Anti-drug PSA’s have been coming out for decades, and have used crazy tactics to grab viewer’s attention. Drama, hip hop dancing, and zombie faces are just some of the tools these PSA’s have used to stand out in the commercial break. From the vintage drug PSA’s of the 80’s, to the grisly PSA’s of recent years, here are some of the most memorable anti-drug ads ever:
Pee-wee Herman’s PSA
This Ad features the famous Paul Reuben, AKA Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee was the subject of a popular TV series for children during the 80’s. Seeing Pee-wee acting not only serious, but condemning the use of crack made an impression on everyone watching at the time.
“This is Your Brain on Drugs”
Arguable the most popular anti-drug ad of all time, you can still hear people saying the tagline today. This ad was even revamped in a newer PSA featuring actress Rachel Leigh Cook, who smashes the egg with the frying pan.
This Fresh Prince-esque ad came out in the late 80’s. Because of its catchy tune and choreography, the “Straight Up” ad sticks out because it is a clear move away from the “scare tactics” used in other anti-drug ads at the time.
I Love My Boyfriend
PSA’s of the 200’s began moving away from over-the-top dialogues between kids and their parents, and began featuring more grisly scenes. The girl in this video has a rugged face, and the feel of the commercial is disturbing, which shows the separation from the previous, older PSA’s.
This is the newest ad on the list, featuring during Super Bowl 50. This ad tackles heroin, showing a cheerleader who throws down her pompoms, ditches her dog, and abandons her car because of her heroin use. The ad is a little over the top, but is interesting because it uses a cheerleader as the subject, and since it aired during a Super Bowl, gains some context because of its timeliness.