Coronavirus PSA

Stay Calm and Wash Your Hands

With the novel coronavirus exploding around the world, medical authorities are telling us that one of the most effective deterrents is to wash our hands often (same order our mothers gave us when we were five).  The advice is that we should wash our hands thoroughly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds, equivalent to the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” slowly twice.   It is not enough to just perform a cursory rinse, but to actually scrub our hands – top, palm, and between the fingers.  Rather than lecturing people to perform this basic hygiene, some countries are releasing entertaining public service announcements to keep our attention.   Two of our favorites are this orchestral spoof from Iran, performed by comedian Danial Kheirikhah and a choreographed demonstration from Vietnam by Quang Dang. Enjoy the video but take the advice deadly seriously, as if your life depends on it. It does.

Gun Violence PSA

Loss of Innocence Gun Control PSA


At the start of the school year, kids used to worry about fitting in, looking and acting cool, becoming one of the “popular” kids, and, oh yes, their grades.  But with the increasing number of shootings on school campuses, those worries are overshadowed by larger fears.  Just since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School seven years ago, which took the lives of 20 children as young as six and seven, more than 400 people have been shot on U.S. school campuses, and many more at public venues like concerts, shopping malls and local fairs.  

So along with the usual back-to-school product pitches, this public service ad was timed for release at the start of the school year.  Sponsored by the gun-safety group, Sandy Hook Promise, and produced by BBDO ad agency, the PSA has no voiceovers on gun control or violence, but leaves a powerful message on why something must be done NOW. 

Looking back, the days when school kids practiced getting under their desks and covering their heads in the event of a nuclear bomb attack seem so innocent.  All we had to worry about was the bomb, not an active shooter on campus.


UK “Crime Bosses” Teach Emergency CPR

Public service announcements (PSAs) mean well, but often times they play on people’s fears, guilt or soft-heartedness to get viewers to pay attention. That’s why these PSAs from the British Heart Foundation are so refreshing. Produced by Grey London and directed by Steve Bendelack, the new Mini Vinnie CPR ad is a sequel to one done featuring British actor/pro football player Vinnie Jones. Embedded in the spoof are some valuable tips on how to give hard and fast hands-only CPR in an emergency. These entertaining ads follow in the tradition of the British Heart Foundation’s PSA, starring British actor/playwright Steven Berkoff on how to identify the symptoms of a heart attack. They are all about stayin’ alive.

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