Monday, October 15, 2007

The Ad Council

When I'm at work I usually listen to about one hour of radio broadcasts streamed online during the day. If a commercial spot hasn't been sold on line it is usually replaced with a public service announcement (PSA) in place of a commercial. Just this morning I've heard PSA's that have promoted the following issues:

--The benefits of Fatherhood
--Being a friend to someone who has a mental disorder
--Reducing Gun Violence
--Americans need to save money from their paychecks

Obviously the founding fathers approved of the use of taking money from the productivity of every citizen of every state so that some positive, good message could be directed at a few citizens.

The earliest PSA was found in the Federalist Papers and was performed as a skit on the streets of all major cities. Below is an excerpt from those original transcripts:

Young lad - Hello, father!

Father - Good day to you son. Have you finished cleaning the rifles?

Young lad - Yes, father I have. I have a question though.

Father - What is your question my boy?

Young lad - Why must we kill the British Regulars to be free?

Father - It is because they are the force of arms by which King George wishes to take our property and the fruit of our labor without proper parliamentary representation.

Young lad - You're right father. I am ashamed for doubting you.

Father - Always remember the rhyme I've taught you son.

Young lad - Yes, father. If they march in red, by night they're dead!

Father - You're a fine boy!

Narrator - This message brought to you as a public service reminder from the Continental Congress who unlike King George, takes your money to protect you from yourself.

Ad Council parody ads are courtesy of It's off-color humor so if you're offended easily don't go there please.


berburbaby said...

Ha! I was reading this post through my blog reader, which groups all posts together in a big gob if I have the top node selected. I didn't know which blog it came from at first, thinking I had selected Sound Politics. As I was reading, I thought "How out of character for SP. This sounds like something Tracy would write."


Esther said...

That's too funny!

Of course, most of the time those public service announcements only bring up problems that the government exacerbated. Like saving money. The government tells us that we don't need to save money, they'll give us money when we get too old to work. Now they want us to save money? Wait, I'm confused.

Oh yeah, another funny thing, I think that negative ads about illegal drugs probably have more of an effect on drug use than the War on Drugs ever has.

Ronald said...

The anti-drug ones are the worst. It only serves to preserve the badge of rebellion that goes along with drug abuse...thus making it eternally popular with kids who want to rebel...sociology 101.

PlatinumGirl said...

I think I've seen or heard an ad re: being a friend to someone w/mental illness recently. I thought it was odd.