Eight Very Strange PSAs from the '70s, Featuring Terrible Sideburns and a War on Condiments
Fashion advice from the government.
In the course of our assiduous research into strange and ineffective anti-drug PSAs (public service announcements), we got somewhat immersed in the whole 1970s PSA world.
It's a world in which you want to tread lightly.
The PSAs can be creepy, ill-lit, grainy things that dare you to watch them, or they can be urging behavior no human being would ever consider.
But somewhere, someone thought they would be effective, or needed to be done for the good of society. Here are eight:
8. Love won't add weight
Even 40 years ago, people were wailing about kids getting fat. So they put together this ad -- aimed at kids -- urging them to tell Mom to give them a hug instead of cookie or cake when sympathy or praise is called for. That's ridiculous enough on its face, but then there's the whole creepy psychological subtext of kids lecturing parents on how to express love.
7. I can't drive 55, Part I
In the course of trying to get us to care about some hick Iowans, the makers of this PSA illustrate these Iowans a) forcing their kid to walk home because they couldn't catch a fish, and b) wearing the most hideous set of sideburns since the Civil War.
Drive 75 mph and screw 'em.
6. The war on condiments Obviously, the ketchup and sour cream industries were outgunned here. We don't recall any similar campaigns against high-fructose corn syrup.
5. With tangerine trees and marmalade skies This PSA makes more sense if you're totally high, which most kids were back then, we guess.
4. They come out at night We're not sure if this is a PSA or a low-budget zombie movie. But get those headlights adjusted twice a year, just in case.
3. Yuck Mouth The danger of bon-bons. Somehow this all involves playing baseball, but your guess is as good as ours as to how.
2. I can't drive 55, Part II At least this one includes the classic PSA/instructional film soundtrack of bland, peppy strings. And kids, just think what it was like driving 55 mph in the empty stretches of West Texas.
1. Problem solved This is one PSA that definitely worked, seeing how we have solved our dependence on foreign oil thanks to its wake-up message. Well done!
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