25 inspiring not-for-profit ads

In one form or another, public service announcements (or advertisements) have been with us for well over a hundred years. They have as their chief objective the goal of educating the general public in order to raise awareness on a multitude of social issues; from cancer and global warming to domestic violence and drug abuse. PSAs seek to cause action and change opinion.

It’s little wonder, then, that to capture society’s attention in an age of visual inundation, the creators of public service campaigns have had to step up. The likes of such major ad players as Ogilvy, Grey, and McCann-Erickson — along with the creative minds of boutique agencies — have risen to the occasion, producing a new generation of printed public interest ads. Some are edgy and envelope-pushing, using imagery that makes the viewer uneasy. Others go for power through simplicity, employing striking illustrations to move an audience.

One thing that all of these ads have in common is their striking visual impact: Photoshop work isn’t just effective, it’s epic; illustrations aren’t just employed, they’re integral.

Below is a collection of 25 standout public interest ads whose creativity, art direction, and emotion-evoking properties work together to deliver a poignant message. They are a good reminder that delicate subject matter is oftentimes most successfully delivered when the inclination for gentleness is abandoned and instead is confronted head on. These are ads that make a statement…quite literally.

 

WWF: Tree

14.-WWF_Tree

 

Heart and Stroke Foundation: Future

2.-heart_stroke

 

Salvation Army: Politician

3.-salvationarmy

 

Surfrider Foundation: Plastic Invasion

4.-surfrider

 

World for All: Train

8.-WorldforAll_Depression

 

Dutch Heart Foundation: QR Bystanders

5.-Dutch_QR

 

Amnesty International: Tsunami

1.-amnesty

 

Ecuadorian Red Cross: Life Inside Life

6.-LifeInsideLife

 

Department of State Health Services: Share Air

7.-shareair

 

World for All: Building

8_1.-WorldforAll_Building

 

WWF Desertification: Elephant

9.-wwf_elephant

 

Amnesty International: Pencil

10.-Amnesty_Pencil

 

Operation Smile: Charlie Dot

13_1.-OperationSmile_Charlie

 

Safe Kids: Football

11.-Safe-Kids_Football

 

OndAzul NGO: Sardine

12.-can_fishes

 

Operation Smile: Sally Monkey

13.-OperationSmile_Sally

 

TAC: Confusion, Overpass

15.-TAC_confusionoverpass

 

Samusocial: Stop the Nightmare

16.-Samusocial_homelesswomen

 

Fight for Peace: Favela

17.-fightforpeace

 

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression: Tara

18.-CJFE_Tara

 

Pedestrian Council of Australia: Man

19.-Pedestrian-Council_Man

 

Stivoro: Open Road

20.-stivoro_openroad

 

GirlHub: Amina

21.GirlHub_Amina

 

Global Warming

22.Global-Warming

 

Utah Department of Highway Safety: Alcohol Cuffs

23.-DepartmentHighwaySafety

 

Greenpeace: Become David

24.-Greenpeace

 

So Acao Solidarity Movement: Much More than Trees

25.-SoAcao

Which ads resonated most with you? What tactics do you think work best in public service ads? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Eko @iBrandStudio

    Amazing, very creative advertisement.
    I like Global Warming and WWW ads.

  • Misha

    Awesome! Great conceptualization and visuals.

  • Ossamathip

    Wow, amazing

  • http://www.digitalprefix.com/ Jitendra: DigitalPrefix.com

    Stacey Kole – I would like to say the images and ads showcase by you have just some way shocked and they all are very amazing..

    All are very creative and have good concept and short story.. I would say some of them are so good and better than 2 hr movie.