Archive for the ‘Scared Straight’ Category

Deadly Toast

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Here’s another of the more iconic spots from the ’80s, a very simple, straight-forward way to tell us ‘Don’t Drink and Drive.’ I remember being taken aback by the violent glass-crashing of this PSA as a youngster very well. In fact, this spot was probably a little too effecitve on my young, impressionable mind as I was convinced any drinking behind the wheel would result in certain death. Imagine the shock and terror I experienced at the sight of my father navigating our family vehicle down the highway with Pepsi Free in hand, completely shunning the TV narrator’s warning about the deadly results drinking and driving were sure to bring. ‘Why did the sadistic bastards at General Motors even put cup holders in their cars in the first place?’ I wondered. Were they trying to kill us all? Thankfully, after some clarification from my parents about good drinks and bad drinks — and several months of therapy — I better understood.

A world without trees

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

This powerful PSA about forest fire prevention creeped me out when I stumbled across it on an old tape a few years ago. I can only imagine what my thoughts were if I saw this as a young kid back in the 80s. It’s probably among those scary TV memories I’ve blocked out, like that episode of ‘Punky Brewster’ where Cherie gets locked in that old fridge. Oh great, now I’m going to have nightmares about that again. But I digress. The eerie imagery of the spot really punches you in the gut — the ominous gas masks, the vast lifelessness — It’s one of my favorite PSAs of the 80s because it does such a good job of scaring you into caring about its message. If you’re like me you’ll never touch another match after watching this. In fact, we should gather up all the matches, lighters, etc. and burn them… Oh wait, nevermind.