PSAs (Public Service Announcements) are meant to address important issues and help keep the general public safe. But sometimes, they take the helpfulness a bit too far and become memorable for all the wrong reasons.
From “House Hippos” to the quirky “Don’t Put it in Your Mouth” jingle, these PSAs have set up camp in our brains and are there to stay. (But I guess that was sort of the point).
So, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the Canadian PSAs that live rent-free in our heads.
1. “This Is Your Brain On Drugs”
First up, who can forget that ever-present “This is your brain on drugs” PSA from the ’80s? It isn’t technically Canadian but chances are you’ve seen it if you were around in the 80s.
2. “Don’t You Put it in Your Mouth”
Ah, the days of innocence when we were wide-eyed kids with boundless curiosity and a penchant for putting everything in our mouths!
Enter the “Don’t You Put it in Your Mouth” PSA, which took childlike wonder to a whole new level with its catchy tune and fuzzy bright coloured puppets.
3. “Only Touch Things That Are Good For You”
In this PSA we learned all about why we should only take medicine or drugs if mommy and daddy say it’s okay.
4. “Everyone Should Know This Warning Picture”
In this PSA aliens try to give a dog some poison because it has bones on the label. Luckily the dog has been taught that the symbol means danger …
5. “When It’s Time To Eat … Use Your Head”
How about this PSA that uses decapitation to convince kids to eat a variety of foods? Talk about nightmare fuel.
6. “Why Let Someone Else Decide Who You Should Be”
Can we talk about the terrifying beauty factory in this PSA about being yourself and not conforming to others?
7. “House Hippo”
Who knew miniature hippos could be nesting in our homes, scurrying around like nocturnal ninjas? That innocent-looking critter had us all inspecting every nook and cranny, hoping to catch a glimpse of these elusive house guests.
I think finding out they weren’t real was more heartbreaking than finding out the truth about Santa.
8. “What’s Your Thing?”
Any number of moments from this PSA can easily get stuck in your head from the catchy tunes to the “Nobody’s good at everything but everybody’s good at something” messaging. For me, it’s the t-rex sound effect and “Mom! Aidan cut me in half again!”
9. “Stay Alert, Stay Safe”
Does this catchy tune ring a bell? “Watch out. Beware. Things aren’t always what they seem. We’ll show you what we mean … stay alert, stay safe.”
While you may not remember this specific PSA, chances are you remember Bert and Gert showing up on the screen with tips on how to stay alert and stay safe.
These are just some of the PSAs that have become fixtures in our daily lives. Sometimes they provide guidance, other times their quirkiness made us roll our eyes or chuckle.
Whatever the reason, they have left a lasting impression.