In some cases Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are requirements, as Laurie pointed out in her article yesterday. In other cases they’re funded by organizations or private groups with the general attempt to help make the world a better place.
The Red Stripe Beer PSA that was cited yesterday is a way in which a brand was able to fulfill marketing goals while complying with government regulations.
But what about PSAs that don’t have the same level of funding? Often times they become the object of ridicule. Yet sometimes their creativity catches on and becomes so popular it achieves cult status.
“This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FtNm9CgA6U became a national phenomenon in the 1980s, during a time when cocaine and crack cocaine use was surging despite the First Lady Nancy Reagan’s “just say no” campaign.
The Partnership for a Drug Free America has continued with some of the most profound messages with TV spots including the “I learned it from watching you” PSA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arOoqpEiovY&feature=related.
Some may say that PSAs hold little value, but the recall and cultural influence that these TV Spots provided have a lasting effect on the fabric of our communities and improving lives. Certainly, some PSAs are ineffective, but the depth of these spots — their ability to resonate and relate to terms we understand — become obvious in the volume of our responses to them.