By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
Every now and then, a commercial really grabs our attention. Like this one, which aired during the Oscars this year. At first you think it's a typical fancy shmancy perfume ad, but it turns out to be a public service announcement about cervical cancer. Whoa.
This got us thinking about some of the most unforgettable PSAs and public health campaigns of all time. Based on an unofficial SELF poll, here they are:
1. Milk... It Does a Body Good! Why it got our attention: The commercial promised that milk would make us big and strong --what kid doesn't want that!? Turns out, milk can also do a body good by aiding weight loss. According to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, over two years, dieters who drank fat-free milk (nearly 2 cups a day) lost about 40 percent more weight than those who didn't.
Related: Find out how to get in the best shape of your life now!
2. This Is Your Brain On Drugs. Any Questions? Why it got our attention: Since it first aired in 1987, it's been the the most widely shown TV message in the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's history -- and was startling enough to make us temporarily forget about Luke Perry's raspy hotness during "90210" commercial breaks. Fried brains, people!
3. I Learned It by Watching You! Why it got our attention: Almost everyone can relate to being busted by mom and dad for smoking cigarettes or drinking. This PSA flipped the tables and busted the parent. It made drugs a family issue.
Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
4. Buckle Up With the Crash Test Dummies. Why it got our attention: Studies show that wearing a seat belt can reduce your risk of death by 30 to 50 percent if you get in a car wreck. While stats like this one are compelling, they feel lecture-ish (especially when you're 16). These dummies are so cute and likable that you want to listen to their buckle-up-or-else message.
5. Pee Wee Herman: The Thrill Can Kill. Why it got our attention: Pee Wee Herman (prior to his porn scandal) was a fun-loving jokester. So, to see him get serious about crack was shocking -- especially when he says "It's not just wrong. It could be dead wrong." Cue the gong.
6. Time for Timer: Eat Breakfast! Why it got our attention: Though the characters are borderline creepy and we're not so sure about the quick mention of steak, overall, we dig the message. Studies have shown that skipping the first meal of the day may increase your chances of becoming obese, developing diabetes or having a heart attack. The number one thing to incorporate: Whole grains, which are nutritious and fill you up for hours so you're less likely to need a potato chip fix pre-lunch.
7. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk, "Star Wars"-StyleWhy it got our attention: OK, this one might not be the most effective of the bunch, but it was too weird/entertaining not to include. And the message is seriously important.
Related: Five Fresh Apple Recipes for Fall!
Which public health campaigns or slogans hit home with you?
More From SELF:
- Hungry? Try one of these 30 healthy snacks
- Lose weight faster: 6 days to get slim
- Try these superfoods for flatter abs
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- Reach your weight loss goal with SELF's no-stress fitness plan
Photo Credit: Condé Nast Archive