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"My doc, he showed me a picture of a smoker's lung, and I went 'Oh God, gross! Disgusting! Then he showed me a picture of a healthy guy's lung, and I went... 'Oh God, gross! Disgusting!'"

Commercials put on by the government or other organizations for public safety or information. Also known as Government Information Adverts or Public Information Films. These commercials usually try to get you to stop smoking, obey the speed limit, Look Both Ways when crossing the road, or submit your tax return on time. Anvilicious by nature. Since they deal with serious (and not so serious) real-life problems, and often have limited budgets, the potential for Narm is very high, but when done right, PSAs can be quite effective.

Now You Know. And Knowing Is Half the Battle.

The Advertising Council is responsible for many such messages on American television. Some of the UK Road Safety ads (which are also shown in cinemas before the feature) are quite disturbing, as are the anti-smoking ads in the United States. They are sometimes known to prey on Mortality Phobia or Primal Fear in order to Scare 'Em Straight.

Those shown during children's cartoons are often either educational or traumatizing. All varieties are susceptible to Détournement.

A subtrope is the kind put on by networks themselves, just to say: We Care. Compare Advertising Disguised as News for when companies use trusted media for less-than-pure purposes. It can also be seen as a benign variant of the Propaganda Piece.

PSAs may sometimes seem to deliver a Captain Obvious Aesop, but it's good to remember that the aesop may not be obvious to everyone. Common subjects include drunk driving, smoking, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, traffic safety, and bullying. On the other hand, if the PSA lacks sufficient self-awareness, it may fall victim to the unintended message, "Do Not Do This Cool Thing."

Subverted by the Stealth Cigarette Commercial, when companies that have a vested interest are legally required to make PSAs against their own harmful products. For some reason, they don't seem to mind that very much...

Compare Abusive Advertising. May be a "Harmful to Pets" Reminder. The longer show-length version is a Very Special Episode.


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  • Luchemos por la vida (Let's Fight for Life)'s ads about road safety have ran for so long that many of them have become catchphrases. Since Argentina has the second highest rate of fatal traffic accidents, they seem not to work.
    • "Tranqui, 120." (Relaxed, 120 km/h)
    • "¡Lo que dé!" ("As fast as she can go!")
    • "No dispare contra su familia" (literally: "don't shoot (against) your family"), a pun on the verb "disparar", which means "to shoot" but it's also a slang for going very fast or be catapulted (as in a car crash) when used in adjective form. That sounds like a decent and clever campaign, right? It isn't.
  • From the same organisation, in this ad a girl is telling her dad that he's driving dangerously... and then he becomes a scary mix between a monkey and Chewbacca. Pretty startling when you're young.
  • There were also the infamous SITEA ads, warning about cholera or meningitis. The latter showed a creepy scarecrow looming over a cradle. Unfortunately there are no videos of them but they've left their mark.

Australian PSAs always end with "Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra" or "Authorised by the (Australian state) Government, (that state's capital)". The most famous of these are short ads against domestic violence, which were parodied here on The Chaser's War On Everything.

In general, Australian PSAs are quite notorious for their ability to shock. For some reason, Australian ad agencies really don't mess around when it comes to public safety.

  • Maybe the only thing worse than being in a car crash? Surviving the initial crash...and then being BBQ'ed.
  • Three guesses why this anti-speeding ad's title is "Beach Road"/"Bring me back my boy." And for added horror, the child actor was actually in a crash nine years later. Fortunately, he survived and had his driving abilities downgraded.
  • You'll never be quite able to hear the 12 days of Christmas the same. Brutally effective in showing a family going from normal to living an utter nightmare in the course of a few days; it was originally released in three parts in the days leading up to Christmas of 1998.
  • Possibly the most realistic drunk-driving video in showing the aftermath and the ER of the victim. Nightmare fuel with a four-digit octane number. If the weeping/hysterical family doesn't get you, mopping the child's blood off the floor should. The official slogan in Australia is as follows: "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot." Most would use harsher language. The child's voice singing 'Happy Xmas' by John Lennon makes it even more horrific.
  • A series of ads about excessive drinking shows the evening of a drinker through their eyes. In one a guy gets into a drunken punch-up and ends up badly beaten, while another sees a girl drunkenly seduced in the bushes at a party and finds people laughing at her while she struggles to find her panties. But probably the most chilling is the guy who stumbles onto the road while walking home and is fatally hit by a car—in first person.
  • You know what AIDS is exactly like? The Grim Reaper going bowling. (To make this ad worse, the bodies seem remarkably similar to Holocaust victims. Simon Reynolds is sick.)
  • Also from Australia comes an ad, backed by a music video called It's A Beautiful Day For Cancer.
  • Australia had some particularly chilling Domestic Abuse PSAs. One showed a couple eating dinner while the woman next door is presumably being beaten up by her husband. The man at the table very decidedly puts down his fork and picks up a baseball bat. He then knocks on his neighbour's door and hands him the bat. The voiceover says:
    If you do nothing about domestic abuse, you might as well lend a hand.
  • Another Australian PSA that was regrettably pulled from the air was of notorious prison hardman "Chopper" Read describing how those convicted of abuse would be treated in prison. Very effective, since no one really thinks of prison hierarchy (or, for that matter, how it's maintained) when committing a crime. He mentions in the ad that he had his ears cut off while in prison but doesn't point out (as he has in his memoirs) that he had another convict do it for him so he would be able to leave prison temporarily.
  • This PSA about the drug "Ice" (i.e., methamphetamine). Seriously, the girl picking at her skin.
  • The "Don't be a Dickhead" ads. One of them says "when you drive too fast, gingers have sex," and another one says, "when you drive too fast, an emo is born."
  • The bushfire ads in Victoria. Black smoke with audio of family desperately trying to save their home, then a blast, and then pictures of a destroyed house. Appear to be designed by some psychopath in the Victorian government for the purpose of deliberately traumatising bushfire victims. Don't blame the CFA for this, we had nothing to do with it. Two follow-ups included a couple driving through a bushfire-affected area and crashing their car, and a family leaving too late only to be trapped by the fire. Thankfully they were shorter and somewhat less terrifying than the original.
  • The subway safety video "Dumb Ways to Die" by Melbourne Metro. Apparently, cute cartoon characters dying in grisly ways + a catchy song = Instant Web Hit.
  • Australian level crossing safety ads are brutal (rightfully so).
    • A particularly cruel one depicts two lads in the country speeding on to a set of rails and getting themselves killed, and, much more upsettingly, a mother and her two children in the car. The mother gets her car stuck on the tracks behind a truck while the stop signal is showing, and the train comes speeding inexorably toward the car. The mother and her children start screaming and crying and then the train...turns them into white smoke, sparing us the gory aftermath. This is then followed by the slogan, "Don't play with trains."
    • Another version of this advert was produced for pedestrians at level crossings. It shows a woman on a bike observing the "correct" way to act on level crossing train tracks and two young boys observing the "wrong" way to behave on train tracks. The narrator sternly warns that trains are deceptively fast and can't stop easily, so to exercise care at all times near railways. Naturally, one of the boys goes after his basketball and gets "poofed" away by the train. The woman on the bike allows the train to pass safely, though. The ad then subverts our expectations by showing the woman forgetting that two trains pass through this level crossing...and she promptly gets killed by a train running the other way. Again, the slogan is: Don't play with trains.
  • The Victorian Pictures of You campaign; aimed at stopping speeding. The original advertisement was played simultaneously across all commercial stations in Victoria.
  • A PSA showed a man making a speech at his daughter's wedding with jokes about how he sexually abused her when she was a child; and everyone, including the bride and groom, laughing along. This was intended to challenge perceptions that victims of child abuse should somehow forget or "get over" the trauma as adults. Three radio PSAs followed the theme: one very similar to the TV ad, another with a woman and her mother reminiscing about how the mother neglected and emotionally abused her daughter, and one where an athlete makes an acceptance speech thanking his abusive father for making him learn to run fast.
  • In "Stay In School" a group of teenagers ditch school to sneak into a locked beach. All is lovely until land mines start exploding all around them in the best teen-horror-movie style. Blood, screaming, severed body parts. The final shot shows the warning signs on the fence the kids climbed: Explosives Testing Site. This one was actually a parody PSA, done by filmmaking duo Henry & Aaron, who have a history of similar bizarre mock-ads.
  • A famous anti-smoking one features a girl (seemingly about 10 years old) telling her father a story about playing cricket with her uncle Mark and him falling face first in the mud... as her father is laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to breathing apparatus and struggling to breathe. The girl finishes with "It was so funny, Dad. You should have been there."
  • One NSW road safety ad goes in a slightly different direction suggesting that speeders, hoons, ect are Compensating for Something.
  • An Australian PSA for International Missing Children's Day used a little girl talking about the new pair of shoes she got for her birthday, and her dreams of what she wants to do when she grows up (she is shown in various outfits, including a wedding dress and veil) only for her V/O to reveal that none of these things ever happened, as she went missing. The PSA is notable for the V/O line “maybe I’d meet someone who loved me and my shoes” because of the decision to use a gender-neutral phrase, whereas in earlier years, a comparable PSA would have likely indicated that the person would be male (i.e. "a boy who...") without even really thinking about it.
  • One rather dark PSA initially presenting itself as being about an innocent prisoner on Death Row who is being brought his last meal is revealed to specifically be part of a campaign from a group called Doggie Rescue seeking to raise awareness about the thousands of dogs that are euthanized every month and to encourage pet adoption.

  • A Brazilian PSA about seeing the eye doctor regularly. Those aren't balloons you're blowing up, Grandma.
  • Another Brazilian PSA has an anti-AIDS message, using a man with a below-waist friend called Braulio. It was widely mocked by the media, the name Braulio became synonymous with "dick" in time, many men named Braulio complaining they are ridiculed, and the name became unuseable as a boy's name. Weeks, later the ad was pulled.
  • In 2013, a Brazilian anti-cancer society released Senhor Testiculo, meaning Mister Balls, to educate people about prevention of testicular cancer for men. Google at your own risk for the pics.

  • A particularly notable case is the workplace safety PSAs. "I'm a trope with a lot of potential. But that's never going to happen because I'm going to be in a terrible "accident"... These grew progressively more tame and less terrifying, transitioning from "Witness the foreshadowed gruesome death/disfigurement" to "The dead man lives on as a narrating zombie" to "Merely hear about the gruesome death secondhand as the dead Rise From Their Graves to chat" to "Hear about the gruesome death that might have happened if someone hadn't stepped in to save the victim at the last second."
    • Subsequently, in 2009, they put out a notable one where a man walks through a construction site, talking about how you can make your workplace safer. As he turns his back to a window, zombies burst onto the site and begin to attack the workers.
      "Workplace injuries and deaths are preventable. If there is a random zombie attack, run like a [BLEEP]."
  • An ad against drunk driving sponsored by the Canadian government several years ago contained the tagline "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot." Australia's Road Safety Task Force rang, they want their slogan back.
  • Speaking of plagiarism, this MADD PSA reuses footage from a Singapore anti-drink-driving campaign. Australia's TAC also did a campaign based on Singapore's, but they recorded their own video, and added content in the end, with two police officers visiting the victim's house.
  • A series of Canadian anti-domestic abuse PSAs feature a man eating breakfast at a restaurant with his family. A waitress comes over and pours him some more coffee, and she spills a little bit. The man says "...she spilled my coffee!" All of a sudden he grabs the waitress, begins swearing at her, and then pours the pot of scalding hot coffee down her chest. A voiceover says, "you wouldn't get away with it here, so why should you get away with it at home?"
  • Another rather disturbing anti-domestic abuse PSA had a shot of a child sitting on the stairs in black and white. In the background, he could hear his infuriated father yell at his wife about how he comes home from a long day at work and all she could do for dinner was order a pizza. She frantically tried to explain to him that she didn't know he was coming home early and therefore didn't have time to prepare, but he just interrupted her by yelling at her some more and then the child flinched when he heard the sound of a slap and his mother crying. The PSA ended with the text: "Children have to sit by and watch. What's your excuse?" Note: This PSA aired in both Canada and the United States.
  • The National Film Board of Canada put out an animated film Hot Stuff in 1971, showing the dangers of household fires in a disarmingly humorous fashion, depicting the universe consumed by fire started by a married couple and their hungry cat.
    • They also had a series of safety PSA's starring the Old Lady in the Shoe and her kids that always ended with:
    Narrator: The Old Lady knew just want to do!
    Old Lady: Do you?
    • The Drag (1966) was an anti-smoking cartoon from the NFB about the dangers of cigarettes, and specifically about how Smoking Is Cool advertising and media encourage young people to start smoking.
  • You're going to have a lot of trouble coming up with a clever way to admit that this drug PSA will render you incapable of hearing 'He Ain't Heavy' without bawling like a little girl.
  • The Coalition of Concerned Children's Advertisers have put out a number of classics over the years, including "House Hippo", "Hip Choice", and that Internet favourite, "Don't Put It in Your Mouth". Not to mention this.
  • An ad from Quebec government against domestic violence shows a husband screaming and hitting her wife... from the wife's first person view. The actor was quite convincing, and the ad made the news for some time.
  • A Radio PSA was made about young girls and their need for good role models. And to do that, the PSA was a "commercial" for an Entertainment Tonight-style tabloid where the major topics are about self destructive celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.
  • There's a campaign called "It's a girl" making the rounds for the Canadian Women's Foundation. We start out watching a baby shower in someone's house and at one point, the new mother opens up a package and finds out that a relative has given her new baby girl a whistle. She's confused for a second but when the woman who gave it to her explains that it's a rape whistle, things become fairly clear. As the mood chills, the announcer explains how dire life can still be for women and we cut to the organization's logo and mission statement. (Though concern was expressed over the (maybe intentional, maybe not) implication that parents of sons needn't fear the possibility of physical and sexual abuse).
  • Canada has its share of anti-smoking, but none were as infectious as the 1987 spot featuring the domestic hit pop singer, Luba, who sings a positive message encouraging teens to "Break Free!" from the grip of tobacco to become a new generation of non-smokers.
  • There was one PSA about food safety, comprising of nothing but watching sausages grill on a BBQ, while the song "When will I see you again?" plays in the background. The pay-off comes at the end of the PSA, when the screen fades to black and the words "A lot sooner than you think, if you don't cook it properly"
  • On September 12, 2018, the Canadian animated show 6teen created a PSA called Vote, Dude It showed the main characters talking about the importance of voting. It was created as a way to try and get the show's American fans to vote in the mid-term election.
  • "Emily" (which is on YouTube) is a 30-second PSA from the nonprofit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (or MADD) with no content besides a crying baby, a statistic of how many Canadians die from drunk driving, and a notice that the baby's mother was one of them.
  • Sexual Violence with the Birds and the Bees is a public awareness campaign designed to combat sexual violence.

    Czech Republic 
  • One ad from the "Nemyslis, Zaplatis" (If You Don't Think, You Will Pay) road safety campaign has a mother cradling her baby while riding in a car instead of using a child seat. The car runs into a wall while avoiding a van, and the infant is thrown forward, hitting the windscreen. The driver reaching out his hand to touch the dying baby and the traumatised mother cradling a bolster pillow after the accident are sure to break some hearts.
    • And here is a compilation of all the ads from the campaign, tackling speeding, reckless driving, drugged driving, dangerous overtaking, drunk driving, seatbelts and the aforementioned child safety seat one.
  • Speaking of child safety seats, this other one (independent of the above campaign) hits harder than even TAC's campaigns. A father loses his two children because they were killed in an accident for not belting up. And the accident is really brutal. You have been warned.
  • It's not all doom and gloom though. Here's a humourous one about speeding where a funeral is interrupted by a faster and louder funeral, with the whole procession running their way to throw the coffin into the grave.
  • One man takes "only a complete idiot drives to the bar" seriously, he dons a wearable toy Cadillac to the bar, damaging it by bumping into things and eventually gets stranded when his "car" is stuck on two garbage cans.


  • A series of viral PSAs called "If Dealers Told The Truth", where drug dealers talk about the "real" effects of their products - "so, your heart attack, what color do you want it in?" Widely mocked and parodied on the internet.
  • An advert for a fictional drink called "Trop" (Too Much) that began in the style of an alcopops commercial with happy, bronzed people frolicking on the beach and then degenerating into fighting, vomiting and sexually assaulting each other as they drink more and more.
  • A series of PSAs with the tagline "Tu t'es vu quand t'as bu?" (roughly "Have you seen the state of yourself when you've been drinking?" depicted drunken people embarrassing themselves in various ways: e.g. a guy hooking up with a woman but then falling asleep on her, a man in a hospital waiting room yelling at other patients (and then missing his own appointment), and a student who drinks to steady his nerves before an exam but ends up going to the wrong room. A pre-fame Marion Cotillard appeared in one PSA as a girl at a party raving drunkenly at her crush (who eventually leaves in disgust.)
  • The French Delegation of Road Safety (better known as Sécurité Routière) have a lot of hard-hitting and emotional ads under their belt:
    • 2020's "The Road of My Life" tells the story about a boy who grew up with his buddies thinking they own the road because they're familiar with it... only to have to witness his friends in a horrible accident as an EMS worker.
    • 2019's "Graveyard" traces a smoke trail from a funeral to a crash site and then to a man, implied to be the victim, smoking marijuana (which is not legalised in France).
    • 2016's "Effects" depicts friends and families of accident victims as being caught in the collision, symbolising the effects the accident has on their lives, with a fitting tagline "All affected, all concerned, all responsible".
    • (Overturned estate) On that day, he was driving way too fast. (Van rams into estate) And he was driving a little too fast.
    • Can you spot the mistake in this 2005 ad? It's the guy in the rear who doesn't buckle up and gets thrown onto the windscreen, scaring the woman in the front passenger seat.
    • If you drive at 60km/h instead of 50 (the urban speed limit), you'll need an extra 8 metres to stop, or in the case of this driver, hit a pedestrian.
    • "Seconds" from 2003 sees a couple come to a sudden stop when their speeding car is about to run into another at a junction. An ominous voice tells them that they have gained five seconds... which they squander wondering what they really just earned. And then they crash.
    • Also from 2003, "Family" sees a father and his two children going out and sit on the balcony. Suddenly they fall onto the street below. In reality they do not belt up and are thrown onto the street when the car they're in gets into an accident.
    • 1988's "Bumper Car" is... something different. Not only is it wackier than later Sécurité Routière campaigns, depicting a reckless driver as driving a bumper car, with chipper music in the background, it also invokes the Eiffel Tower Effect a lot, displaying Parisian landmarks such as the tower itself, the Arc de Triomphe and the Panthéon with the nearby Fontaine du Bassin Soufflot.

  • Probably the most well-known PSA in Germany is Forklift Driver Klaus, which is a hilariously bloody parody. It has become kind of a cult classic, as it has the appearance of a completely average 70's TV production combined with an amount of over the top Gorn way outside what you usually see in German TV. It's also narrated by the narrator of a series of actual road safety PSAs.
  • Internationally well-known is a series of five-minute spots originating in Germany under the title Der 7. Sinn. It was used to educate in traffic safety - with the target audience being drivers. It ran from February 1966 through December 2005 and was broadcast among other countries in the US, Japan, Brazil and many more. You can watch a collection of these ads here.
  • A horrifying radio ad for the German child abuse charity Hansel and Gretel Foundation begins with the ostensibly wholesome sound of a little girl laughing hysterically before the narrator tells the listener that if they can recognize that the girl is actually having an orgasm, the charity will find them and put them in jail, and if they don't, they should donate money to help out. There's a link here, but you'll probably feel like you'll end up on a list just for having heard it.
  • Another disturbing German ad against child sexual abuse features a mouse cursor moving over a framed picture of a small child with a wheelbarrow while the sound of a man getting off to it is heard in the background. It's bound to push all the wrong buttons.
  • This haunting PSA from Germany's World Society for the Protection of Animals shows a man in a dark workshop putting together a wooden bear. He starts by sawing off one of the bear's ears, followed by the claws and paw tips, and finally drills through the bear's nose. All of this is intercut with footage of a real bear going through the same torture. In the end, he finishes by putting a string through the nose, pulling it, and making the bear "dance." A narrator then says, "Captivity, torture, or dance until death. The WSPA helps abused animals. Please help." The camera work and distorted audio don't help.
    • The alternate cut of the ad is arguably worse, as not only does it include slightly different shots of the man putting the wooden bear together, but also a new, brief scene of a bear being hung by its nose.
  • This 1986 ad produced by Germany for Amnesty International is just a straight one-minute build-up to someone about to be subjected to Electric Torture. The prisoner's blood-curdling screams near the end are bound to keep you up for the rest of the night. What's worse is the occasional screams coming from elsewhere in the building, making it clear that he's far from the only victim there.
  • One NSFW German PIF starts out as essentially softcore porn, where a man and a woman go to the bathroom in a club and essentially get it on to the tune of some eerie music. The horror (or humor) doesn't come until the very end, where we see the man banging this woman is in fact Hitler. The message: "AIDS is a mass murderer." There are other versions of this PIF, where instead of Hitler, the man banging the woman is another dictator like Stalin and Hussein; print versions have also been made.
  • The German network SWR Fernsehen is notorious for producing various disturbing ads about safe viewership.
    • One anti-violence PIF is either horrific or, as easportsbig899 calls it, a horror movie fan's wet dream. It depicts a bunch of graphic clips from horror movies and the like (such as The Shining and It), overdubbed with voices singing Brahms' Lullaby.
    • A similar ad to the one above is more gruesome than this, as it straight-up shows graphic death scenes from various action and horror movies with a child's voice counting them one by one like counting sheep to fall asleep. It ends with a tagline asking parents what their children count to fall asleep and reminding them to watch what they see on TV.
    • Another ad from the same network depicts a father taking his young son on a trip into a big city, filmed through a creepy fisheye lens view. During the spot the father shows his son such horrific sights, including a car accident, a man being assaulted, another shooting up in a public bathroom, a woman getting raped, a dead body wrapped in plastic... All of it set to an upbeat song from a 1950s German flick about how The World Is Just Awesome. The message at the end is that if you wouldn't show your kids this in real life, don't let them see it on TV.
      • There also existed another variant of the ad that replaces the track with Aphex Twin’s “Fingerbib”, which lessens the scariness of the PIF only by a small margin.
    • Yet another one from the SWR has a young girl asleep, but she is suffering nightmares as screams and other violent noises are heard. What started off as unsettling quickly becomes horrifying as she opens her eyes to reveal a static screen on each one.
      Tagline: Violence on TV always has a sequel.
    • They also made this PIF that poses as a shooting video game. Except for the place the game takes place is Columbine High School, complete with what appears to be actual footage of the attacks.
  • * This German PSA has a man playing a racing video game taking corners too fast and losing the game while his friends mock him. He walks away and towards his car, and starts it up, muttering "No idea, those idiots." He pops a cassette in, and "Born To Be Wild" starts to play. He starts to drive fast, nearly running over an elderly man in a wheelchair, and he goes on the highway. He has some near-misses with people and cars, and stats appear on the top screen, like in a video game. The friend’s taunts are also heard occasionally. He then passes a truck and sees a bus in the oncoming direction. He brakes hard and crashes and an animated explosion takes up the screen, and the music stops. It then shows the hallway of a hospital with a person running down the hallway while an EKG can be heard. It then shows the interface of an EKG. The EKG then flatlines while the words "GAME OVER" appear on the screen and the line that measures heartbeats goes straight.
  • One German PSA on Net Safety for children starts with a doorbell being rung and a mother opening the door to people wanting to 'visit' her son. Those 'visitors' consist of Neo Nazis, prostitutes and a cartoonish looking Commando and they are all let in by the mother without questioning, even as the latter party shoots up the corridor. It all culminates in a creepy looking man arriving at the still open door. This man is there for the son's little sister, complimenting her stuffed bunny and then taking her to show her 'real bunnies'. It all ends with this Announcement: "In real life you would protect your children, so do it on the internet too!"
    • A lighter example on the same topic consists of numerous children donning the proper safety gear for sports and very much having fun with the sports, while children's laughter can be heard in the background. One girl even finds protection under a traffic sign, as plastic balls rain upon her, but she is still grinning happily as the balls bounce off. It ends with famous German soccer player Philip Lahm declaring: "Fun includes safety, but on the internet safety gear does not help. Protect your children on the internet too!"

    Hong Kong 
Being a colony to the UK for a century, many of Hong Kong's PIFs are available in both Cantonese and English. The term PSA/PIF in that region is known as an announcement in the public interest, shortened as API.
  • An API from Hong Kong showed a teenage girl being killed when an unspecified object falls out of a tower block window onto her head. The ad then goes on to demonstrate that anything falling from that height can be fatal, from a housewife accidentally knocking a pot plant off a balcony to a guy throwing beer bottles out of the window. Justified as HK is bristling with hi-rises.
  • Three ads by Government Information Service in a series about environmental pollution in the country:
    • Pollution messes up a tree, making it die. And then the picture turns upside down, and the tree turns into human lungs. Tagline: when nature is polluted, you can't escape from it too.
    • A girl makes gestures while noises accompany her every move. The noises get louder and louder until it mutes at her last gesture. Then we see tears on her face. Tagline: Noise pollution turns this world silent, and the consequences could be "deafening".
    • A family and their relatives and friends attending a dinner party in a fancy restaurant. Everyone gathers at the dining table, and they are served with a plate of steamed fish. As soon as the fish is cut, suddenly black lumps that appear to be industrial waste start oozing out of the fish, and everyone is shocked and disgusted by what they see. The music becomes more sinister with a synthesized shriek, and the narrator explains that every day 2 million tonnes of industrial and sewage effluent float into Hong Kong waters. The narrator then urges the viewer with a call to action, or the consequences will be hard to swallow.
  • Illegal renovation on public housing was rampant in the 80s. One ad sees children ruining their toy block towers with such modifications, then it is shown the kids live in one such flat.
  • This other one has a couple going home to make out. They reach the flat's illegally bolted-on balcony and as they're about to kiss, the balcony breaks, leaving the girl falling and hanging on for dear life.
  • A series of ads for a charity in aid of teen mothers used Gender Flip to show the problems of teenage pregnancy, including a girl screaming at her pregnant boyfriend to have an abortion, and a boy having to beg his mother for money because he's going to have a baby.
  • Hong Kong regularly airs fire prevention ads aimed at people living in densely packed apartment blocks. The ads are usually based around the safe use of fire doors, keeping exits clear so people can escape, and helping your neighbours in the event of a fire.
  • Another one compares cavemen cooking with fire, and a modern restaurant which has its fire exit locked. A blaze breaks out in the latter and no one is safe.
  • Hong Kong's Council on Smoking and Health has been known for making these ads:
    • There's one cigarette ad for a fictional brand "Promised Land" (complete with health warning) from 1989, which turns out to be an anti-smoking API. A narrator "welcomes" viewers to the Promised Land as a couple waves goodbye to a passing car from a hilltop place. They begin smoking the cigarettes. The man puts away the cigarette packaging while the narrator explains that cigarette smoking looks cool on the surface. As he says "take another look", the sky turns dark and stormy (so is the cigarette pack, along with a skull-and-crossbones appearing) and the couple coughs non-stop. Then it is revealed they are at a cemetery, the guy puts the cigarette pack on a tombstone, and the couple walks slowly at the camera while funeral pyres burn in the background. The cig pack falls from the tombstone and is burned along with funeral money.
    • And then there's another from 1995 which contrasts the narrator's sweet talk about the 'fame' you'll get from smoking against images of a hospital, xray, a toilet, and eventually a funeral, while Broadway-ish music plays. The female backing vocals singing "You will never be coming back" at the end helped spook everyone out.
    • From the same year, this ad compares life to a cinema billboard. 'Living' is aired on 'now showing'. The 'showing tomorrow' and 'next change' sections display logos of famous films like In the Line of Fire and True Lies along with burning cigarettes, one stick for each film. The real shock comes at the 'coming soon' section where the final film, Die Hard, is accompanied by three burning joss sticks.
      Tagline: Cherish tomorrow, refuse to smoke.
  • A Hong Kong anti-counterfeit VCD promo has an Asian man using the concretes to fill a stack of counterfeit VCDs, with a Cantonese pop-song playing on the background. It turns out that he built a prison for himself to close in. You can see the promo here. For the English variant, you can see the official upload here.
  • Two APIs start with an exciting situation that illustrates the initial rush from using drugs, then fast forwards with a caption in Cantonese that reads, "Ever since they played with drugs..." It goes downhill from there, ending with the related object destroyed in the middle of a landfill, illustrating the horrific long-term effects of drug abuse. A creepy voice asks the viewer, "Do you still want to try (drugs)?" before fading to black with the tagline: "Playing with drugs? You can't win!"
    • One anti-drug ad was based on one of the songs (its lyrics containing references to DUI and drugs) from Sammi Cheng, a famous singer from HK. The ad features a modified version of the karaoke music video to the song, sung by a girl. Then the song fast-forwards to the final part, and the girl now sings off-key because of heavy drug abuse. Before she finishes the last line, her head smashes the screen and the camera zooms out to reveal a broken TV in a landfill, accompanied by eerie wails.
    • Another one is set inside a pinball machine based on the Last Action Hero board, where the player earns a lot of score bonuses. However, the video fast-forwards to where the game tilts. The player shoots another ball, but this time it wanders aimlessly as the music distorts and the machine's artwork changes into eerie drawings of drug-addicted women, accompanied by echoing distorted screams while the ball shorts out the machine with every hit before cutting to the machine, whose sparking and twitching becomes reminiscent of a person suffering a drug overdose. Finally, the ad flash-cuts with breaking glass sounds to the now-wrecked machine in the middle of a landfill.
  • This API from the Narcotics Division shows a man wandering in the street before flashing back to both the time of his hiring and the time of his firing. The former shows him twitching while holding a fistful of pills at a job interview, dousing water on himself because his eyesight was blurred from heavy drug abuse. The latter shows him on the floor laughing as the staff cleaned up; he was the Best Man at his coworker's wedding but wreaked merry havoc after getting his fix. The ad eventually shows the man doing drugs and suffering the effects, ending with him falling on his knees and letting out a Skyward Scream.
    Tagline: Playing with drugs? Drugs play you!
  • This anti-drug ad has a hand scrawl a symbol while showing pills and liquids accompanied with a caption that reads, "Soft drugs?!" and eventually shows a syringe falling with another caption that reads, "Hard drugs?!" as the ad progresses. After the syringe breaks, the hand gives out and falls to the ground, cutting to a pane placed against a mirror that reveals a "軟" (soft) symbol written in a way it also reads "硬" (hard) in the reflection.
    Tagline: Drugs are no different whether they're soft or hard. Drugs are drugs, so don't try them.
  • An Hong Kong pornography awareness API has one teenager bidding his mother farewell, and she talks to the audience about an adult comic magazine while a Chinese message appears. She then throws the magazine into the garbage bin, and then the scene cuts to many images of the adult magazine on the screen before a human hand puts the lid on the garbage bin, while a male Cantonese-speaking narrator says you should beware of unhealthy literature and provides awareness to the youth.
  • Another API goes as follows, landfill compactor rolls through the pile of garbage. A single white bag of garbage is shown in the center, and as the camera zooms to the bag, we see the content: ruined toys and a broken doll. The meaning: people should not be wasteful and greedy. The background ballad song did not help.
  • Being an organization related to law enforcement, the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department (HKCSD) has launched its own APIs concerning drug use with its "Drugs Harm Lifetimes" ads. Moreover, the Kangxi-style font used for these ads and the slogans using drug/poison-related puns makes them look unsettling.
    • "Cannabis Episode: Stylish Guy? Foolish Guy!" centers on a high school boy at a holiday party who tries cannabis for the first time and becomes addicted to it. As a consequence, he becomes worn out and the ad cuts to him being escorted to a prison cell. The caption reveals that not only did he end up in prison for criminal offenses but he became mentally ill from drug abuse and was detained at a psychiatric facility. Tagline: "Playing [with drugs] will cost you your mind and your whole life."
      Narrator: Friends in class have a holiday party. Your brushed sense of being makes you think you'd rather be the "stylish guy" than be treated as the "foolish guy". But cannabis is a drug. It leads to addiction, causes hallucinations, and impairs the intellect. You will also end up in prison and have a criminal record.
    • "K(etamine) Episode: Urinary Bag! It Will Accompany You!" - This API centers on a man named Zhiming, who starts doing ketamine to cope with his wife and in-laws' criticisms of his laziness and the stress of his upcoming exam. Eventually, Zhiming ends up in a permanent vegetative state from heavy drug abuse, needing a catheter and a urinary bag as it also severely impaired his bladder function. Furthermore, a caption reveals he was sentenced to more than 9 years in prison for drug-related offenses before showing the tagline: "Fall into the sea of drugs and you'll live a lonely lifetime [in drugs]."
      Narrator: Smoking weed, popping pills, snorting K(etamine). You take these drugs thinking they will relieve stress and make you forget your worries. You even thought selling drugs would "make quick profits". But in fact, not only these will not help you, but will also kill your bodily functions in seconds. Especially K(etamine). It will K.O. your bladder into the ground, and you will lose your freedom and love. All that remains will be loneliness. And this will follow you for the rest of your life.
    • "Ice Drug Episode: Indelible Markings" is the most harrowing of the three. It starts with a pretty girl ending her nightly livestream and taking drugs out of her drawer. While she felt the usual rush from smoking ice (meth), she soon starts to regret it when her face becomes full of pockmarks and sores. Then the camera pans left to reveal the same girl looking regretfully in the mirror, only she's now in prison before her caption reveals she was sentenced to 42 months for drug trafficking. Tagline: "[Drugs] will torment your youth and destroy your whole life."
      Narrator: It goes without saying that a young pretty girl loved by thousands consumed cocaine, smoked ice, and felt trendy! She felt high! But it actually can lead to depression, irritability, and mental insanity. Consuming or smoking methamphetamine will even make you suffer ice sores. Your youth is ruined. And your future is also ruined. All that remains are the sores on your face, indelible brands for the rest of your life.
  • The ICAC, aside from its effective anti-corruption ops, has a few of its own. Remember: whichever way you look at it, corruption doesn't pay.
    • A 1984 ad featuring a mock game of Monopoly. The first player works hard to earn a house for his family, a school (education) and a hospital (healthcare). The second player pays a huge sum (representing bribes) and takes away player 1's properties. Player 1 then picks up a Community Chest card bearing the ICAC's number and logo, and player 2 is sent to jail. Originally the linked video was in Cantonese.
    • From 1982, here's this ad. Hong Kong's society is represented as an apple, being the fruit of hard labour of everyone; and the corrupt are represented as worms, eating the apple until it's rotten. The linked video was also originally in Cantonese.
    • Here's this English API from 1994, entirely done in claymation. Stuart, a successful businessman, turns into a crocodile (symbolic of his taking bribes) and is later put behind bars by his colleague who reported it, being unable to stand the damages Stuart does to his family and friends.
      Stuart's colleague: "Oh, everyone knew Stuart. I used to envy him. Good job, nice home, but that wasn't good enough; he wanted to get rich quick. He cheated, took bribes; he didn't care who he hurt, even his friends and family. I reported him to the ICAC; somebody had to. Nobody wants to do anything with him."
    • From 1987. An executive of a top company ignores corruption amongst his employees, and his shiny gold plaque (which the boss takes great care of, even wiping it every so often) turns rusty and breaks.
    • In a nod to the Godber case (the reason ICAC was set up, and one of the first cases they won), a British businessman/officer walks around his prison cell while voices of his accomplice and family echo.
    • There's a 2014 anti-corruption video targeted at children, featuring Gee Dor Dor the rabbit. It involves a pig, a fox, and a squirrel, who have been sent on a mission by Gee Dor Dor to take 3 crystals:
      • Red crystal representing love
      • Yellow crystal representing honesty
      • Blue crystal representing fairness
    • They must retrieve them before time runs out and so will the energy levels of what the crystals stand for.
  • This video sums up some of the scariest ads that graced Hong Kong television screens.
  • One 2005 anti-smoking ad from the Hong Kong Cancer Fund shows a cigarette burning away, with the camera zooming in on the cigarette butt to reveal that it is actually a coffin. Said coffin then fades into the tagline and then a phone number for a quit smoking helpline.
    Tagline: In case you forgot...

  • India's "Poo 2 Loo" was a campaign by the Indian branch of UNICEF in 2014 against open defecation and more sanitary toilets. They even made a music video starring...anthropomorphic poops. Needless to say, when this public service campaign made to the West, it was subject to much mockery; when 4chan in 2015 got hold of the PSA, let's say it got worse from there.

  • One Iraqi anti-terrorism PSA involves a man being kidnapped and tortured by terrorists, in graphic detail to the viewer, as they ask him what confession he belongs to—"Sunni or Shia?!?"—until he responds, "Iraqi", followed by a shot to the head.

  • The king of the scary ones is one shown in Ireland around 2007. Not only do tell you what's in fags ("cigarettes" for those across the pond) but they show you the inside of an extracted part of a smoker's body (it looked like vomit).
  • "This is Michael. Today he's going to hit his girlfriend so hard, she ends up with permanent brain damage." Mike, his girl, and two others drive off while a catchy R&B song plays (which is Body to Body by Samantha Mumba, if anyone is curious). They stop at a junction. A car rams into them from behind for no reason; Mike, having neglected to wear his seatbelt, is sent flying in slo-mo, smashing into the car's other occupants. Later, a paramedic: "Three dead this vehicle; the girl is critical. They say the guy without the seatbelt did the damage." This was one of several ads produced by the DOE, whose other ads are described in more detail below.
  • This 1987 anti-AIDS advert named "Casual Sex Spreads AIDS" starts with scenes of horse racing and continues with a couple playing cards. The couple then hold hands, hug together and kiss, and then a hand reveals a card with a skeleton and the word "AIDS" on it.
  • Northern Ireland had this advert using Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle," with the main character's son eventually getting killed because he wanted to be like Dad, because Junior was involved in The Troubles, in order to encourage people to call the Confidential Helpline.
  • The DOE (Department of the Environment) have produced a number of different campaigns, all horrific in their own rights. A majority of the campaigns ranging from The '90s-the Turn of the Millennium onwards have had what could be classed as unsuitable music playing in the background, but yet they manage to make them worse.
    • The most infamous road safety ad from Ireland is probably one where a drinking driver rolls his car and somehow goes over a fence and into someone's garden, landing on a child who was playing there. Don't watch without clean underwear to hand. It caused a wrenching case of Mood Whiplash the first time viewers saw it, as there's everything's pretty happy up to that point.
    • Another ad involves a young couple sitting on a wall and kissing, before an oncoming car loses control, flips and crashes into said wall, killing the boy and pinning his body to her now crushed legs until they're cut free.
    • A two-part campaign called 'Pay attention or pay the price' about the dangers of being distracted while crossing the road and while driving. The first one shows a teenage boy texting a teenage girl while crossing the road, resulting in him being run over and killed. The other shows a mother picking her son up from school, and they start to walk home. As they are about to cross the road, though, the point of view switches to a man driving and getting distracted by a woman across the street. He runs over the mother and son, killing the child. Both ads had the song 'I want to walk you home' playing in the background.
    • This anti speed campaign entitled 'Thoughts' has a young couple on a drive while a different music track (I Can See Clearly Now, Don't Stop Me Now, Call Him Mr Vain by Culture Beat, Highway to Hell and It Must Have Been Love) plays as the driver begins to increase in speed, and his girlfriend begins to get increasingly more nervous, even appearing to be shouting at him to slow down. They crash into the back of a car where a little girl is watching the line of traffic, throwing her out of the car and killing her instantly. The ad ends with the voice-over of a courtroom while the driver's girlfriend looks at him with disgust, huddled in a blanket with a police officer comforting her.
    • Excuses shows the daily lives of victims in road accidents caused by speeding drivers, such as a paralyzed woman being lifted onto her hospital bed, a man looking at a photo of his dead wife, and a woman taking off her prosthetic leg. We hear voiceovers of the victims talking about the excuses the drivers that seriously hurt them gave ("I was in a hurry", "I thought the text was important", "The sun was in my eyes" etc.) The ad ends with a girl and her father driving while the girl says it was just an accident, and a lorry smashes into their car landing on top of theirs, presumably killing them.
    • Just because shows various near miss road accidents with voiceovers of each pedestrian or driver ("Just because, I'm a driver doesn't mean I can see you", "Just because I'm a jogger doesn't mean you can run me down"); each one inevitably results in an actual accident at the end.
  • There was a series of Irish fire safety campaigns filmed from the perspective of a firefighter entering a burnt-out building, complete with raspy breathing through the mask. Each advert would end with a message scrawled on the wall in soot: "YOU FORGOT TO CHECK THE SMOKE ALARM, DADDY!"
  • The NIFRS campaign's ad "Next" relies heavily on parental guilt. It features a bunch of people sitting in a waiting room in the afterlife, with a stern-faced receptionist directing them to different doorways depending on how they died. Finally, only a cringing woman and a little girl are left in the waiting room, and the girl tearfully says that her mother didn't check the battery of the smoke alarm.
  • One anti-child abuse PIF from the ISPCC quickly becomes very graphic. In it, a young boy bravely recites his intentions to become an activist when he grows up, all the while suffering increasingly brutal abuse at the hands of his dad, culminating in the father attempting to crush the boy's ribcage beneath his foot.
    Narration: I can't wait until I grow up, until I have the right to be happy, to be kept safe, to be kept warm. To feel loved. To be listened to, to be heard. To never ever ever ever cower, or tremble, or shake, or to have my innocence punched or kicked or screamed away. I'll fight for the rights of children like me, who don't have a childhood. I can't wait until I grow up.
  • In a Lighter and Softer example, since 2014, Gas Networks Ireland has employed canary balladeer Tommy McAnairey to sing ballads raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, in particular to ensure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

  • After the 2011 Touhoku earthquake and tsunami, advertisers did not want to be seen to be trying to profit from the tragedy, so TV stations ran endless PSAs from Ad Council Japan. Viewers complained that they hated the jingle played at the end of the commercials, and the Ad Council eventually muted it. Particular criticism was directed at the frequent repeat of an ad encouraging women to get breast cancer screenings, when several hospitals had been destroyed and many more were full up with victims of the disaster.
    • Some of Japan's leading studios and media franchises decided to make some of their own in the aftermath of the earthquake; for example, here's a PSA from Tsuburaya Productions' Ultraman Foundation, in which the importance of helping others is demonstrated by Ultraman Taro helping out an injured Ultraman Gango after he realizes the monster has a branch stuck in his foot like a thorn.
  • There's a well known Japanese PSA where a class of schoolkids are drawing, but one boy just sits coloring pieces of paper black. He is taken to doctors and psychologists, but doesn't stop his work until finally the adults put the hundreds of sheets of paper together to create a large image of a whale. The message was to encourage parents to allow children to use the individual creativity they possess, rather than clamping down on it.
  • In one frequently-aired PSA, a teenage boy feels guilty when he doesn't give up his seat for a pregnant woman on a train; in the next scene he is then shown taking the time to patiently help an elderly person up some stairs. Many Japanese PSAs are focused on the importance of good manners, helping each other and following rules, rather than issues like crime or safety.
  • Super Mario's Fire Brigade was an animated short made for usage in schools. In it, Mario and Luigi of Super Mario Bros. fame help teach two siblings about fire safety. There was also a sister PSA called Super Mario Traffic Safety about how to keep safe while by traffic.
  • An anti-piracy campaign features a man with a video camera for a head recording in a rather empty cinema hall (there's only him and a startled female filmgoer). Suddenly an officer with a red police siren for a head shows up and Camerahead tries to run away. The campaign is even parodied in one of the Gintama films.
  • Don't dump used cooking oil down the sink, or you'll kill the mermaids.
  • This anti-bullying ad has students taking a class photo wearing white face masks, symbolic of apathy toward bullying. One of them takes off his mask, and then several others follow suit, representing courage to overcome apathy.
  • Three anti-drug ads, aimed at teenage girls:
    • A girl is smiling while a phone messaging window is superimposed, with "I'm going to try it just once" written. As she takes drugs, her face turns more grim, her hair turns blonde and unkempt, while the messages are about her trying drugs just one more time, and then trying to stop, until the end where it's only a Madness Mantra of "HELPHELPHELPHELP".
    • Another girl introduces her friends to drugs. The friends get hooked and they keep asking her for more, eventually one of them falls to prostitution so that she can buy more, and the Alpha Bitch just walks away. Harsher in Hindsight, as the actress for the girl, Rena Komine, was later arrested in 2019 for possession of marijuana.
    • This ad set to "Amazing Grace" has bags, phones and shoes falling into a sinkhole of white powder.
  • In 1982, the Urusei Yatsura gang appeared in PSAs for Kansai Electric (serving the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe and surrounding areas) illustrating the dangers of flying kites and koinobori (carp streamers) too close to power lines.
  • This especially eerie PSA has a young child and his comatose mother illuminated by a spotlight. The child begins crying quietly as his mother awakens, and immediately injects a syringe full of intravenous drugs into her arm, all while the distinctive wail of an older Japanese emergency siren can be heard. She then fades away, all while the young boy begins to cry out for her.
  • "Good Thing Glasses" is a Japanese PSA about a boy who has a pair of pretend glasses that let him see the good deeds his friends are doing.
  • "The Three To Four O Clock Song" is a song about being safe when kids come home from school.
  • "Disaster Prevention Walk" is a song about making sure everyone in the family knows where to go if a natural disaster strikes.
  • "The Magic of Greetings", better known as "Popopopo~n", is a song about aisatsu, or Japanese greetings, that makes puns on the greetings by combining them with animal names.
  • This PSA parodies grocery store sale commercials to alert the viewer about food waste. Notably, this ad has English subtitles at the bottom, a rarity for any Japanese commercial, and this is the way it is aired each time it comes on.
  • This PSA focuses on recycling.
  • Some Japanese kids' DVDs open with a PSA telling the viewer how to properly watch the DVD, including those related to Doraemon, Hamtaro, Anpanman and Inai Inai Baa!.
  • Between the 1970s and 1980s, Osamu Tezuka created a series of posters featuring characters from Astro Boy, Black Jack, Kimba the White Lion, and Unico to raise awareness of fire safety in Japan.
  • This cute yet sad CM deals with pet abandonment, as we see a kitten nestled in a paper bag inside a bin. The kitten is later seen meowing outside the bin, its collar a sign that it was bought as a pet. The CM ends with a tagline "Life, no matter how small, is precious."
  • The Tokyo Metropolitan Police released this PSA to warn people against getting caught up in malicious business deals. In the PSA, a traditional Japanese doll puppet sweetly beckons to the camera to follow, saying "Come here, come here" until they reach indoors, upon which the doll transforms into a creepy demon. Short but gets the point across well.

Malaysia's PIFs are sometimes more diverse than the Hong Kong examples above, being available in Malay (official language), Mandarin, Tamil and English.
  • Drugs is a scourge, and this trilogy of campaigns from 18 November 2016, fittingly named Perang Dadah Habis-Habisan (The Endless War on Drugs), tell you why:
    • Perhaps taking a page from the Meth Project (although this time it's not focusing on a particular narcotic), there's an ad where an addict shoplifts a convenience store. As he proceeds with his drug-induced spree, another guy who somehow looks like him enters and robs the counter. He sees the first addict and tackles him down, furiously screaming "If you had never taken drugs, your life won't become this ruined!" Turns out there was no stick-up addict, the shoplifting addict is hallucinating and shivering on the floor.
    • Another addict also gets into a hallucination, where he sees people hurling insults at his mother and daughter because their son/father is an addict.
    • In the third ad, an addict sees his mother performing prayers in her bedroom, then proceeds to raid her drawer for jewelry while she's not watching. She sees the act, and tries to stop him, but he pushes her away too hard and her head hits the bedside. The addict ends up slumping at the bedroom door, crying, because he just killed his mother.
    • 2019 sees a newer ad telling how a manager under stress is lead into taking drugs by one of his subordinates, leading to violent behaviours, termination from his job, and eventually death from overdose.
    • Also from 2019, this one has a girl going out to party at night. Her mother tells her not to go out this late and gets a scolding from the girl. During the party the girl overdoses on drugs. Her friends take her to the hospital but leaves her on the road nearby, leaving her foaming on the ground. The screen then flashes to her mother crying in her prayer, wishing her daughter never got into drugs in the first place.
    • This earlier one from 2015 has an addict run into an abandoned house to do some drugs. In his high he hallucinates that the house is collapsing on him when in reality he's twitching on the floor and screaming while the house is not actually falling down.
    • Even before that, Malaysia already done a similar thing. One involves a big pointing finger (which comes towards the camera at the end), a silhouette standing in bars, and a black noose (meaning death/execution for drug smugglers), while the promo warms about the legal consequences of drugs in Malaysia. Nightmare Fuel warning. It doesn't help if you know that the promo airs on the same time the Barlow and Chambers' drug smuggling case has happened. You can see the promo here.
  • The "Value Life, Don't Drink and Drive" campaign in the 1990s features three ads; the ads rather infamously copied Australia's '80s TAC ads "Girlfriend", "Beach Road" (which was about speeding), and "Joey".
  • "You Can Make a Difference", from the late '90s till the late 2000s, is the largest road safety campaign in the country:
  • What "You Can Make a Difference" is to road safety, the "Tak Nak!" campaign is to smoking.
  • One railway safety ad for national railway company KTM, made in the 1990s. A schoolgirl and her grandfather get hit by a train while crossing the railway. The aftermath shows the girl's shoe and gramps's bicycle wheel, both stained with blood. The crash was filmed using mannequins but was realistic enough to scare people up.
  • A 70s/80s road safety ad has body bags replacing cars and trucks on the city streets.
  • Another from the late 80s, about speeding, either attracted people to arcade racing game OutRun or straight-up scared them into avoiding it. The ad involves a man playing the game, racking up points as he goes faster. As the score goes into the nine-hundred, the player suddenly loses control and the screen suddenly changes into the underside of a lorry, with glass shards scattered around.
  • The INGAT! (Malay for Remember!) series of ads created by Les' Copaque Production of Upin & Ipin fame from 2011-2013 designed with general safety in mind, often ending with the main character Breaking the Fourth Wall by explaining the message from their respective episode.
  • Several ads from the 1995 "AIDS Boleh Dicegah" (AIDS Can Be Prevented) campaign:
  • This 1992 AIDS ad depicts how the HIV cannot be spread through utensils, toilets and mosquito bites.
  • Motorcycle accidents are a serious issue on Malaysian roads even today, with law enforcement working to lessen casualties on the road and curb any and all speeding bikers.
    • In the late 90s and early 00s, there is one PSA that kept transitioning between present day (at the hospital, where the victim are brought to the surgeon's room) and past moments (on the scene of accident, with paramedics and coroners detailing the scene). Within the duration, we get to see the fate of the victim's grieving family with a group of surgeon failed to save the patient's life before the person responsible looks above, only to find an officer about to charge the man for his negligience.
    • [[ This ad retells the victim's stories from the family's point of view.The victim was died in 2013 from natural causes.
    • If you're riding a bike while exceeding more than 80 km/h (equating about 50 mph), it's as if you're falling down from a building of five storeys height.
  • This one from the 90s involves home safety, involving dangerous objects seen through a baby's point of view and carries the message of why babies should not be left alone in the house. It starts with the baby seeing a kettle full of boiling water as Thomas the Tank Engine, their father's medicines as Smarties, metal cutlery as their rounded plastic counterparts to name a few. Then the baby goes to the bathroom and sees a large basin full of water. The baby then crawls out the window and suddenly the camera zooms out of the house accompanied with a disturbing crying voice.
  • Speaking of cliffs, here's a heartwarming 2017 public works campaign for slope safety. And here's the video.
  • Food variety is one of Malaysia's attractions, but food waste is also a problem in the country. What better way to send the message "don't waste food" than this ad which walks a fine line between Food Porn and tragedy?
  • This series of PSAs about child sexual abuse depicts creepy versions of nursery rhymes in Malay, English, and Mandarin; all being sung by the equally creepy child molesters. The English version, in particular, features a version of "Itsy-Bitsy Spider".
  • One of the PSA from the late 80s / early 90s shows a little girl doll on-screen, where sobs and cries of that little girl can be heard. The ad reveals even further to show several signs of bruises and scars, where the girls sobs even louder where the "doll" reveals itself to be a victim of child abuse. It was so terrifying, there has been several complaints that it scares a lot of children of the 80s and early 90s and the video has never surfaced in YouTube ever since. Even to this day, many of those who watched them were understandably terrified of the PSA itself.
  • There was a unsettling radio PSA from mid 2010s about road safety was aired in radio stations in Malaysia involving a wife with her husband greeting each other (or talking about something). Soon, she gets a phone call from a policeman implying her husband was involved in an accident with sounds of crying heard.
  • A public service announcement from the early 00s sharing ways to reduce mental stress, ranging from setting a more realistic outcome to sharing problems to even building a happy home.

  • The "Cuidate A Ti Mismo" (Take Care of Yourself) series, directed to children in order to protect them from being ensnared by child predators:
    You know what to do: Say No to that person, no matter who it is, get away immediately and tell it to the person you trust the most.
  • The "Cuenta Hasta Diez" (Count To Ten) series, directed to adults in order to prevent children's physical and emotional abuse caused by anger outbursts:
    STOP! And calm yourself. Count To Ten while you breathe deeply and slowly.
  • TV Azteca's Vive Sin Drogas ("Live Without Drugs") campaign in the 90s, directed at very small children in order to teach them about the dangers of drug abuse. A combination of terrible CGI, very vague and bizarre lyrics, and a Totally Radical tune with a singer that was very unfit for the style instead turned the whole campaign into full-blown Narm. Today the whole thing is remembered more as a joke than anything else, and the singing flower in particular is referenced in many drug-related memes in Mexico.
  • FISAC has done several regarding alcohol, some starring comedian José Montini:
    • This one begins with a creepy killer clown about to get some guy in a dark place. Later the man approaches the living room, clown following him as he gives alcohol to a minor. Just as the clown is about to presumably kill them, the minor grabs the glass, prompting the clown to scream and run away.
    When you give alcohol to a minor, you're the frightening one.
    • The second ad has a zombie-like girl following a couple as the begin to drive home from the bar. When she realizes the driver was drunk, she shrieks and runs away.
    When you drink and drive, you're the frightening one.
    • Another series of PSAs had Montini doing a routine "drunk funny person" comedy tale, before a plot twist at the end, spoken in a serious tone. Some of these ended with car accidents, but others had the drunkards suffer from other consequences, such as the entering the house only to find out their wife took the kids and left them. Sometimes, presenters from popular TV shows would dedicate a small segment to telling these jokes with their plot twist ending, before moving on with the PSAs message.
    It's not a joke, don't abuse alcohol.
  • Susana Distancia (a play on the name Susana and "Su Sana Distancia" or "Your Healthy Distance"), a superhero meant to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Centros de Integración Juvenil (Youth Integration Centers) had an 80's PSA comparing trying to quit drug use like trying to escape a labyrinth, showing a young man running thru a dark maze with high pitched synth noises. At the end, the number for the Center appeared on screen as the man eventually finds a bright light at the end of the maze.

    The Netherlands 
  • A few years ago, there was a series of anti-smoking ads on Dutch TV, showing teens doing all sorts of anti-social things, justifying them with the line "Hey, at least I don't smoke!". The idea was to show people that smoking was worse, except the teens did things like kicking people working under their cars in the groin, causing the car to collapse on them. Most people agreed that they'd prefer to see the teens smoking.
  • There's a new "protect your privacy online" ad making the rounds in the Netherlands. While this sounds like a sensible idea, there are some problems with how it's presented. The tips they give you on the website of the campaign make it sound like you should better not voice your opinion ever on the internet and there are plans for some government controlled databases that hold a lot more private information than you would ever put online.
  • One Child Safety ad gives the message that whenever a baby or toddler needs help, its cry will alert you. Unless it's drowning.
  • Also from Consument en Veiligheid is this unnerving PSA about the dangers of co-sleeping.
  • Th ese Dutch ads show poisonous substances that look like food with the tagline, "If you can't tell the difference, how are your children supposed to?" Though to be honest, most of the adults watching it should probably be able to tell the difference between lemonade and paint thinner. Especially when there's a paintbrush sitting in it.
  • This ad continues the theme by showing a compilation of home-video clips of babies and young children being involved in small accidents, complete with laugh track and wacky sound effects a la America's Funniest Home Videos. And then several more clips are played, only this time the audience can hear the children start crying in pain/fear immediately after, cutting to black screens of text each time which give the message that '...thousands of parents watch their children break bones, suffer brain damage, even die as a result of falling accidents. 80% of all accidents happen under adult supervision. Learn faster than they do.'. The message being essentially that adults are useless in regards to preventing young children from hurting themselves.
  • A fire safety campaign challenged people to be blindfolded and attempt to find their way out of the house in 2 minutes, to simulate trying to escape during a fire. Invariably they wouldn't make it, or in one ad, a woman did get out in time but was reminded that she had forgotten her kids. A compilation of ads in the campaign can be viewed here.
  • A PSA using the soundtrack of Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven (written about the loss of his son, who died falling out of the window of a high-rise) focused on the dangers to children and the elderly of falling over.
  • A rather sweet ad about child safety showed a couple who are careful to protect their toddler from dangers and not let him fall over or injure himself. He is then shown as an adult many years later, returning the favour by checking his now-elderly parents' home for dangers and giving them a rubber safety mat to use in the bathroom.

    New Zealand 
  • In the 1980s, a domestic tourism campaign featured a New Zealander travelling around the world with the foreigners knowing more about the tourist attractions in New Zealand than he did. Cue while he is kayaking on the Zambezi River, someone asks him where the Victoria Falls are: he replies "somewhere near Taupo,"note  not realizing they were dead ahead of him. The lesson — "Don't leave town until you've seen the country."
  • The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and its predecessors have a whole treasure trove of iconic PSAs:
    • A recent New Zealand road safety campaign has put up billboards on major highways that cry Tears of Blood when it rains.
    • There's an infamous ad from New Zealand in which a man is paralyzed in a road accident because he was driving too fast, and then his wife receives a speed camera fine that was issued to him earlier on the day of his accident. The phrase "IT'S THE SAME DAY, DAVID!" is a widely known meme in NZ pop culture.
    • An anti-drink driving ad aimed at the Maori community showed a boy at a party trying to decide whether to say something to a drunk friend who is planning to drive. He debates the possible consequences in a humorous monologue, including being haunted by the ghost of his friend who offers him chips, and finally finds the courage to speak up in front of everybody. The ad was so successful it inspired the song "Ghost Chips" by The Cuzzies, and immortalized the phrase, "You know I can't grab your ghost chips!"
    • A series of anti-drinking ads:
      • A man named Mark gets drunk at a family barbecue and picks up his nephew and spins him around, but crashes into a wall and seriously injures the child. The man is kicked out of the house and collapses in an alleyway sobbing.
      • Two people getting drunk and suffering the consequences (injuries, emotional fits, inability to remember the night before) while the sober version of themself watches and cringes in horror.
      • An office worker named Lisa goes out to the pub after work and starts drinking to soothe her nerves, getting steadily drunker. She is eventually abducted/presumably raped by a man who follows her. This ad led to complaints of victim-blaming in the premise.
      • A man named Danny sits in a pub chatting with his friends over a few pints of beer. When he starts to get drunk, however, he turns their lighthearted conversation into a full-blown argument. He continues to drink and eventually gets into a big fight, shoving down the bouncer, who is carrying a tray full of beer, and elbowing the female manager before taking a wild swing at the original waiter but missing completely and falling to the ground. The scene then dissolves into the bathroom at his home, where his daughter finds him waking up, badly bruised and suffering a hangover.
      • A drunk dad at a wedding tries to break-dance, injures his back, and is publicly berated by his humiliated kids.
  • There was this ad about the dangers of speeding, which you can watch here, where time pauses and the two drivers get out of their vehicles to talk. It doesn't stop time from resuming and the crash happening. The message was that other people make mistakes, so drive carefully so you can react to them.
  • A man drives drunk, crashes his SUV, and flips the car. He is stuck upside down in the car, with the windows partially open, but is too badly injured to escape and torrential rains begin, causing him to eventually drown.

  • In The '90s, the Department of Health or DOH churned up a jingle about iodized salt called "Mag-Iodized Salt Tayo", and distributed free iodized salts with the then-president's first name. The jingle became a hit for Filipino schoolchildren and even parodied on occasion, and it was the brainchild of the then-Secretary Juan Flavier, who finished it by saying "Let's DOH it!" Needless to say, that Secretary was very popular at the time and later became a Senator, and was fondly remembered for being both fun and incorruptible, a rarity in Philippine politics.
  • Another PSA involves the anti-cholera campaign called T.K.O, the abbreviation spelling out as "tubig, kubeta, oresol", translating to "water, toilet, oral rehydration salts." It also has a catchy jingle. Like the above, it ends with the "Let's DOH it!" phrase.
  • Still another DOH campaign by the same secretary in the 90s, this time, an anti-smoking campaign, introduced us to the mascot Yosi Kadiri, an ugly being of a smoker to reiterate its aim that Smoking Is Not Cool. The tagline in the PSAs is "Wag Mag-yosi, Wag Kadiri" (Don't smoke, don't be disgusting). The mascot was later updated and re-hired during the 2010s in its new anti-smoking campaign and now the Finance Department joined them as well, in its campaign on higher cigarette taxes.
  • Another brainchild of Juan Flavier is the Enteng Ebak ad slightly NSFW for obvious reasons, a character who drops bags of feces to the garbage dumps and later causes cholera in a family. The ad was widely memed by schoolchildren at the time and in another now-lost ad and sequel, the titular character had a change of heart and was now shown advising the public how to properly dispose human waste.
  • An anti-garbage ad about a pig eating through a bedlam with the message "Don't be a pig. You are not a pig." was widely parodied by schoolchildren.
  • The Health Department also ran AIDS awareness ads like this video compilation, for example, comparing AIDS victims to a broken ladder step, burnt-out matches, a faucet that leaked thick liquid and later blood (mildly NSFW), a negligee that showed spots and later torn away by the wind, and a broken and rusty pipe that breaks off from rusting.
    • There's also this compilation of reproductive health-related PSAs, which includes the AIDS awareness videos linked above. While many of these PSAs are rather tame (and some of them even feature actress Rosanna Roces, who was famous in The '90s for her ST [sex trip] softcore films), some are as distressing as the AIDS ones. One video (which starts at 13:06) has a man repeatedly saying "That's enough" as he descends from pleasure to pain (as he is most likely suffering from gonorrhea), and his repeated phrase culminates in a Shower of Angst as the PSA ends.
  • Another infamous kitchen safety ad from the early 2000s shows a housewife cooking with an unsafe LPG gas tank, only for it to explode; thankfully for the woman, she just awoke from that nightmare. The ad then shows tips on how to avoid such incidents, with the Energy Secretary explaining it, then ends with a very ominous shot of a rusty LPG tank marked Brand X and in a grungy manner, with the caption: "Avoid Unsafe LPG Tanks!"
  • A breastfeeding advocacy ad has the following: "Dog's milk is for puppies. Pig's milk is for piglets. Cow's milk, for my baby? My baby is not an animal."
  • An infamous ad and music video about reproductive health and teen pregnancy named "Gaga Girl, Bobo Boy" was pulled because of complaints it perpetuated sexist stereotypes, and ripping off the music of f(x)'s "Rum Pum Pum Pum". By the way, the words 'gaga and bobo' meant whore and idiot in Filipino, so this was for many very offensive.
  • Later another ad showed up named "Inakup, Arekup", which uses children in a situation where they are poor because they have a large family, implying that the quality of life would improve with a small family. The second ad was better received, mostly for its catchy song in the ad.
  • Posters in public that depict real and uncensored injuries to discourage the use of fireworks. Squick and Nausea Fuel.
  • Another ad from the Philippine Department of Energy depicts a world without energy, rendering appliances and cars useless, as if it was hit by an EMP attack or peak oil.
  • A more lighthearted example of an ad released by Health Department was Mitch Glee which featured actress Mitch Valdez having a musical about the government's TB-DOTS treatment program for tuberculosis.
  • Former president Rodrigo Duterte's "Anti-Drug Campaign" has been shown in media. This includes a video about a girl's father who missed so much events because of his succumbing to drugs, and an OFW mother who worked hard to give her son money who actually used them to buy drugs. Philippine TV network ABS-CBN also supported the advocacy in which the company interviewed some celebrities whether they used drugs or not.
  • People who grew up in the 1990s claim the logos of the Philippine Information Agency and the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters ng Pilipinas (an association of television and radio stations) were intimidating enough on their own. They were usually shown at the end-credits of such public service announcements but were discontinued some time after 2004, but were revived in 2020 during the Duterte presidency and is usually shown in new PSAs, on one occasion dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic, such as this.
  • This anti-child prostitution PSA from 1999 shows the typical prices of meat at that time, before cutting to the price of a child prostitute, the cheapest of them all.
  • This animal welfare PSA, also from 1999, shows a man who's imprisoned for eating dog meat, which is punishable by law. "When you eat a dog, you end up in a cage."
  • This anti-drug PSA shows the late Manila mayor Alfredo Lim (who was famous for spray-painting the homes of drug users and pushers red), senator Jinggoy Estrada, and RoboCop working together to stop a meth smuggling syndicate. Yes, really.
  • Child abuse hotline Bantay Bata 163's PSAs are also this, in regards to stopping child abuse, child trafficking, and the like. Also scares the living dickens of everyone who watched them as kids. One of them, even though only portrayed in chalk drawings regarding child trafficking, is already scary enough on its own, no thanks to the child's voice. One watch of that PSA and you'll never see the name Elsa the same way again. Have fun getting that nightmare off your head.
    Stop child prostitution. Keep children away from AIDS. Report child abuse cases to Bantay Bata 163.
  • This infamous anti-child abuse commercial in the late 90s has a doll giving contorted faces as she was being manhandled, all while the sounds of children being abused is being heard, and eventually was scrapped. Due to the black background and the distorted face, it landed straight to the Nightmare Fuel category of the PSA page and was said by many Filipino children to be infamous for scaring the living daylights out of them.

    Russian Federation 
  • In 2010, someone in the Russian Ministry of Health remembered that a common Russian slang phrase for delirium tremens meant something along the lines of "the squirrel from Hell." The result of this was a series of anti-drinking advertisements featuring a drunken, bedraggled CGI squirrel with bloodshot eyes who acted like a man gone half-insane after a night getting plastered. The tagline had him look right at the camera and say, "Getting drunk? I'll be coming your way!!" For those who don't see the connection - in the Russian language, the word Squirrel (Be-lo-ch-ka) used to describe Delirium tremens (shaking frenzy) (Be-la-ya Go-rya-ch-ka) that is caused by excessive drinking. It's faster to say (than the full phrase) and rather well-known to the public. Delirium causes hallucinations, so a visit from a squirrel is a sure sign that you need a doctor right now.
  • This little series of animated PSAs designed to warn teenagers of the dangers of messing around on trains.

As with Malaysia, Singapore's public ad campaigns are often found in the same four languages, with English being the main language.

    South Africa 
  • South Africa's Parents For Responsible Viewing released the Biggie Bear ads in 2004 to remind parents to control what their kids watch. Yes, there is an article for them. They feature the titular "Biggie Bear" doing seemingly child-friendly things as the PSA begins, only for each ad to take a dark and disturbing turn by the end, where Biggie proceeds to show his true colors and torture (and, in the first one, kill) the poor schmuck who runs into him. The third one is arguably the worst, as it shows him downright raping Miss Pussycat, the "friend" in question. You can watch all three ads here.
  • This PSA has a man, implied to be HIV-positive, raping his daughter off-screen while a woman listens via a baby monitor. The fact that she can only sit there and listen in horror make the whole thing ten times worse. The PSA becomes much worse when the ad ends with the tagline, "If you won't stop him from raping her, who will?" when the whole point of the PSA shows a woman helpless to stop a girl from being raped.
  • This PSA from the early 2000s by South African state-owned energy supplier Eskom about reporting cable theft and illegal electricity connections. It starts off with an intubated patient in a hospital, when the hospital's electricity suddenly shuts off and the patient begins suffocating. It then cuts to a man, who is the supposed cable thief, walking down a dark street at night with his back to the camera. He turns around, and his facial features briefly take on a freakish, snake-like form. The next few scenes show him cutting cables at a railway station, tampering with a junction box to get energy illegally (leaving an exposed live wire in the middle of the street, where children are playing. A young boy playing with a tyreless bicycle wheel runs over the wire.) and trading the cables on the black market, all while shapeshifting in and out of his snake form, and looking threateningly at the camera while in said form. The PSA ends with the narrator (who is speaking in a very unsettling voice the entire time) encouraging the viewer to report these criminals so they can get locked up, over the scenes of the cable thief and the merchant he made business with (who also has snake-like features) being locked behind bars.
  • A nightmarish anti-smoking PSA from the National Council Against Smoking in South Africa shows a beautiful woman standing in a forest while heavenly music plays. As she starts to smoke a cigarette, the camera pans behind a tree to reveal that her face is plastered with black tar and empty eyes while the music turns dark and ominous. The ad then changes to a text asking the viewer if they would continue to smoke if what happened on the inside of your body happened outside of your body. After this, we get one final shot of her face as she sucks in smoke.
    • Another disturbing ad from the National Council Against Smoking shows a middle-aged woman coughing up and vomiting black tar in her bathroom sink, complete with unsettling gagging noises. Then, the Tagline reveals that she just coughed up about 3.4 kilograms of tar, which is how much a pack-a-day smoker would produce over the course of 40 years. The calm folk song by Sufjan Stevens playing in the background, "The Dress Looks Nice on You," does absolutely nothing to alleviate how disgusting this ad is, and it certainly shouldn't be watched while eating.
      Tagline: 20 a day, 40 years, 3.4 kg of tar. Enjoy.

    South Korea 
  • South Korean PSAs are mostly produced by KOBACO, a government sponsored ad agency. Many of them are infamous for being memetic and scaring the children out of television. The former logo, replaced in 2007 [1], was nicknamed the "skull" by scared children at that time due to its design and its penchant to appear at the end of the ad. Also, many South Korean actors and singers started their careers appearing in such ads.
  • South Korea also has official PSAs to help make viewers aware of illegal videocassettes which weren't approved by the government because of their violent and sexual content. Notable examples includes:
    • The first promo starts with Moral Guardians protesting against the violent and sexual content found on illegal videocassettes, then shots of Korean newspaper reporting on how illegal VHS and pornography have a bad influence on society, before fading into a shot of a drawing of a sexy women, then the scene cuts to a view of pornographic VHS tape illegally sold by street vendors, and illegal and pornographic VHS tapes being confiscated and then burnt, while a female narrator warns about the illegal VHS tapes. After that, the scene cuts to a short promo teaching viewers how to distinguish between genuine and illegal counterfeit videocassettes. At the end, the promo gives the number of a phone hotline to report street vendors who sell illegal videocassettes. The linked video is now unavailable.
    • The second promo is about a family of animated talking flowers encountering sexy female videocassettes, before the flowers cower as bullets fly (with gunshots heard) while the animated videocassettes run in fear. Then the flowers teleport out of the broken videocassettes and it is was revealed that the things that happened to them were just inside the broken and counterfeit videocassettes.
    • The third promo, which teachs that illegal videocassettes are as bad as tiger attacks on village, smallpox and wars. While the narrator warns viewers against the violent and pornographic content found on illegal videocassettes, to add insult to injury, they use clips of Japanese anime to represent the unacceptable content (given the historical context between Japan and Korea).
    • The fourth promo is about an animated talking videocassette warning about counterfeit VHS tapes.
  • This South Korean ad against domestic violence shows a pig-tailed girl playing with her doll when suddenly utensils were being thrown at her, forcing her to flee without her doll. Later, it resembled a warzone as it got worse, and the girls begs for her mother. She manages to retreive her damaged doll from the rubble.
  • An ad shows a broken chair falling down, only to be miraculously put back together in one piece. This was during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, calling for unity and understanding during that crisis.
  • Still another South Korean anti-drunk driving ad in 2010 shows a moving beer glass having a head collision with a car. The end tag is " It can be drunk driving, the last driving in your life."
  • Korea's Ministry of Health released this creepy series of ads in 2005. You might want to stay away from cigarettes after the sight of three individuals clearly suffering from smoke withdrawal, all set to eerie music. That harrowing scream at each ad's tagline doesn't help.
    Narration: Quitting smoking is difficult. So I couldn't stop smoking. But obviously, it's going to be more difficult now...
  • A series of 2018 PSAs by the Busan Metropolitan Police Agency are as creative as they are insidious. They were disguised as voyeur pornography and uploaded to file-sharing sites. They feature hidden camera shots of a woman changing, using the toilet, etc... before the footage is interrupted by the woman's vengeful ghost accompanied by the tagline: "You may be the one driving her to suicide", followed by "This site is being monitored by the police". This campaign proved so effective that voyeur video distribution declined by 21% afterward.

  • The Directorate-General for Traffic made a short film inspired by La Cabina warning against drug-driving, with the phoneboxes replaced with cars.
  • The "Pictures" series of road safety campaign, also made by the DGT, focuses on friends and family of accident victims and how they suffered as a result of the accident, such as depression, health problems and even losing the will to live, all because of the foolishness of either the victim or another motorist, ending with the tagline "Las imprudencias no sólo las pagas tú" (You are not the only one who pays for imprudence). Notably, some of the PSAs initially make it appear as though the pictures of friends and family are unrelated, only to reveal alongside the victim's picture that all of them are actually part of one larger photo.
  • A cheery one from the DGT about alternative modes of transport. A man wakes up, goes to work, almost backs his car into an SUV, waits for an elderly to cross the road, finds himself stuck in traffic and gets the last parking space taken by a BMW. Rinse and repeat... until he sees another man riding to work on his bicycle.
  • Another one from the DGT mid-2020 advises drivers to not drive recklessly, as coming out of the Covid pandemic, the last thing Spain needs is more people dying. The PSA features Olympic figure skater Javier Fernández performing in the Palacio de Hielo's indoor skating rink, which was used as a makeshift morgue for Covid victims during the beginning of the pandemic.

    Sri Lanka 

  • In an amusing spoof of these, the Swedish bus company Väst Trafik features several of these being made fun of to fit with the message "take the bus" ("Sleep behind the wheel. Way behind the wheel", for example).
  • Swedish ads for paying your TV licence fees are... bizarre, to put it mildly. "Do you want a snail in your eye?" anyone? The newest one is more like "If you pay your licence fees the TV-people will stalk you and perform musical numbers."
  • lets you see yourself loved by the whole world for being a hero due to paying the TV fee.

  • This bone-chilling scary ad from the Taiwanese division of the MTV sees a girl putting a poisonous snake's fangs to her forearm, letting the snake inject venom into her bloodstream. Her eyes then turn white before the screen fades to black, the Chinese character "毒" (poison, which can also refer to drugs) appears, surrounded by the names of various drugs in English. The screen then fades to white to reveal the Chinese words "害一生" (harm you for life, to complement the aforementioned "drugs" character).
  • And then there's this one about child abuse. A dripping sound can be heard while the voice of a toddler singing "Two Tigers", a popular Chinese nursery rhyme, can be heard. The voice stops when it's revealed the liquid dripping on the ground is blood. The camera then pans up to reveal a baby bottle on its side dripping milk on the floor while a text reveals a three-year-old child suffers brain haemorrhage because his parent(s) beat him up for spilling the milk.

    United Kingdom 
  • This ad calls for an end to the stigma imposed upon those with mental health disorders, and admonishes students and teachers alike for their complicity in the stigma and bullying, while simultaneously assuring patients that there is NO shame in asking for help.
  • The Green Cross Code ads from the 1970s; starring David Prowse.
  • The "Don't die before you've lived" road safety ads aimed at teenagers. One purported to be a trailer for a The Bourne Identity-style movie and ended with the star being hit by a car as a teenager. Another one featured a female supermodel giving a tour of her house in the style of MTV Cribs, and it also ended with her getting hit by a car as a schoolgirl. There were also posters for this, which seems to have focused on the London area.
  • "Lonely Waters" is a patently terrifying British advert. Donald Pleasence voices The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water, who watches children drown (offscreen, fortunately) as they play unattended by the river. Sensible children can defeat him, but he'll be back...
  • Parodied by current-affairs spoof The Day Today, whose Spiritual Successor, Brass Eye, famously featured a montage of celebrities somberly relating increasingly implausible stories of the effects of a fictional new drug called "cake." It apparently stimulates an area of the brain called "Shatner's bassoon."
  • The United Kingdom has a number of government information adverts that sound more like... well, threats. Specifically, those involving paying your car tax, only claiming the benefit money due to you and making sure your TV license payments are up to date.
    • They couldn't get worse than the Mysteron-style rings of light hunting down benefit cheats.
    • The TV licence adverts were parodied in Not the Nine O'Clock News, which had the BBC staging the deaths of people who failed to pay the licence fee — the original slogan was "Get a TV licence — it's cheaper than a fine"; the sketches changed this to "a funeral".
    • The TV licensing department later followed this up with the aggressive and bullying slogan, "pay now or you'll pay later". It sounds like a protection racket...
  • Health Education Board Scotland, with the tagline "Think About It", as well as the Scottish Executive and a few other outliers like the NHS and charities, are responsible for giving us these Scottish public information films:
    • One ad shows a cute girl, aged about 15, walking down a school corridor and spotting a guy. They walk toward each other in slow motion with romantic music. He says to his friend, "[You] should've seen the state of her on Friday night!" Cut to her puking in a toilet. Imaginary narration: So ye see ladies, ye'll never get a husband if ye behave like a slattern.
    • A girl running around on a beach surrounded by a pastel-coloured aura, in the typically vague tradition of Partnership for a Drug-Free America - "Drugs Are Bad, but don't expect this advert to explain why".
    • Another anti-drug one did a split screen about how different a teenage boy's life is if he becomes a heroin addict, compared to saying no. The two stories converge as he passes by himself as a beggar on the street. Any spare change, pal?
    • An anti-smoking ad which depicted a cartoon land where there was intense pressure to chew blue sticks with various unpleasant side effects. The punchline "That tastes boggin'!" was a playground catchphrase for a while (imagine a Glasgow accent). The monotone narrator actually makes it ''funnier'', oddly enough.
    • Another ad directed at secondhand smoke that would make Indiana Jones run screaming. Complete with a baby getting attacked by creepy phantom reptile.
    • A much more somber anti-smoking advert that showed a (presumably dying) woman pleading with her young son never to smoke.
    • A giant strawberry that turned out to be full of snakes, to show that if you take acid, you never know if your trip will turn bad. Watch it here.
      • Another ad in the same campaign featured trippy visuals of a white dove vigorously flapping its wings and then suddenly falling to the ground and dying to illustrate the potential consequences of ecstasy, and a third one compared the effects of taking speed (or methamphetamine) to a giant hourglass exploding and leaking blood.
    • Another campaign that started out as happy, funny scenes that ended with people randomly and violently and as realistically as possible run over by cars.
    • In the Domestic Abuse campaign "Messages," a woman is getting ready for a night out and is confronted with various nasty comments on labels, washing powder boxes, etc. with a male voiceover.
    • A parody of music videos with three Britney-esque girls singing about how the smell of their cigarette smoke scares all their boyfriends away. The ad became so popular that it led to an official chart release of the song.
    • A father ranting and raving at his teenage daughter after she's been arrested for drug possession.
    • A montage of smiling children, with the voiceover saying that these are the results of a healthy diet in addition to regular brushing. Kind of unusual in that you expect a jump scare with some poor kid with rotten nashers at the end, but it doesn't happen.
    • One from Rape Crisis Scotland, providing the sadly still necessary message that no one asks to be raped.
    • This gory wee number that reminds kids not to go pissing about with airguns.
    • One advert encouraging people to seek treatment for cancer has a Bait-and-Switch effect going on with the voice-over talking about how horrible it can to think you might have cancer, while a woman walks into a doctor's surgery, presumably for a critical appointment. When she goes into the office, she sits down in her chair and reassures viewers that cancer is much more treatable than it was in the past and that you should go to your doctor rather than get so scared that you don't do anything about it.
    • One PIF where a man rushes into water to help someone who is drowning, but discovers when he pulls them out that the drowning man is himself. The voiceover talks about how people don't help themselves by trying to reduce their risk of cancer, strokes and heart disease.
    • Foreigners enthusiastically talking about how wonderful and welcoming Scotland is, juxtaposed with images of white Scottish people being racist in some way.
    • One aired in the 2000s encouraging people to be better parents. A man ignores his daughter's request to take her out on her bike because he wants to watch the football. But then he flashes back to The '70s and remembers getting the brush-off from his own father and changes his mind.
    • Another ad in the same campaign from above shows a mother and her young son talking enthusiastically about a party he went to. Then, we cut to the future, where he is now a teenager, and she asks about his new girlfriend, and he talks all about her, with the message being that parents should listen to their children so that they will talk to you later.
    • An anti-drinking ad where a boy tries and fails several times to work up the courage to ask out the girl he likes. Eventually they're at a house party together and he drinks to soothe his nerves, but ends up leering and slobbering all over her and the girl pushes him away in disgust.
    • One anti-cocaine ad shows teenagers taking cocaine in a club and being confronted by a Grim Reaper-esque figure who forces them to draw from a deck of cards. This induces different effects in each one: a guy sweating heavily and a girl collapsing with chest pains while her friend (who drew "Paranoia") runs away rather than helping her. Finally, only one card is left: "Stroke," causing the last cocaine user of the night to drop dead in his girlfriend's arms.
    • A girl's friends are encouraging her to try heroin, but she isn't sure she wants to. They convince her to go over to their dealer's apartment, but then police raid the place and everyone's arrested.
  • This anti-drinking PSA from the National Health Service seemed to be setting up a Daredevil-esque movie, then twisted it around to show a drunken idiot falling to his death after climbing up scaffolding to retrieve a helium balloon. Another one, showing a fun scene of friends at lunch in a pub, ended by revealing that it was all an hallucination by a drunken bum accosting a woman at a bus stop.
  • One spawned in the wake of the MMR debacle featured a baby sitting on cliff surrounded by tigers, saying that parents were putting their kids in unnecessary danger by denying them the vaccine.
  • The very scary "Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives" campaign by Safety on the Move from the 80s and 90s showed the consequences of drinking and driving from multiple perspectives, from the driver to the victim to family, friends, and others caught up in the tragedy. The ads were usually shown around the holiday season (with one notable exception) and include the following:
    • The jolly seasonal "Christmas Pudding" features a family getting ready to enjoy said pudding when one of them recieves a phone call informing her that her boyfriend (who told her earlier he was "stopping for a quick drink") has been in an accident. The merrily blazing pudding briefly morphs into a car in flames, and the laughter of her family in the background turns sinister.
    • "In the Summertime", one of the most famous UK ads from the 1990s, showed a few friends going for a drive on a summer afternoon (after leaving a pub) while Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" plays. Suddenly the music stops, and we cut to the car having hit a tree, the occupants bloody and presumably dead. It was meant to dispel the idea that alcohol-fueled accidents were mostly a problem during the holidays. The song was used because it has the unfortunate lyrics "Have a drink, have a drive". Hugo Speer, who played the drunk driver, later got into a drunk driving accident years later (although he fared better in real life than he did in the commercial).
    • In "Mirror," we zoom in slowly on a young woman putting on makeup in front of a vanity mirror while she talks about an accident she and her boyfriend got into. She knew he'd been drinking when she rode with him, but thought they were safe because "he'd only had a couple." She happily informs us they're still together, "though sometimes I think he's only with me because he feels guilty." As she looks towards the camera, we see she's using the makeup to cover scars from the accident, and she suggests that she only stays "because I'm scared I won't get anyone else."
    • "Eyes" pulls out from the face of a young woman who has been run over by a drinking driver, as paramedics attempt to revive her and finally pronounce her dead, while the driver wails hysterically in the background.
    • "One more Dave" shows a woman preparing liquid food in a kitchen with voice over of men in a pub encouraging their friend Dave to have just one more drink, which he refuses, saying he's driving, but they continue to urge him. The woman is then seen serving up the liquid food to her quadriplegic son, and when he struggles she encourages him to have just one more spoonful.
    • Kathy can't sleep a harrowing ad showing a five or six year old girl wide awake in the middle of the night crying, while in the background her mother is heard shouting and crying hysterically at her father who killed a little boy due to driving under the influence. It was directed by Tony Kaye, who would later go on to direct American History X.
  • The Think! adverts' gruesome shock endings are so well known that it is something of a twist ending that the protagonist of this fun, upbeat motorbike safety ad gets home safely.
  • On the other hand, there's these rather adorable adverts about crossing the street, all under the name of the "Think!" campaign.
  • A more recent UK campaign to get people to drive more slowly through residential areas involves the horrifying image of a dead little girl against a tree, who is slowly dragged backward into the street, bones snapping back into place, before being shown in reverse being hit by a car. She then says that if hit at 30mph rather than 40mph, she has an 80% chance of survival.
    Russell Howard on Mock the Week: "If you hit me at 40mph, there's an 80% chance I'll die. If you hit me at 30, there's an 80% chance I'll live." *twists head 90 degrees clockwise* "Stop trying to hit me..."
  • An equivalent ad from the early 90s (part of the "Kill Your Speed, Not a Child" Campaign) showed three successive scenarios in which the children were hit by a speed sign in place of a car. Each scenario opened with the parents alluding to the fate of the child, with the consequences getting increasingly nastier as the speed goes up (broken leg, potential brain damage, death). No gore to speak of, but the final shots of the unfortunate third child's sister screaming to her and her toy pushchair being thrown up in the air were rather chilling.
  • Also part of the "Kill your speed" campaign was a black and white ad featuring a young girl informing the audience that she will be killed and giving examples of various excuses that speeding drivers use after they have caused an accident such as running late for work or not paying attention. The TV and radio campaign used the music of Julee Cruise, whose creepy and haunting vocal style fit the visuals perfectly.
  • The home video "Kill your speed" campaigns showed video footage of young children in happier times: one had voice over of a police officer explaining the protocol for informing someone about a road accident, while others featured readings of poetry about death and mourning (including "Funeral Blues" by WH Auden and "Remember" by Christina Rossetti.) The adverts end with the caption that all the children shown were killed by speeding drivers. Watch them all here.
  • Yet another anti-speeding ad featured the Grim Reaper, as played by a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, gravel-voiced northerner in a leather jacket, who narrates various events dealing with a young soldier called Chris. Chris returns home, having survived Iraq, only to be killed in a car crash not long later. Choice quote from the reaper himself: "If you're of a nervous disposition, I suggest ya fuck off and do summat else for a bit."
  • There were a number of UK adverts offering advice on how to avoid being a target of theft, including not leaving anything valuable in your car, making sure you'd locked up the house properly and being discreet about using your mobile phone.
  • One UK campaign against "binge drinking" showed a young man preparing to go for a night out. He urinates over his shoes, covers his shirt in curry, smashes his face into a door, and rips out his own earring, before leaving the house looking as if he's gone several rounds with Mike Tyson. Another ad aimed at young women, merely showed the heroine vomiting into her hair and ripping her clothes. The clear implication was that women don't get into fights. Have they never encountered the rage of a drunken ladette at 2 a.m.? The BBC has shown that these ads backfired: little did these guys know that telling your friends how you peed in your shoes and smashed your face against the door is funny as hell...
  • There were 2 PIFs about AIDS several years ago. One featured icebergs falling apart while a rather creepy sounding narrator talks the effects that the disease has on a person. The ad ended with an iceberg shaped like the word AIDS. A considerably creepier one had the same narrator, but this time he talked over a man creating a tombstone with the word AIDS written on it. At the end, the tombstone falls, and then a leaflet about AIDS is dropped on it, and finally, some flowers. A couple years later, these ads were pulled from the air after complaints that they scared children.
  • A Public Service Announcement from the early 1990s in England warned about getting early immunisation for childhood diseases. A group of girls dancing in a circle, holding hands. The shot is out of focus with a washed out look and skewed diagonally. The girls sing a disembodied echoing lullaby with no words as the names of the various diseases appear onscreen. The advert has overtones of "We are all dead from these diseases, and your kids will be, too."
  • Britain has had some notoriously disturbing Fire Kills campaigns. One featured an elderly woman battering down her door as the smoke builds up behind her, as well as two young children involved in another fire calling for their mum and dad. This one was pulled off the air for being too distressing; however, it can still be viewed here on YouTube if you have the guts for it. It never stopped them from making plenty of other ads that were much creepier than that one.
  • The British Government have recently started showing one ad where a guy crashes his car. As a voice-over details the impact ("The collision didn't kill him. Because he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, his rib splintered and punctured his lung and his arteries were ripped out of his heart") a closeup on his torso shows the organs literally smacking against his skin and tearing apart, complete with grisly sound effects. Ghastly. A family-friendly version shown before the 9 p.m. "watershed" just shows him crumple against the wheel in slo-mo as the voiceover talks.
  • Robbie and Apaches (which you can watch here) were British PIFs on railway and farm safety respectively, which, in their uncut forms, are like mini-movies of pain and suffering.
    • As if that wasn't bad enough, Robbie was intended to be a milder replacement for an earlier film, The Finishing Line. How the entire generation that saw those films managed to not become traumatised is beyond understanding. The Finishing Line lasted two years, was televised in full on several occasions, and was 'withdrawn' rather than banned. The entire film can be enjoyed here in all its horrific glory.
    • Robbie itself was later replaced by a more modern (1990s) film called Killing Time. This film begins with a dramatisation of a group of friends walking home along a railway line and debating whether to cut across it to save time. One of them anviliciously tells them how dangerous it is and leaves; but the others all run across the track, except for one boy who is too scared. Eventually, he does decide to walk across the track and join his friends but then slips on the tracks and is run over by an oncoming train. This is followed by real pictures from accident scenes and railway workers talking about the horror of people getting hit by trains.
    • Apaches, however, lends itself to jokes a la This is Your Brain on Drugs, albeit sicker, as one of the kids dies by falling into a slurry pit.
    • There was an urban version of Apaches called Building Sites Bite and features Ronald who is sent by his cousins to different building sites and is given the challenge to "Find his dog and get out without getting hurt." Needless to say, the poor lad stumbles upon his death in every site, being buried alive in a trench collapse, electrocuted by a frayed wire in a half-demolished house, breaking his skull on a concrete wall after falling off a pipe, crushed beneath a pile of bricks and drowns in an abandoned quarry. The moral of the story was that he simply should have declined to go or at least heeded all warning signs. The creepy part? When Ronald is electrocuted, they zoom in in his burned hand, then his pale body, dead on the floor of the building, eyes wide open. That, and his cousins are unfazed by his deaths. At the end, it turns out that these deaths are all imagined by Ronald (hence his cousins not being fazed) and he ultimately decides to not go into the building sites. Watch the full-length film on the Internet Archive here.
  • How about the stupidly traumatizing 'I'm Sorry I Killed You' UK advert? A boy in a car accident apologizing to his girlfriend for running her over. A group of 18-year-olds were left staring mutely at the sadist cop who showed it to us. The judge must have seen that ad and gotten ideas.
  • A very beloved British PIF in the 1960s featured "Reginald Molehusband," a man who was hopelessly bad at parking his car. Buses changed their routes to avoid him and people took bets on his performance, until the day he did it right (with a demonstration for the viewer). In 2007 the BBC launched a nationwide appeal for any existing copies of the film, but none were found, so they remade it with the original actor. However, the audio from the original ad was eventually found and can be listened to here, and a fan-made recreation of the PIF can be viewed here.
  • There was one with Christopher Eccleston joking along with a dead boy racer and his mates. For some strange reason, it was only shown in cinemas in Scotland, despite being out with of HEBS. Watch it here.
  • A misguided, but not creepy example is the UK government's adverts for their car scrappage scheme, where you trade in your old car for a more eco-friendly one (or less eco-damaging to be more exact), and get a discount from the government. The message starts, after some examples of 90's culture, "Wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of everything over 10 years old?" Well, not when they're being played on a classic rock station. In fact, think about it too much and it becomes decidedly sinister. Who made that ad? The future government in Logan's Run?
  • These ads were to be broadcast in the UK in case of impending nuclear war. The films were narrated by the famous Patrick Allen, including lines telling what to do if one of your family members dies in a calm, monotone voice.
  • This British anti-drug PSA about the dark side of cocaine and the helpline called Talk to FRANK, voiced by David Mitchell as a dog.
  • The UK is now running a TV campaign against driving under the influence of drugs, in which police pull over a group of stoned partygoers with hugely magnified eyes (to represent the fact that drug use produces involuntary effects on the eyes.) Watch it here.
  • ''Julie'', the 'Belt Up In The Back' Campaign ad, is memorably chilling: it starts off with a mother named Julie driving her two unnamed teenage children to school. She begins to be followed by a white transit van, with the voiceover narration "Like most victims, Julie knew her killer.", causing Julie (as does the viewer) to become unnerved as the van gets steadily closer. However, it soon indicates and moves down a side road, to Julie's relief...and that's when the voiceover states "It was her son..." and her car unexpectedly crashes head-first into a parked car, and the non seatbelt-wearing son in the backseat flies forward and crushes Julie in her seat, allowing blood to shoot onto the windscreen as the son falls back in super slow-motion with a bloodied nose (Voiceover: "...who was seating behind her without a seatbelt"). Immediately followed by the teenage daughter in the front seat screaming hysterically at the sight of her now-dead mother, and the son looking around in dazed confusion (Voiceover: "After crushing her to death, he sat back down.") The PSA is so effective it has also aired in France, Germany and Australia, and was re-made by Shell for audiences in Libya.
  • A graphic seat belt campaign shows a group of young men buying pizza with two scenarios one where they don't wear their seat belts and presumably die and the other where they wear their seat belt and survive.
  • "Charley Says" is simply disturbing. That cat became an icon years later when his yowling was sampled for dance music.
  • A film about the dangers of sending text messages while driving, made by Gwent Police in Wales. The full 30-minute version was shown in schools and on The BBC. It ends with the driver's family being hounded out of town by enraged locals and finally the end-note that she was sentenced to seven years in jail. After the crash, a little girl is crying in one of the cars. "Mummy, daddy, wake up!" Then, to the paramedic: "When will mummy and daddy wake up?" Interspersed with the vacant stare of a baby that's obviously not going to wake up. So remember: Don't text while driving, and watch the road ahead of you so you can avoid accidents instead of blindly plowing into them like high-velocity lemmings.
  • An anti-speeding campaign by Think! shows a man who keeps seeing a dead child everywhere he goes. It was a kid he knocked down. Made all the more chilling by that you know it's a dummy, and you're still freaked out.
  • Here's a vintage one about the dangers of... putting bags on a pram or pushchair. As silly as it may seem, the ad made it work by showing a baby fall several feet head-first on glass shattering on the pavement, and its mother letting out an electronically distorted, loud and echoing scream in both the beginning and end.
  • British PIFs also had, for many years, a healthy tradition of making and screening films around Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th each year. This is a particularly creepy one, up there with Donald Pleasence as the Grim Reaper. Again, the closing echo adds a lot.
  • Transport for London and Cabwise have been putting out new posters and commercials about illegal cabs. Here's the video and here's one of the posters.
  • Southwark Council in London made an extremely disturbing film about gun crime, in which a mother pulls out a gun at the breakfast table and shoots her (about five or six-year-old) son in the head, with blood splattering all over the kids (who all start retching and screaming). The message was that keeping quiet about who committed a shooting makes you as guilty as the offender. It has won advertising awards but is so graphic it was only permitted to be shown in cinemas before 15-rated films.
  • Tufty Squirrel was the mascot of a road safety campaign during the 1970s, beloved to people who grew up as kids during that time. He appeared in a series of films that showed children, in highly Anvilicious fashion, why they shouldn't run out into the road - Tufty's friend "Willy Weasel" was usually the Butt-Monkey who would get run over. There was also a "Tufty Club" for young children to join.
    • Also worth seeing is the hilariously demented adult-themed spoof. (warning: major childhood violation)
    • One Tufty Club book included a strip in which Tufty broke a number of safety rules, and then got out of being punished by bribing the grownups with invites to his birthday party.
  • This tremendously moving and effective "Embrace Life" seatbelt PSA from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership. So many elements are just pitch-perfect: the simple music and dreamlike quality of the visuals grab your attention amidst the din of shouty advertising, the performances of all three actors are spot on (the grimace from the father as he faces the inevitable, the hope from the little girl, and the quiet determination from the mother), the fairy wings on the little girl giving her an angel-like quality, and the sudden violence of the impact shown by the table launching across the room. Unsurprisingly, it's gone viral.
    • An equally striking, but less successful follow-up about motorbike safety showed a child playing in the garage, pretending to ride a motorbike like his dad. It ends with the father coming home safely and hugging his son.
  • There was one that traded off The Sixth Sense which started off looking like an PSA about Child Neglect with a teenager wandering around commenting on how his family didn't notice him anymore, then revealed he was dead having been hit by a car and never noticed.
  • In late 2010, the Metropolitan Police released an audio ad featuring the distorted voice of a man screaming abuse at, and then brutally beating his partner. It concluded by asking the listener what they would do if they heard something like that going on next door.
  • Ewan McGregor provided the voiceover for a Transport for London road safety campaign, showing a motorcylist going about his usual routine on the way to work: "The alarm that gets you up for work. The cereal you have for breakfast. The wife you say goodbye to. The road you cycle along ... (Crash!) "The legs you won't be able to use again…"
  • Helen Bamber Foundation is a UK-based charity that acts for victims of human rights abuses. They have put out a few well-known PSAs about sex trafficking. One starred Hollywood actress Emma Thompson as the two separate personalities of a woman who has been trafficked: "Elena", her real identity before she was sold into sex slavery, and "Maria", the name her captors use to pimp her out. Another had a young Eastern European woman trying to do normal things like buy groceries and train tickets etc. but the only words she knows in English relate to sex. More horrifying was a full-length PSA dramatising the ordeal of a girl sold into sex slavery. At one point she is raped by her pimps, with visuals of blood raining down the walls of the apartment below the brothel while a family with young children is eating dinner, probably a metaphor for their guilt as they have not told the police about the gang activity. Both parts of the short film can be viewed here.
  • TV presenter Anne Diamond, whose son died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, fronted a PSA and publicity campaign encouraging parents to reduce the risk by putting babies to sleep on their backs. The campaign has been credited with helping to massively cut the number of "cot deaths" in England and Wales.
  • A Neighbourhood Watch PSA showed a man breaking into a house, but neighbours gather around and begin a slow handclap to let him know they're watching him. A parody aired on the TV series Beadle's Hotshots, where the people are quiet until the burglar leaves the house, then they burst into rapturous applause and give him a bunch of flowers and a getaway car.
  • Another crime prevention PIF involves a flock of magpies scarily marauding through someone's bedroom, complete with "Psycho" Strings rifling through the knicker drawer, ripping apart soft furnishings and making off with jewellery, before a stern faced narrator points out that if you'd fitted proper locks, joined the local Neighbourhood Watch and just shut your damn doors and windows when you went out, this wouldn't have happened. Don't Let Them Get Away With It.
  • The Motor Neurone Disease Association has released a couple of cinema ads:
    • The first one features a still photograph of a man that fades away as he narrates:
      I am dying from Motor Neurone Disease. Every day I'm more helpless as my muscles waste away. There is no cure for my disease and no hope for me, but I want there to be hope for others.
    • The second, far more dramatic one featured a woman being locked into a room that's empty except for an electric wheelchair. She's then flung across the room by an unseen force, writhing and contorting in agony as she's dragged into the chair.
  • An anti-smoking PSA where a man's daughter watches glumly as he heads outside to have a cigarette. Later, he catches her looking up lung cancer in a medical encyclopaedia.
    • Another utterly harrowing anti-smoking PIF featured an interview with a man dying of throat cancer. His voice was raspy and grating, as he'd had his voicebox removed. He tells the interviewer, "My eldest, Alexandra, is coming over to see me on December 13th. I will be alive for that." Cue Fade to Black, and then the text: Anthony died ten days after filming this. He never got to see his daughter.
  • A cinema/poster/radio campaign showed kids who would have grown up to be famous pop stars, movie stars, supermodels, athletes, rappers, dancers or computer games designers, but were hit by cars and killed when they were young. Apparently, the lure of becoming a scientist or something wasn't enough ...
  • The latest "Don't stand around on a level crossing and get mowed down like an idiot, idiot" ad starts out with a family biking through the country-side with the youngest playing "I spy something with the letter 'T'"; just before the older sister gets mowed down by a train like an idiot for stopping on a level crossing, she stops on a level crossing like an idiot and says "Is it 'track'?" We cut to black as the train mows her down, flash the tag-line See 'Track', Think 'Train' and then display the ident of Network Rail.
  • British Red Cross had an ad showing a young woman walking down a dark street, informing the audience that she is the cause of their misfortunes, like the fire that causes homelessness or the boiled sweet stuck in a child's throat, because she is a crisis and she doesn't care who you are.
  • Tales of the Road,, a series of cautionary tales about kids who were foolish about road safety, and the price they paid. Multiple levels of creepy, from the Belloc-esque poems to the Coraline-esque animation. (And let's not even get started on the fact that, while the narrator may say [albeit quite graphically] that they just got banged up a bit, the way they stare blankly at a re-enactment of the event while more careful kids walk past them without noticing makes them seem a lot like some kind of ghost.)
  • There was a campaign run in partnership with MTV's UK branch entitled "Carry a Knife, Lose Your Life", in an effort to discourage knife crime. The TV ads were shown in two parts; the first half shows two identical-looking young people each talking about an ambition they share in life before ending with "But I never thought..." The second half show's one person having achieved their goal in life, such as becoming a famous DJ or model, while the other person is shown being arrested by the police or sitting in a jail cell, stating they never thought they would get in trouble with the law for carrying or using knives.
  • Thames Valley Police's "Tea and Consent" is an ultra-low budget animation which uses making someone a cup of tea as a metaphor for sex, in order to dramatise the nature of consent. Part of what makes it work is the hilariously deadpan narration.
    Narrator: And if they're unconscious, don't make them tea. Unconscious people don't want tea, and they can't answer the question "Do you want tea?", because they're unconscious. Okay, maybe they were conscious when you asked them if they wanted tea, and they said "Yes!", but in the time it took you to boil the kettle, brew the tea and add the milk, they're now unconscious. You should just put the tea down, make sure the unconscious person is safe, and this is the important part again — don't make them drink the tea.
  • Disrespect Nobody is a new campaign to combat domestic and sexual abuse, featuring various talking human body parts who talk about how forcing your partner into having sex or becoming violent when your partner disagrees with you on something is not cool.
  • This advert ran throughout early 1998, to encourage people to vote in favour of that year's Good Friday Peace Agreement. The song, Marmalade's Reflections Of My Life, was used because (as noted in the advert) it was recorded in 1969, the same year that The Troubles began. Of course, the people of Northern Ireland voted in favour of the Agreement, partly as a result of this campaign.
  • Superman vs. Nick O'Teen: A series of printed and televised PSAs sponsored by the Health Education Council. The series stars Superman, as he combats Nick O'Teen, a cigarette-themed supervillain, and encourages viewers to do the same by "never [saying] yes to a cigarette."
  • I Saw Your Willy is a British PSA about being safe on the Internet.
  • Britain ran a series of anti-speeding adverts involving a film of a car travelling down a busy street at a mere five miles over the standard speed limit for a public area, before coming to an emergency stop. The advert shows where the car would have stopped had it been travelling at thirty. Since the car was actually travelling at thirty-five, it goes on for another five or six feet: and smashes right into a child crossing the road.
  • The entirety of the British Home Office's "Sex and Consent" campaign, featuring prominent personalities such as Charlie McDonnell, is about the necessity of having affirmative consent before engaging in sexual activities.
  • The Terrence Higgins Trust, a UK-based charity promoting safe sex and breaking the stigma against people with HIV/AIDS, have ran a few print and televised PSAs of their own.
    • A bizarre 1995 TV spot from them (NSFW) titled Knobs in Space, supposedly animated by Aardman Animations, features a rocket ship shaped like... well, a knob (British slang for a penis) discovering a black hole, and trying to enter it. However, the black hole teleports away every time the rocket tries to go inside. The constellation Sagittarius directs the dejected rocket towards what initially looks like the Sun, until the next scene shows that it was actually a yellow condom, which the knob rocket puts on before successfully entering the black hole, causing a massive explosion with the words "The Big Bang Theory" popping outnote , before the words "Wear a condom" and the trust's logo appear.
    • The THT has also made some posters regarding STI testing; one features two fingers, with one telling the other how the new HIV rapid test will give them results in 20 minutes. Another features three phallic-looking cacti, representing the three pricks (as in vaccinations) one needs to protect themselves from Hepatitis B.

    United States 
  • A World War II PSA (which is also the current page image) called on Americans to carpool in order to conserve fuel for the war effort — "When you ride ALONE, you ride with Hitler!" (But if you're riding with Hitler, you are carpooling). Bill Maher updated and parodied this PSA in his book, "When You Ride ALONE You Ride with bin Laden: What the Government SHOULD Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism".
  • The "American Honda Presents DC Comics Supergirl" comics were part of the US Department of Transportation's National Safety Belt Campaign to increase seat belt usage in the mid 80's.
  • NBC do a series of these, featuring celebrities speaking earnestly into the camera on various topics, titled "The More You Know". These were parodied by Scrubs. See it here. Also mocked by Family Guy. They still do TMYK spots, and the three other networks have done their own TMYK-esque spots as well. The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson routinely mocks the "CBS Cares" bits. His show's on CBS. In the mid-80's, NBC had "One To Grow On," which was the same format but directed at children and broadcast on Saturday morning.
  • The Crying Indian PSA from Keep America Beautiful that is coupled with the narrator with a determined tone who says, "People start pollution, people can stop it!" Note that the "Indian" in question was, in fact, Sicilian.
  • "Take a bite out of crime!" says McGruff the Crime Dog.
    • There was a musical PSA featuring McGruff from the mid-1980's which goes: "Users are losers and losers are users/So don't use drugs, don't use drugs!" Watch it here.
    • Scruff, McGruff, Chicago Illinois, Six-oh-Six Five Two!
  • The United Negro College Fund's "A mind is a terrible thing to waste" is so memorable that it's often parodied.
    • And mangled by Dan Quayle as "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."
  • How about the drunk-driving PSA from the 1980s, with the two beer mugs toasting in slow motion and exploding on contact, with the sound of a car crash underneath? See it here.
    • And here's a pretty good variation on that idea.
    • There was also the ad which showed someone clearly drunk getting into a car with some friends. When the person starts the car, the next scene shows the car on fire, and the people turned into burning skeletons.
  • This Dove Self-Esteem Project ad features Amethyst and Jasper from Steven Universe presenting a message about the effects of bullying someone and making negative, harmful comments about someone's appearance because nobody likes a bully.
  • A public health advertisement implicitly compares having a stroke to being savagely beaten by Michael Clarke Duncan.
  • The Crash Dummies Vince and Larry were the stars of a series of PSAs about road safety, created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was their job to promote car safety and ensure people buckled their safety belts, complete with the Tag Line "You can learn a lot from a Dummy. Buckle your safety belt." The costumes are in the Smithsonian now as tribute to how well the campaign worked not only at its intended purpose but becoming an icon immortalized in pop culture around the whole world.
  • These workplace safety ads run by the Utah Labor Commission. Nothing says "workplace safety" like taking a nosedive into molten metal.
  • Since the late 1980s, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (now called Partnership to End Addiction) has created memorable PSAs warning parents and children of the dangers of illegal drug use (though in later years, they created ads about prescription drug abuse as well). Many of these ads could be deeply disturbing, which didn't stop them from being aired during Saturday morning cartoons in the late 80s and early 90s.
    • "This is your brain." (shows egg) "This is drugs." (shows frying pan) Crack. Sizzle. "This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?"
    • "My name is Jesse Corti, and what I'm about to tell you is real." In a 1990 Drug Free America ad, actor Jesse Corti talks about a train accident in 1987 where a passenger train collided with a freight train. In the investigation that followed, the freight train's engineer admitted to having smoked marijuana on duty, and ignoring safety regulations that could have prevented the collision. "They say marijuana doesn't hurt anyone. But this time, 16 people died. And among them...Laura Corti, my wife."
    • Faces is a rather nightmare-inducing PSA showing a girl looking at the camera while happy birthday plays in the background. Her face begins to deteriorate while a creepy voice sings "How old are you now? La dee da dee dee" the girl's eyes eventually becomes lifeless and a white sheet is thrown over her face. There was also another version with a slightly different opening tune, but the creepy singing is still there and her face is not covered by the sheet, leaving her lifeless expression to linger on the screen for just a bit longer.
    • In 2004, there was an anti-Ecstasy spot made to look like a prescription drug ad, complete with list of side effects and the concluding voice-over "Ask your doctor why Ecstasy is not right for you." Another one, created by Mad TV in 2009, parodied the 'Sad Bean' commercials for Zoloft.
    • The most popular of those PSAs has to be "Like Father, Like Son", a.k.a. "I learned it by watching you!" A father confronts his son about the presence of drugs and paraphernalia in the latter's room, which leads to the memorable line by the son:
    Father: Who taught you how to do this stuff?
    Son: You, alright?! I learned it by watching you!
    Narrator: Parents who use drugs have children who use drugs.
  • The city of Las Vegas did one in 2008 to get people to reduce water usage. Involving a Groin Attack.
  • Mr. Yuk.
  • The Montana Meth Project puts out some pretty gruesome PSAs by directors such as Tony Kaye, Darren Aronofsky, and Alejandro González Iñárritu. They also do tobacco. You get to barf every time you see this. Warning, link not safe for anything.
  • South Dakota themselves made an anti-meth campaign featuring farmers, football players, and average citizens with the slogan, "Meth. We're On It." Not helping the ridicule was that the print ads somewhat resemble those of medicine print ads often found in magazines.
  • A number of MPAA-driven Digital Piracy Is Evil adverts have been shoved in front of movie trailers, such as stunt coordinator Manny Perry's very earnest "Respect Copyrights" and "Movies: They're Worth It." (Tagline: "YOU CAN CLICK — BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE.") Appropriately, it's almost impossible to find pirated uploads of them on YouTube...
    Ad: You wouldn't steal a car.
    Chopper: (pulls on beer, glares at the audience) Yes, I fucking would.
    • Abuse of Power - Inappropriate for All Ages.
    • The huge irony of this is that most pirates cut these PSAs out, so the only people who will receive the PSA are those who bought the legitimate non-pirated films anyway or go to the cinema.
    • Probably the goofiest of these was the Warner Bros. ad where they shove the anti-piracy message into a scene of Casablanca while also unambiguously supporting having affairs. Really.
    • The ads have begun going a different route, showing how inferior pirated copies are to the real thing.
  • The MythBusters, a high-speed camera... and flu avoidance.
  • Smokey Bear reminds American campers that "Only you can prevent forest fires." (The slogan changed the last two words to "wildfires" in 2001.)
  • "It's 10 P.M. Do you know where your children are?"
    • It's usually shown just before the evening news. In some versions. depending on the market and what the curfew is, it says "11 P.M."
    • According to an urban myth, a company did a phone poll at 10pm to ask parents if they knew where their children were. 90% were answered by children who didn't know where their parents were. If it isn't true, it should be.
    • "I told you last night - no!"
    • New York TV station WNYW, who helped popularize the phrase, began running new PSAs in the wake of the 2019-20 COVID-19 outbreak, now saying, "It's 10 P.M. Stay home. Stay safe. Stay strong. We're all in this together."
  • The Drug Avengers
  • Those brilliant Union Pacific short films The Days of Our Years (remember, never be happy about your newborn baby at work or your coworker will BURN OUT YOUR EYES WITH A BLOWTORCH) and Last Clear Chance (Crow: "I'm the Impish Officer of DEATH!"). Before there was videotape, there were Narmtastic PSAs.
  • There was a particularly nightmare-inducing '70s PSA called "House of the Hemophiliac." It shows eerie visuals of a camera panning around a house, zooming in on ordinary objects which would present a big danger to a hemophiliac: knives, table corners, the cat...
  • A similar PSA ran around the same time by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It had a toddler walking around a house which was "haunted" by scissors, open fire stoves, electrical plugs and outlets, and other things that could harm or kill a small child.
  • There was an anti-drunk driving PSA, which was aired in the '70s. An Eric Foreman-type kid is driving his girlfriend home; he's clearly had a few and is pleasantly buzzed - then he runs into her dad's parked car, putting a big dent in it. The ad ends with her dad coming out the front door, looking not pleased. What a dumbass.
  • Don't Text and Drive is a PSA specific to Colorado, produced by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). It features a teenage boy, on voice-over, talking about the day his sister didn't come home, the little sister out playing, and another teenage boy driving a car. The story is told out of chronological order: starting right after the collision, flashing back to the girl playing with her friends, cutting to the paramedics working on her, then cutting back to the driver texting, forward to paramedics again, then showing the driver inside the car and the sickening thud of the car hitting the girl. This ad had won a contest that CDOT held in state. For some reason, it is often shown on cable channels with a preschool/parent audience.
  • Since then, AT&T has gotten in on the fun, presenting various stories from the survivors (or perpetrators) of texting-caused accidents in an effort to discourage the practice.
  • The Meth Project has started showing commercials in Georgia that are VERY SCARY. Watch the most scary ones here and here. Actually, the second one about the meth head robbing the laundromat is rather clever, because only a drug addict would rob a place known for only costing a few cents.
  • In a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles PSA, the turtles' anti-drugs message is undermined by Michelangelo's anti-munchies advice: "Get a pizza!" It also contains a hilariously lame response to an insult: "I'm not a chicken, you're a turkey!". The PSA originally aired without the Turtles, who were added years later to freshen up the old live-action footage.
  • The Texas Department of Transportation created an advertising campaign (with print ads and a TV commercial) featuring a young woman named Jacqueline Saburido, the victim of a drunk driver who was burned over 85% of her body and has had to have her face completely reconstructed so she could breathe and eat independently again.
  • Yul Brynner's posthumous anti-smoking spot.
  • The 'bubble' PSA was a pretty famous one in California - basically, instead of smoking, people went around blowing bubbles, and the camera followed the bubbles, to illustrate the dangers of secondhand smoke.
  • Operation Lifesaver's PSAs, like one for hunters, one about distracted driving, one featuring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, their versions of the Highways or Dieways ads, and of course, Sly Fox and Birdie.
  • The PSAs about lead poisoning by the EPA.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development released videos of milk bottles, baby food containers, and cereal bowls actually being filled with lead paint instead of milk, all with lullaby music playing.
  • Dudley The Dinosaur, the American Dental Association's mascot for PSAs.
  • A PSA by the Indiana Department of Child Services starts as a home video made by a dad of his wife and baby asleep on the couch. They try to get the baby's attention... only to realize she's not breathing. It then tells you that you should absolutely never sleep with a baby, even for a minute.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue aired, earlier in 2010, a rather creepy, paranoia-inducing PSA notifying taxpayers of a deadline for paying back taxes without penalty. Because, Tom, we do know who you are.
  • "Don’t use the car! YOU’LL KILL YOURSELF!" Pretty much forgotten today, this anti-drunk driving PSA was infamous (and much parodied) in its day for its Narm.
  • While being in print form as opposed to commercials, consider New York City's "Two drinks ago" anti- binge drinking campaign. Oneshows a bloodied man assumed to have been beaten up, with the caption "Two drinks ago you would have walked away." The other shows a heavily intoxicated woman who looks as if she's about ready to pass out, with the words "Two drinks ago you could still get yourself home."
  • The 1960's "Give A Damn" campaign by the New York Urban Coalition had some notable ads, along with its famous song by Spanky and Our Gang:
    • One ad in the series inspired the setting for Sesame Street. Specifically, one that parodied vacation ads - "Send your children to the ghetto this summer!" After listing off "amenities" (including "field trips" - to trash-strewn vacant lots), the actor playing the pitchman declared, "Don't want your kids playing here? Don't expect our kids to." On seeing the PSA, Jon Stone, one of the producers in charge of designing Sesame Street, concluded that setting the show on an inner-city street would be the best way to get inner-city kids to watch it (since they were the target audience).
    • This one gives a first person view of a run down New York apartment, including a broken toilet, while the landlord talks about the place and the single mom who previously owned it. Towards the end the landlord asks someone if they want the place or not. The ad is then revealed to take place from the POV of a black man, who tells the landlord, "I'll take it." The point of the ad was to inform viewers of how dire the situation is for non-whites to find an apartment.
  • The similar National Urban Coalition ran a well repeated ad where numerous celebrities and politicians sing (in off-key) "Let the Sunshine In" from Hair.
  • Some of the most violent, disgusting, and disturbing anti-smoking commercials come out of Florida. Oddly enough, very few of these focus on quitting smoking, but rather on trying to avoid smoking outdoors. This may be due to a high population of older people who have been addicted for an extremely long time. A particularly disturbing commercial had everyone walking around outside wearing gas masks while "Ring Around the Rosie" was sung in slow-motion in the background. At the end of the PSA, the mood and music lightened as a woman on a bench was shown to be smoking instead of wearing a gas mask.
  • Then there were several ads against crack, rock cocaine. One featured Paul Reubens in character as Pee Wee Herman, another had Clint Eastwood. The Pee Wee one is often noted for its Narm. Other ads in the same campaign featured Nancy Reagan, Bette Midler, Rae Dawn Chong, Ally Sheedy, and Olivia Newton-John.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain in Texas has a strict policy of no talking or texting in the theater, and if you do either, then they "take your ass out" (their words). To send the message, they run "Don't Talk" PSAs before every movie explaining this policy, many of which have celebrity cameos. One of them features former Texas Governor Ann Richards literally throwing people out of the theater, and another one features a voicemail from a disgruntled customer who was thrown out on her ass and felt like venting to the management — and comes off sounding like an entitled (and stupid) asshole in the process.
  • As of 2014, Houston has one called "RUN. HIDE. FIGHT." about how to protect yourself from an active shooter in your workplace.
  • "Give a hoot! Don't pollute!" says Woodsy Owl.
  • This PSA from Coral Ridge Ministries encourages gays to walk away from homosexuality.
  • In 1972, the National Clearinghouse for Drug Abuse Information released the anti-drug "Ten Little Indians" PSA.
  • "Tell the truth or you will be surrounded by singing and tap dancing Mormons." is the message of this PSA from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saints.
  • Having a monkey on your back means to be addicted to heroin. The monkey in this early 70s PSA symbolizes heroin addiction. Screamer warning!
  • From the ThunderCats: In this PSA about underage drinking, the fact that it's against the law for kids to drink alcoholic beverages is the only reason given by Lion-O and Snarf as to why they shouldn't drink.
  • On He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), He-Man and She-Ra did this PSA about child sexual abuse which is the most well known of the show's public service announcements. Because of this, at least one child came forward and told their parents about being sexually abused.
  • The 40-minute Pædo Hunt / Too Smart for Strangers PSA Tricky People stars the mascot character Yello Dyno and tells the story of a girl who falls prey to a "tricky person".
  • From Hart of Dixie: This PSA says "Give a shirt for climate change".
  • An early 1980s commercial that aired in the New York City area featuring puppets in the shape of pills who have fallen out of a medicine bottle and start singing about the danger they represent after realizing that a kid may mistake them for candy. The lesson here is "We're not candy." This dates back when many tablets had flavored coatings to protect the medication from oxidation. It was because they could be mistaken for candy that the flavored coatings have all but disappeared. Today, most over the counter or prescription tablets taste appropriately chalky if they have any taste at all.
    We're not candy (believe us!)
    Even though we look so fine and dandy
    When you're sick, we come in handy
    But we're not candy
    • Busta Rhymes would later incorporate some of the lyrics from this PSA into his song "Dangerous" - outside of the original context, lines like "you should have a healthy fear of us / 'cause too much of us is dangerous" feel at home in a Boastful Rap.
    • The PSA actually comes from a segment on the Bismarck, North Dakota kids' show Kids Corner, specifically the episode "Jasper's Hospital Experience".
  • The "Professor of the Rap" (AKA Gary Byrd of the GB Experience) comes to an inner city school in a 1985 commercial to talk about the dangers of drugs and alchohol. His song One Dumb Move can Blow Your Groove was recorded on a single.
  • DC Comics, around 1991-1993 (easily around The Death of Superman), had ads running in their comics with different heroes talking about getting their facts straight about AIDS.
  • Glenn Beck: Staying Ebola Free.
  • In this PSA, Captain 20 talks about the difference between fantasy and reality.
  • This catchy PSA made by Baltimore Gas and Electric to remind kids not to go near downed electrical wires.
  • One ad that aired during the Super Bowl in 2002 had cannabis smokers claim that they helped various forms of terrorism, and it's implied they also helped the 9/11 terrorists. The message was that drugs fund terrorism.
  • An unusual example: This 1997 Ford Windstar commercial has an end tag with Big Bird and a small group of children:
    Big Bird: "Remember, kids in the back seat!"
    Kids: "And buckle up!"
  • Similarly, in NYC there was the "Celebrity Talking Taxi" program where celebrities recorded reminders for passengers to buckle up and take receipts for the rides, to play in all of New York's taxis. The program lasted from 1997 until 2003, when it was discontinued due to lack of interest from the public. Among those who contributed to the campaign were Dick Clark, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock and Elmo, whose involvement was lampshaded in a TV special where he gets into a time-traveling taxi helmed by Grover and a recording of his own voice tells them to buckle up.
  • In Wisconsin, there was a series of billboards and bus stop ads that looked like they were vandalized with a note reading, "For a Good Time Call: [Phone Number]". Those who called ended up hearing a baby's cries and a teenage mom telling the caller, "You know, what's a good time now? Changing 20 diapers a day." and other similar quotes.
  • From Idaho, there was Teen Mommy Darci and Action Teen Father, which attempt to present the perils of teen parenting by disguising themselves as doll/action-figure commercials, respectively.(Action Teen Father also seems to imply that "Taking responsibility for your child is for losers.")
  • During the famous Ellen "Puppy Episode," the Human Rights Campaign attempted to run an ad called "Shoes." note  It features a woman named Betty, presumed to be a lesbian, walking out of an office after being fired from her job. The other staff members are shocked when the find out she was fired, believing that her firing was unfair and illegal. The narrator then explains that, at the time, LGBTQ workers could be fired in 41 of the 50 states. The staff members ask Betty if they could help her, and the HRC's phone number appears on screen.
  • A series of blood donation PSAs portrayed situations where people had tried to do something about a social problem, only to end up making things worse. (E.g. a man begins a letter-writing campaign against a company that uses sweatshop labor, only to find out that his efforts have led to more child labor - and deforestation from all the wasted paper.) The PSAs then give a message that donating blood is an easier way to save the world - implying "don't try to help anyone via activism, you'll only cause more problems."
  • A radio PSA for birth control from the 80s featured Dan Fogelberg's "Longer." "From saying 'no' to taking the Pill. You're too smart not to use it."
  • Smoke Alarm: The Unfiltered Truth About Cigarettes is a 1996 HBO special that teaches kids about the harms of tobacco.
  • One billboard in Los Angeles has a real-time counter of smoking-related deaths during the year. It was erected by a former smoker in 1987 and still remains to this day. It's even started a small tradition every New Year's, as a small group of people watch the counter reset to zero at midnight.
  • Energy Upgrade California has run various PSAs on preserving energy:
    • A well repeated PSA has an offscreen narrator give various things to citizens of California, before finally giving California’s "39 Million Heirs" the state's beauty, as long as they preserve it in all its glory.
    • This one has various people doing smart energy conserving decisions, but everything is dimly lit. In the end, it explains that darker screens use 20% less energy, and thus, it saved you energy.
    • Another one has various famous structures represented by less energy consumption (An unplugged cable represents the long winding roads, a stack of plates represents the Capitol Records Building, and a ladder in a garage with the lights off casts a Golden Gate Bridge shadow), which represents Energy Upgrade's new incentive to lower energy consumption from 4PM to 9PM, as less clean energy is used at this time.
    • A rather interesting one in the form of a McDonald's billboard. In the day, it's a normal McDonald's chicken billboard, but at night, instead of the billboard lights turning on, a glow in the dark message reveals McDonald's partnership with Energy Upgrade, and calls the billboard an "energy saving billboard."
  • One 1987 PSA for "Art Against AIDS" featured The B-52s (who lost their guitarist, Ricky Wilson, to AIDS two years prior) doing a Sgt. Pepper's Shout-Out with other members of the project. The PSA was produced by Tom Rubnitz, known for creating the infamous Pickle Surprise video.
  • Metro Manners is a series of PSAs for the Los Angeles Metro that make heavy use of Magical Girl and Henshin Hero tropes to promote good behavior on public transportation.
  • A What Could Have Been example: Spike Spencer and Tiffany Grant, known for their work from Neon Genesis Evangelion as Shinji Ikari and Asuka Langley Soryu, respectively, recorded AIDS PSAs for the City of Houston as two teens having sex while an announcer talked about how one of the teens was killing the other by giving them AIDS. These PSAs were only mentioned by Spencer in a DVD commentary, and Grant at a convention appearance, as they were never released because the city believed their sounds were too realistic. Watch the story about the PSA by Red Bard here or listen to the PSA only portion here (Warning: both links contain NSFW audio)
  • Ohio's Department of Health released this ad during the COVID-19 pandemic. It demonstrates social distancing and staying at home by showing what happens when a ping pong ball falls into a large group of ping pongs in mouse traps placed right next to each other, and then showing what happens when the ping pongs in mouse traps are spaced farther apart.
  • In the early 2000s, PSAs with animated characters from Disney were popular, such as one with characters from The Little Mermaid about ocean pollution, one with Cinderella about booster seat safety (which makes no sense, because Cinderella was too old to use booster seats in her carriage), two ads with Bambi and Sleeping Beauty about wildfires (the Sleeping Beauty one featured the scene where Maleficent turns into a dragon), and an anti-smoking ad featuring footage from Pinocchio.
  • One gun safety PSA in the form of an 8 year old's unboxing video. The kid "unboxes" a gun and some bullets that he finds in his parents' bedroom, loads the gun on camera, and is implied to have accidentally shot himself at the end. The PSA emphasizes the need to lock guns by mentioning that 8 kids are shot by unlocked or misused guns every day.
  • "Focus on the Positive" is a 2002 anti-smoking PSA by the Government of Florida where a group of teenagers questions the head of an unspecified tobacco company about the harmful effects of cigarettes, only for him and everyone else to break into a Musical number focusing on tobacco's (non-existent) good points while cheerfully ignoring the complications and deaths it actually causes. This is to inform about supposedly anti-smoking campaigns from major tobacco industries and how they gloss over many details.
  • Zack of All Trades was an animated PSA series from the 80's featuring Luther Vandross teaching older kids about using their talents and interests to think ahead and plan their adult careers. You can watch some of these here.

  • "El perico tumba la paloma" is an anti-drug ad based around Double Entendre in Spanishnote . starts with three pigeons on an apartment roof until a parakeet comes along and scares off two of them. Then the parakeet starts harassing the remaining pigeon by shoving it, moving erratically, and even chirping loudly until the pigeon looks down and notices it's standing in the air, falling down to its death as a result. The ad ends with the parakeet chirping as the tagline appears.

  • This infamous advert from PETA has become famous on the internet after a number of response parody videos were made featuring different characters.
  • This one pretty well demonstrates what bikers and drivers the world 'round think of each other.
  • From Cracked:
  • Adam Hart-Davis and "Self-assessment. Tax doesn't have to be taxing."
  • Especially creepy are the anti-smoking ads. Remember the coughing baby? How about the woman smoking out of her stoma (a hole in her neck)?
  • An ad showing a young man riding his bicycle erratically, weaving through traffic, riding against traffic, and not watching where he's going, ending with, "And avoid... IMPACT!" as he slams into an opened car door, flies over it and leaves his blood and brains all over the pavement. (This was back before anyone even considered requiring helmets for anyone, let alone bicycle riders.)
  • One of the more memorable boat safety ads involves the narrator noting, "You don't think you need to wear a lifejacket yourself, but you'd never risk your kid's lives." The camera shows two children forlornly looking overboard of a powerboat into the water. "Good plan. They didn't need you anyway."
  • Nemyslis zaplatis was the tagline for a series of PSA's about driving safety, there was one about the dangers of holding your baby in your arms on a car journey it is horrific.
  • Red vs. Blue often releases "PSA" videos, though the only ones that weren't parodies were the two about voting (which were still humorous).
  • "Simon [a boy of about 8] is about to kill his father... In a crash, [without a seatbelt] at 50 km/h, Simon is hurled forward at [n] times his weight...a 650-kilo cannonball. adult."
  • A fear of trains can be safely blamed on a Special Assembly at school, where the usually non-threatening visiting policeman presented a half-hour of reasons why venturing onto railways is inadvisable. Reconstructions, interviews with bereaved parents, avuncular coppers showing safe ways to cross- all to be expected. Then, 3 still photographs of dead kiddies done in by various trainly dangers. One perched on an embankment, presumably having been flung there by a passing express. One on a slab, peaceful apart from some serious electrocution burns. The last, photographed before being scooped off the tracks, was an upper body and head shot of a 'run-over' victim; until then, it had not been clear that people struck by heavy locomotives do not politely slide under the wheels, but undergo violent dismemberment. This particular example still had an intact head and arms and the worst aspect was their slightly puzzled expression- a sort of "Hmm, what's that odd rumbling noise?" face. Evidently the train had struck them before they could switch to 'Argh, impending death!' An undignified fainting spell was narrowly avoided. Twelve years later, including three years of daily train journeys, and the fear remains; the conditioning worked a little too well.
    • Top Gear (UK) did a PSA on the dangers of trying to run railway crossings in your car. The best ways to avoid getting hit by the train were to not be an elderly driver and to always wear your high-visibility jacket. Needless to say, they received some complaints.
  • The National Lampoon did a comic book-format PSA parody "Heading For Trouble" that managed to fit in drunk driving, starting forest fires, littering, hitchhiking, chatting on police emergency phones while dressed in commercial trademark character costumes - sublime absurdism from Brian McConnachie.
  • There was a PSA showing a home video of an adorable year-old baby repeating simple Spanish words for numbers from her mother. Then it shows a message saying how the baby was killed by an irresponsible drunk driver a month or so after the video was taken.
    • Many anti-drunk driving ads use this premise. Home movie footage is shown of a person who died in an accident caused by drunk driving. The most recent one featured a Marine who just graduated boot camp.
    • Australia had a similar one. A father and son were driving along, talking about what they were going to eat for dinner, and suddenly, BOOM! He hits a woman. We see her mangled corpse, a bleeding baby, and the son crying, "DA-da-dadyyyyy!" There's an alternate version with text that tells us what happened to each person in the future, and it's arguably worse.
    • The UK ran a similar campaign during the mid-1990s, which showed home video footage of children who had later been killed by speeding drivers, with famous voiceovers reading solemn poetry about death and grieving (including John Hannah's rendition of WH Auden's Funeral Blues as heard in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.)
  • Your local Street Fighter machine would like to remind you that Winners Don't Use Drugs.
    • That one among many others beginning in the late-1980's, and for the most part is still included in new arcade games (in North America). NARC, which already had an anti-drug theme, was one of the first arcade games, if not the first arcade game to feature it.
      • Moreover, the laserdisc game Hologram Time Traveler, went a little bit further by having "Marshall Gram" (the main playable character) come out and tell the players directly, "And just remember pardner, winners don't use drugs".
      • Among its many Shout Outs, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game reminds you that "Winners Don't Eat Meat."
      • Rock Band has an arcade venue where the cabinets will occasionally show the screen. It's very rare that a shot of one of the cabinets will be clear enough while it's showing this screen for a keen eye to notice the first word is "Weiners".
  • Doctor Steel has made several of these covering philosophical subjects such as transhumanism, freedom of thought, and subjective reality and posted them on YouTube. He also has mock PSAs within his films The Dr. Steel Show, Episodes 1 and 2.
  • American and British schools alike bring in either acting troupes or guest speakers, to talk about social issues such as drugs. If the show is hard-hitting enough, it has the unfortunate side effect of making arouund a third of the audience pass out or cry. Don't do drugs, kids.
  • [adult swim] has a number of 15-second spoof PSA bumps, featuring such things as "Educational television makes babies retarded."
  • chainsawsuit had fun with PSA that are set up as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. And a warning about hiccups.
  • Crank Yankers has a "You Got to Know" PSA segment with Karl Malone saying: "Remember kids - Karl Malone say, 'no runnin' by pool with scissors.'"
  • Chelsea Handler says "It's O.K. to be non-gay." in this mock PSA.
  • Key & Peele have a really bizzare parody involving Mr. T, where he ignores the kids talking about racism, drugs, or alcohol but immediately appears when they make a reference that could be tied back to him.
  • Director Jeffrey Wisotsky in association with the Narcotics Task Force and NYC Housing Authority made a series of anti-drug PSA spots during the mid 80s. This one appears to be the most straightforward one out of them. All of the PSA spots in the series were cheesily acted, however, it's not apparent what they were aiming for with this one. Crack is like "putting a gun to your mouth and pulling the trigger!" is clear enough, but the actor's unusal delivery (coupled with a forced attempt to appear intense and seemingly voice change mid sentence) has been compared to a very odd Christopher Walken impersonation.
  • "Over the Limit, Under Arrest", which showed how you can't hide how much you've been drinking. They did this by showing people driving around with the insides of their cars filled with beer (or other alcohol), which cascades out when the car door is opened...and no doubt ruining numerous cars while filming.
  • There is a warning against distracted driving in end credits of Doctor Strange (2016) (with the film itself showing the consequences to the title character).
  • The infamous UNICEF ad that showed planes and tanks bombing the heck out of a Smurf village and lingered on the results. It's even worse when you realize that this ad was actually approved by Peyo's family. Although it was pulled from TV in the United States, it became the image link for Sugar Apocalypse.
  • A Game of Cat and Cat: One chapter is called "Your Daily Public Service Announcement Against Underage Drinking, or, Don't Drink and Dash".
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency combined this with Homogenous Multinational Ad Campaign in a campaign aimed at Central America named the Dangers Awareness Campaign. One PSA that aired in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador shows a man in the U.S. (implied to have crossed over illegally) receiving a letter from his nephew telling him that he is taking the journey to the U.S., despite his mother warning him of the risks, deciding that, "he that does not risk, does not gain", and hoping to make his mother smile by sending her money. The last shot is of the nephew lying dead in the desert while the narrator warns families not to let their youngsters take the journey, lest they fall victim to smugglers or the dangerous conditions. There was also a song sent to radio stations, that warns people not to take La Bestia, a train known for migrant freighthopping.

Alternative Title(s): Government Information Adverts, PSA


"Pinky Pledge" PSA

This PSA about Internet safety shows two friends promise to stay safe online.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

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