays. That is their mission, after all — to make sure everyone has more birthdays. I love the upbeat, cheerful feel of the commercial, and the music.


Fatherhood – Cheerleading Dad

I love this entire series of PSAs promoting the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives, but this is my favorite. And it proves something I’ve known for years, that dads are complete suckers for their sweet little girls. Other PSAs in this series feature a tattooed tough-guy dad getting a bright pink manicure from his little princess, and a dad in his bathrobe and sweats playing light sabers with his son.


Newborn and Child Survival – “Runway”

I like this commercial because it shows us the difference between the people we all idolize — celebrities — and the unsung heroes we ought to be admiring. The scenery is gorgeous, the message clear and powerful. This is what all PSAs ought to be!

All of these PSAs are so powerful and compelling, it’s hard to say which I like best, though I do lean towards the humor in the “cheerleading” PSA and the beauty of the seatbelt ad. Which of these PSAs do you like best, and why? Please let me know!

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This would be fantastic with links to videos showing them, if they were available on youtube or something ^_^

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