4 Game-Changing PSAs Tugging on the Heartstrings


Co-sponsored by James Brown.

Long a staple of the non-profit marketing toolkit, new technologies and  distribution channels have made public service announcements (PSAs) even more powerful at getting a message in front of the right audience. The remarkable utility of YouTube, for example, to increase the visibility of an organization and  its cause is becoming the mainstream route. Whereas the historic alternative has been to circulate PSAs to various stations and  hope that they run it.

Here are four recent PSAs that set the bar for exceptionally creative approaches, utilizing different paths to trigger emotions.



You may be asking yourself, “What the hell is a Hovercat?” to which I will tell you that, in this case, the name explains it all. In an effort to increase awareness around animal adoption, the ASPCA has created “Hovercat” to remind us all that we can save lives by adopting shelter animals. The video, featuring Nightline’s Dan Harris, focuses on George the cat’s ability to levitate and  be ridiculously adorable all at once.

That’s it; plain and  simple, a cat dancing and  hovering to house music with the help of some clever editing and  sharp production from award-winning creative agency, Mekanism. The result is charming in its simplicity, practically screaming to be shared with every one of your friends and  coworkers.

A Crash Course to Shine


YouTube star Nikkie of NikkieTutorials, who provides makeup advice on her channel and  has over 150,000 subscribers, was the star of a viral video for Volkswagen and  DDB Berlin aiming to raise awareness about the danger of putting on make-up while driving.

Half a million car crashes a year are said to be caused by women drivers applying make-up (in the UK alone). So the tutorial “A crash course to shine,” which drives home the message in a dramatic way, was created and  added directly to Nikkie’s YouTube channel.

The Girl Epidemic


This year, more than 1 million girls in India will disappear; victims of infanticide, sex slavery, and  child labor. Last year, the same thing happened. And next year, it will happen again.

Ad agency   StrawberryFrog has chosen to highlight this troubling issue in a dramatic, attention-grabbing campaign, ‘  The Girl Epidemic.’ With the results so chillingly realistic in their presentation, a viewer could easily be tricked into thinking that they were witnessing firsthand  the violent acts taken against innocent girls in India.

The PSA, does however, end with a hopeful message – there is a cure for the epidemic. Educate a female child, help save her life. The campaign was created for   Project Nanhi Kali, an NGO that aims to provide underprivileged girls in India with 10 years of quality education.

Fix at Four: Afternoon Stroll

Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society says more than 80 percent of pet owners neuter their animals. But Best Friends says there’s still a lot of confusion about when animals should be sterilized (at 4 months old). So with the help of TM Advertising and  MRM in Salt Lake City, it launched the   Fix at Four campaign.

The campaign series features furry friends as they face the daunting task of parenting much too soon. The campaign, created with a bare-bones budget, spans video, TV spots, online ads, merch, posters and  screensavers, all housed within a website centerpiece that utilizes a cutting-edge continuous scrolling navigation technology called Parallax. Also watch Fix at Four:   Afraid of That & Fix at Four:   Infographic.


And for your amusement, check out this hilarious assembly of grainy, ironic, deadly serious   anti-drug PSAs from the 80s and  90s found on YouTube.

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