Monday, June 16, 2008

Canadian PSAs from my childhood

Stay Alert, Stay Safe

So, are those bunnies boyfriend and girlfriend? I’m not really sure, but I guess it resonated with kids because Tiny Toon Adventures was so popular at the time. These were pretty cool PSAs and likely effective considering how much kids love cartoons. We still love cartoons.

What was lame:

  • (2:05) “Way to be” umm…..???
  • (3:00) “Always stay away from lonely places like alleys, woods, paths, and schoolyards!” Isn’t it strange that in high school I couldn’t wait to leave class to go hang out in those very places?
  • (3:45) “Cool dudes wouldn’t go off alone if they don’t have to” – and with that the independence of all Gen Y’ers is effectively squashed.
  • (4:10) A hot blonde whose car is broken down? Come on!

What I learned:

  • I really wish I had one of those floating skateboards like Bert and Gert.
  • Daniel is smart and doesn’t let any sick pedos fool him over!
  • “Never let the caller know you’re alone” – wasn’t this the central theme of Scream? Wise words, Gert.

Body Break

Oh Body Break. These health segments that seemed to run all the time on Canwest, CBC, and CTV stations during the best hours of programming. I especially liked how the summer oriented commercials would run well into the middle of winter as we’re three feet deep in snow and seeing Hal Johnson and Joanne McCloud go sea kayaking seems like a horrible middle finger to television audiences.

What was lame:

  • The music! Synthesizers never sounded so awful
  • Apparently all of my food needs can be shown in one confusing graph
  • Hal’s moustache. Maybe he was trying to look like Freddie Mercury but he missed the boat by about 20 years.

What I learned:

  • Eat healthy or I’ll have to deal with quiet-speaking health nuts in my kitchen.

Don’t you put it in your mouth

Everything is awful about this commercial. The cheap puppets, the spotty lighting, the ridiculous lyrics. The talking voiceover is cool though, it reminds me of Dr. Hanibal Lecter – “Tell me Clarice, do you still hear the lambs?” Honestly, Silence of the Lambs is a much better PSA than this crap!

What’s Lame:

  • Beets are not a delicious substitute for candy.
  • Blue monsters are not an effective substitute for rabbits on hoverboards to teach kids about safety.

What I learned:

  • The damn song! I’ve committed it to memory now.
  • To be scared, very scared:

Drugs Drugs Drugs

This is the trippiest PSA ever. It succeeds in getting kids more interested in drugs so they themselves can discover “which are good, which are bad”. I love the kids simultaneously itching themselves and picking their noses while lip syncing ‘drugs, drugs, drugs’. With at least thirty children in the PSA I can just imagine the sobbing and temper tantrums that accompanied making this commercial. I really love how they show good drugs and bad drugs – actual drugs. So what purpose does it serve to show a five year old pictures of heroin and coke? If anything this commercial makes me want to take drugs to understand what the fuss is all about! After all, check out the police officer smiling after the shot of the bad drugs at 0:30.

What was lame:

  • Police officers rapping about drugs
  • The lyrics are incomprehensible over the synthesizer and seizure inducing flashes. I should take drugs to find out what they’re saying!
  • Another butch 'stache on Dad. Super manly.

What I learned:

  • To ask my mom or ask my dad about drugs because apparently they know a TONNE about drugs!

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