Category: Countdowns

TOP 12: CHRISTMAS PSAs

Whatever way you’re celebrating or not celebrating crimbo, Christmas has also been the time of creepy, disturbing, and soul-crushing PSAs – and you know me, I’d choose to binge on morbid and harrowing PSAs than a revolting, arty-farty mince pie any day. But I do love a good sprout, though (yes, I’m one of those people).

TOP 10: SCARIEST AIDS AWARENESS COMMERCIALS

If you are a fan of disturbing PSAs and classic Public Information Films, then this list of anti-AIDS commercials will be right up your street. And everyone else’s street for that matter. In fact the whole town will be horrified, just like many of the British households were back in the 1980s when the AIDS pandemic broke out, and when a series of infamously terrifying PIFs were made.

TOP 10: SCARIEST WORK SAFETY COMMERCIALS

Ah, work safety. One of my favourite genres of nightmare-fuel PSAs… and judging by the thumbnail, you can probably tell why. Work safety PSAs are anything but tame, and if you aren’t already familiar with them, by the end of this video you may want to just give up all hope of ever being in a workplace environment, resort to bubble-wrapping up your entire household and becoming a hermit for the rest of your life: I wouldn’t blame you.

TOP 10: MOST EFFECTIVE BRITISH ADVERTS

Britain has been known for its very macabre and grotesque collection of Public Information Films (PIFs) over the years: including (but by no means limited to) the “Dark and Lonely Water” which showed a black-hoodied figure haunting children who’d succumb to many unfortunate circumstances – and thus their inevitable deaths – by drowning in deep waters, in turn traumatising a whole generation of children (including my own mother) back in the 1970s. Unfortunately, times have changed since then. We don’t have haunting public information films being produced anymore, especially since the death of the long-lived, and long-loved, Central Office of Information (COI) in 2011.

TOP 50: SCARIEST ANTI-DRUGS PSAs

“Drugs, drugs, drugs – which are good, which are bad?” – as the famous jingle goes. Unfortunately, there are no ‘good’ drugs featured in this countdown, I’m afraid. They’re all bad. On today’s journey, we touch up on things like cocaine, heroin, meth, marijuana… nearly all of it if I’m honest. Now, it’s easy to tell someone that “drugs are bad” but the question is, “how bad are they?” – turns out, they are frighteningly bad. Well, according to these commercials anyway.

TOP 10: MY FAVOURITE COMMERCIALS

We all have our favourite commercials which we can’t help but love… unless you’re a boring sod and absolutely despise commercials, of course. Not every commercial has artistic depth, I agree (think of those bloody annoying Cillit Bang ads with the overly-obnoxious Barry Scott screaming down your earholes). But to me, commercials aren’t just about the cliché sort of “advertising something” or “selling a product” – it’s about the creativity behind them. We may not necessarily go out of our way to buy the associated product at the end of the commercial, but that doesn’t stop us appreciating the creativity, and brilliance of that commercial. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I need to go outdoors more. But I have always absolutely adored commercials since I was a young child.

TOP 40: SCARIEST ANTI-SMOKING COMMERCIALS

Tobacco is the single biggest cause of cancer in the world, killing nearly 6 million people each year – with half of its users gradually being killed by smoking-related diseases. In order to tackle tobacco use and highlight its consequences on not just smokers themselves, but also others around them, hard-hitting anti-tobacco advertisements have been created to graphically portray the consequences of smoking. This countdown includes 40 of the most graphic, shocking and effective anti-smoking commercials to have ever been produced.