The most effective public service announcements are the ones that make us shit our pants just a little. For example, the best way to get us to care about stuff like workplace safety will always be convincing us we could be murdered by clumsiness at any moment. However, in an age of increasingly desensitized audiences, the PSA industry has recently started pushing the "scare tactic" envelope straight into surrealist body horror and unrelenting shock fantasy. Hope you brought a diaper!
#4. Teen Pregnancy: Now for Boys, Too!
Getting teenagers to stop boning is really hard. How do you convince people who are wired to want sex all the time to at least be careful about it? The Chicago Department of Public Health had an idea.
The budget for this ad consisted of a month's worth of beer and Whoppers.
Boys with grotesque bloated bellies, like something straight out of some cheap '80s horror movie or, even more terrifyingly, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Junior. They also went ahead and made them pose like homeless supermodels, for some reason.
"It was cheaper than an exercise ball."
These things are posted all over public transit and around high schools. The reaction has been mixed, but at least they've ensured that no teens will get any action near a bus in the foreseeable future.
#3. Binge Drinking Will Make You Barf People
Ever get so wasted that you threw up something really strange? Like a person? This ad originating from Spain begins with just another drunken teenager, but things quickly take a turn as the vomit starts to flow like a sweet pudding fountain ...
Who wants sponge cake?
... until we realize it's not vomit at all, but she's actually giving birth to a grown man through her mouth.
"Uh, hi. Do you have a moment to talk about the Lord?"
At this point the narration informs us that the man is actually ... her own father.
Now that M. Night Shyamalan cameo makes sense.
The ad closes with the message that "drinking separates you from your friends and family" -- a lesson that maybe didn't have to involve throwing up a human being like some kind of X-Men character designed by David Cronenberg.
Oh, and they also made a second video where a dude upchucks his girlfriend.
On the plus side, you now have a designated driver.
#2. Bath Salts Turn Everything into a Scene from The Exorcist
This Navy-created PSA starts normally enough: It's shown from the point of view of a man who wakes up, snorts some bath salts, and then vomits on his way to go bowling with his girlfriend.
Things really get going when the girlfriend gets Satan eyes and starts talking like an Evil Dead character.
Never make fun of her forehead acne.
It turns out that bath salts will land you smack dab in the middle of an exorcism -- only more confusing, and for some reason slightly appetizing.
We don't even eat hamburgers anymore if they aren't served by our contorting demon-girlfriend in a bowling alley.
Our hero's solution is to punch his possessed girlfriend in the face and fuck off. He then runs into his roommate, who turns into an Aphex Twin video.
"YOU USED MY SOAP!"
Is this an accurate re-creation of the effects of bath salts? Probably not. Thanks to this video, however, no one will want to use them again; the inner dubstep soundtrack is just not worth it.
#1. Alcoholism Turns You into a David Lynch Nightmare
This anti-alcoholism ad starts by showing us various children looking scared at something off screen.
Lamb Chop must be drunk again.
But hey, everything scares kids, right? They're probably looking at like a mime or some-
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
Wahhh! Ahhh God! Why?
"You haven't even touched your eyeballs, honey."
As this waking nightmare continues, it appears to perfectly prod at every weak point of our psyche like some kind of reunion of our childhood fears. We watch zombies, evil Santas, and extremely shady dudes menacing clearly traumatized child actors.
Pictured: Four potential Macaulay Culkins.
Finally, the ad asks us to imagine how kids see us when we are drunk, although we think it's far more likely to make people turn to drink in the first place in an attempt to forget what they just watched. Because holy shit.