In lieu of something else to talk about at the moment, I’ll open up the floor for discussions of and/or links to the great scaremongering anti-drug Public Service Announcements, from the Partnership For a Drug-Free America or otherwise.
The ad that freaked me out the most as a kid was one I’ve never been able to find again: it had an anguished father screaming about how he knew drugs were dangerous, but he didn’t tell his son until it was too late. The camera pulls out and (as I recall) we see that he’s standing over his son’s grave. The lesson in this commercial, aimed at parents, is that if you don’t scare your kids, they will die. Nothing manipulative about that.
While I couldn’t find that one, I did find my runner-up, one of the PFaD-FA’s more artsy ads. What I like about it is that it makes it seem like being a junkie will make you run really fast and fall really gracefully, so the unintentional message of the ad is: if you want to be a track star or a ballerina, take drugs!
I also like this one about what happens to your brain on The Demon Marijuana, which I think is much funnier than the famous “brain = egg” ad:
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