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He actually looks as if he expects to win a case.

DA Hamilton Burger may be the best-known loser of early TV, but his portrayer William Talman's life (content excerpted from the Perry Mason TV show book) was far more interesting. At the height of his fame in 1960, Talman arrested at a nude pot party, and was fired and blacklisted as a result. It took Raymond Burr, the cast, and the fans to eventually get him his job back. At the end of his life, on the verge of dying, he made a powerful anti-smoking PSA (the PSA itself)
posted by julen on Aug 3, 2014 - 23 comments

[Suit not actually available]

A PSA by St John Ambulance illustrates the cost of overprotective parenting. [SLYT]
posted by gottabefunky on Jul 25, 2014 - 10 comments

The Whitecard Game

An occupational safety training videogame for construction workers with horrifying accident simulation. [more inside]
posted by pinothefrog on Feb 19, 2014 - 16 comments

To Kill a Child, by Stig Dagerman

To Kill a Child, by Stig Dagerman (Wikipedia). Translated by Steven Hartman. For a meager fee of seventy-five kronor Dagerman was commissioned by the National Society for Road Safety to write a cautionary tale as part of a campaign designed to get Swedish motorists to slow down on highways when speeding was becoming an increasingly difficult social issue with serious consequences for public safety. What could have been an ephemeral and gimmicky work of public service fiction became perhaps the greatest short short story in the history of Swedish letters, for in this tale Dagerman took the simple redressing of a particular social problem as the starting point rather than as an end in itself and out of these mundane materials created a poignant tale of choice, chance, and human loss that rises to the highest levels of art, literary balance, and philosophical concision.
posted by russilwvong on Feb 2, 2014 - 13 comments

PSA

STAY IN SCHOOL! Some advice from the Learn for Life Foundation of Western Australia.
posted by crossoverman on Jan 31, 2014 - 32 comments

Other People Make Mistakes, Slow Down

An astonishing driving safety PSA from the New Zealand government (SLYT), via
posted by beisny on Jan 10, 2014 - 89 comments

No thanks, I use video games to escape my reality

Are your "friends" pushing illegal marijuana cigarettes? Don't let drugs get in the way of your dream car! Keep sober with these snappy comebacks to narcotics. [SLYT Australian PSA]
posted by porn in the woods on Oct 21, 2013 - 39 comments

HEAPS OF BURGERS HEEEEAPS OF BURGERS AND THEN THE MONKEYS AND BANANAS

"A perfect little stoner play put on by three adorable children." [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo on Sep 16, 2013 - 28 comments

There are no Z-Rays

Help stamp out quackery.
posted by nadawi on Sep 2, 2013 - 37 comments

"Another One Bites the Dust" also works, but is counterintuitive.

Several years ago, the American Heart Association was looking for a song with 100 beats per minute to help instruct people in Hands-Only CPR. They found their song in the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive". Here is "Community" star (and licensed M.D.) Ken Jeong to show you how its done (Bonus Behind-the-scenes video here).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 31, 2013 - 72 comments

Queen Elizabeth's nuclear war speech, and other undelivered speeches

"It would have been the Queen’s Speech to end them all. At midday on Friday 4 March 1983, the monarch was due to address the nation to announce that Britain was at war and – due to the “deadly power of abused technology” – a nuclear conflict was at hand." But it was only part of Wintex-Cimex 83, a large-scale annual NATO war game. This is just one example of speeches that were written in case of the worst, but never given. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 1, 2013 - 31 comments

The Best PSA Ever: Ricky Is Caught Masturbating

From the non-judgemental acoustic music, his mum's speech and Ricky's facial expression at the end, this public service announcement about how to handle that awkward moment when you walk in on your kid masturbating is (probably unintentionally) hilarious. (SFW)
posted by Effigy2000 on Jun 5, 2013 - 88 comments

Another Stupid Newsreel! I Hate The News.

We visited Weirdo Video back in 07 for propaganda films, but the YouTube channel has been steadily updating with yesterday's ephemera. Why not enjoy some vintage newsreels about STRIKES! SULTANS! SUEZ! SAN FRANSISCO! or some FITNESS FADS!
posted by The Whelk on May 16, 2013 - 2 comments

Can you brown this up for me?

Josh Way's MST3k/Rifftracks-esque series FUN WITH SHORTS (previously) returns after a long haitus with the businessman filmstrip PROMOTION BY-PASS and the utterly bizarre stop-motion cartoon MUNCHERS
posted by The Whelk on May 3, 2013 - 6 comments

MetaFilter is my anti-drug.

Popular Science explores the psychology behind anti-drug PSA's and whether they help keep kids off drugs... [more inside]
posted by ApathyGirl on Apr 16, 2013 - 89 comments

Who are you?

Keep an eye on your mates when you're out – You look after them, they look after you. It's all about having fun and making it home safely. It's not about being a hero – it's about doing something small. (7:58) A New Zealand PSA about sexual assault prevention focusing on bystanders [WARNING sexual assault triggers abound] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 21, 2013 - 26 comments

The meanest PSA ever?

New York City has announced a new teen pregnancy prevention campaign. Some are calling them the meanest PSAs ever. [more inside]
posted by Stewriffic on Mar 4, 2013 - 107 comments

Excuse me while I dust off the treadmill

What will your last ten years look like? A powerful PSA that will get you off your couch. Another health-related PSA that will make you cry.
posted by desjardins on Feb 23, 2013 - 83 comments

Charlie Says No More

Road safety adverts will no longer be shown on television in England because the Department for Transport has decided to "re-prioritise" its budget. Commenting on the cutting of TV adverts, road safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: "Road deaths are at a record low but we know that one death is one too many. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Feb 10, 2013 - 15 comments

...and then you strangle a giant slug with a chain.

Searching for Slave Leia fiction by Sandra McDonald. Slave Leia PSA starring Kaley Cuoco (yt), Leia's Metal Bikini, Meet the Slave Leia's of Star Wars Celebration V (yt), Slave Leia Appreciation Society, In Defense of Slave Leia , In Response to In Defense of Slave Leia.
posted by Artw on Nov 10, 2012 - 76 comments

RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.

RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. A PSA by The City of Houston released three days after the Aurora masacre.
posted by splatta on Jul 30, 2012 - 214 comments

All my teeth love me.

Teach Me How To Brushy (SLYT PSA)
posted by OverlappingElvis on Jul 17, 2012 - 20 comments

How to look your best the morning after

How to look your best the morning after (SLYT): makeup celebrity Lauren Luke aka panacea81 does a stealth PSA for domestic violence charity Refuge. (Interview)
posted by DarlingBri on Jul 3, 2012 - 15 comments

You can play hard, but play it safe.

If you see anything that looks like those, don't touch them. This PSA, featuring the Say Hey Kid warning American youth of the dangers of blasting caps, made a huge impression on pretty much everyone I know that was born in the mid-to-late 50s. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Jun 14, 2012 - 28 comments

The Great Tohoku Earworm of 2011

Following the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, commercials largely disappeared from television. To fill space between the news reports and lists of missing people, the Ad Council of Japan put together a number of PSAs. Since there were only five or ten of them, the PSAs played thousands of times over the course of a few months, searing themselves into the memory of the Japanese public. Most were typical messages about common courtesy, perseverance, listening to your kids, conservation, and international support. But one PSA in particular quickly took on a life of its own, instantly being mashed up with a classic Japanese TV trope: Robot Transformation Sequences! [more inside]
posted by azuresunday on Mar 11, 2012 - 37 comments

...meth is apparently a hell of a drug...

Caution: Disturbing, potentially triggering and possibly NSFW content: The Meth Project, known for their gritty, confrontational and disturbing online and print ads, which graphically depict the effects of methamphetamine drug use, launched a new, interactive website last week. The revamped site gives visitors an opportunity to share their own stories. They've also premiered four new 30-second television PSA's by the director of Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, Darren Aronofsky: E.R., Deep End, Losing Control and Desperate. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 16, 2011 - 103 comments

Ah, the 70's...

R2-D2 thinks he has whooping cough, a cantina alien gets too drunk to drive, and C3-P0 explains why smoking is bad for you.
posted by GavinR on Nov 12, 2011 - 38 comments

"You know I can't grab your ghost chip!"

A jolly drunk driving PSA from our cuzs over in New Zealand. SLYT.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Oct 27, 2011 - 53 comments

Wanna see something cool?

The Midnight Show riffs on Twilight and advertises cars while giving NSFL advice and teaching us how to love our dogs, but not our children. Most importantly they keep us safe with their PSAs
posted by Knigel on Sep 13, 2011 - 7 comments

(Factory) Farmers, Don't Let Your Piggies Grow Up To Be Tacos

"Attention, industrial farmers. Willie Nelson wants you to stop drugging your pigs and smashing them into compact, easily shippable pork cubes. So does Chipotle." Farm Aid organizer Willie Nelson covers Coldplay's "The Scientist" for a pseudo PSA for burrito chain Chipotle's foundation to support sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.
posted by Frank Grimes on Aug 30, 2011 - 58 comments

Drugs Are Like That

Anita Bryant wants to tell your kids about drugs using LEGOs
posted by The Whelk on Aug 5, 2011 - 59 comments

Putting Your Finger On It

Sexy Fingers [NSFW funky French 2011 AIDS prevention PSA]. And if that touched you the right way, you'll definitely want to poke around sexyfingers.org [also NSFW but loads of Flash Friday fun]. [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo on Jul 22, 2011 - 16 comments

Bike Awareness!

A few of the best bicycle awareness PSA videos you'll ever see.
posted by Windigo on Mar 26, 2011 - 38 comments

"It's never too early......"

A Public Service Announcement. Here are some sobering facts about the world today: Every day, millions of kids go to sleep having never been introduced to Chewbacca, and, worse, countless more think Greedo shot first. We here at Asylum want to make sure you and your child have an open and healthy conversation about Jar Jar and the differences between a "good trilogy" and an "uh-oh trilogy." So we've provided you with this, a PSA on talking to your child about Star Wars.
posted by Fizz on Nov 18, 2010 - 38 comments

Laugh your tuches off

Judd Apatow made a public service announcement for the American Jewish World Service that won't be shown on TV, and not just because it's five minutes long. AJWS is a quiet but powerful force for good in the world. The organization was among the first on the ground and continues to help rebuild in Haiti, post-tsunami India, and many other places around the world. This is its 25th year of philanthropy and humanitarian aid (and its president's 70th birthday).
posted by yiftach on Nov 12, 2010 - 34 comments

1970s Public Service Announcements

VD is for Everybody. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice on Jun 24, 2010 - 25 comments

bof fri fleu

Given the news that Joe Biden's son Beau had a mild stroke today, perhaps it would be helpful to know the warning sides. FAST was a series of public service announcements from the Massachusetts Department of Health. You could be a hero! HBCH!
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 11, 2010 - 31 comments

Unwitting bystanders.

Dutch PSA uses augmented reality to make a point about aggression against public service employees. (SLYT)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 28, 2010 - 40 comments

Mind the High Beams

Honk. [SLYT]
posted by william_boot on Mar 8, 2010 - 33 comments

Buckle Up

Embrace Life: A lovely road safety PSA from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by castlebravo on Feb 3, 2010 - 18 comments

Hitler Sex...Ewww...

The 30 Freakiest Commercials and PSAs of 2009.
posted by Weebot on Dec 30, 2009 - 55 comments

It's Our Pleasure to Serve You

Five short "Personal Service Announcements" from Laurie Anderson • The National DebtTV LunchWomen and MoneyJerry-RiggingThe National Anthem • They were aired in 1990 on VH1 as bumpers between videos. [ Thanks hippybear! ]
posted by not_on_display on Dec 15, 2009 - 27 comments

Advertising in the public interest

"What if America wasn't America?" That was the question posed by a series of ads broadcast in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ads which depicted a dystopian America bereft of liberty: Library - Diner - Church. Together with more positive ads like Remember Freedom and I Am an American, they encouraged frightened viewers to cherish their freedoms and defend against division and prejudice in the face of terrorism (seven years previously). The campaign was the work of the Ad Council, a non-profit agency that employs the creative muscle of volunteer advertisers to raise awareness for social issues of national importance. Founded during WWII as the War Advertising Council, the organization has been behind some of the most memorable public service campaigns in American history, including Rosie the Riveter, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the Crash Test Dummies. And the Council is still at it today, producing striking, funny, and above all effective PSAs on everything from student invention to global warming to arts education to community service.

Additional resources: A-to-Z index of Ad Council campaigns - Campaigns organized by category - Award-winning campaigns - PSA Central: A free download directory of TV, radio, and print PSAs (registration req'd) - An exhaustive history of the Ad Council [46-page PDF] - YouTube channel - Vimeo channel - Twitter feed
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 11, 2009 - 69 comments

What am I doing, I don't even LIKE beets!

Many TV-savvy Canadians will be familiar with the distinctive painted exclamation mark of the Concerned Children's Advertisers. For nearly 20 years, the CCA has partnered with broadcasters across the country in order to produce and air PSAs aimed at kids. This has resulted in some classic spots on such topics as drug use prevention, media literacy, and more recently a series on the importance of fitness. A personal favorite: the alternately endearing and terribly creepy Don't You Put It In Your Mouth (feat. Scary, Anemic Lion). [more inside]
posted by Monster_Zero on Aug 19, 2009 - 13 comments

IT'S ALL PIPES!!!

Brazil's new water conservation campaign: Xixi no Banho! (slyt)
posted by Sys Rq on Aug 6, 2009 - 86 comments

Don't Talk to Robots

PSA's from the Future
posted by Pater Aletheias on Jul 17, 2009 - 48 comments

Huh. Kinda reminds me of that guy in Casino Royale.

Bleeding billboard. Yeah, that's what I said.
posted by miss lynnster on Jul 7, 2009 - 38 comments

That Wasn't in the Script

Via The A.V. Club (which was in turn via Jezebel): Actress Keira Knightley stars in a (graphic) domestic violence PSA for the UK charity Women's Aid. Probably SFW, but may be very upsetting to watch.
posted by kittens for breakfast on Apr 2, 2009 - 56 comments

PSAs Gone Wrong.

The Nine Weirdest PSAs Ever Made.
posted by gman on Feb 23, 2009 - 73 comments

Aunt Bee and Big Al say vote McCain!

Okay, this election is officially weird. Opie, Andy, Richie and the Fonz apparently want us to vote Obama. Sadly, it's missing the kind of catchy songs featured in Fonzie's other PSA (NSFW).
posted by miss lynnster on Oct 23, 2008 - 55 comments

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