25 inspiring not-for-profit ads

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September 06, 2013
25 inspiring not-for-profit ads.

thumbnailIn 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


Heart and Stroke Foundation: Future


Salvation Army: Politician


Surfrider Foundation: Plastic Invasion


World for All: Train


Dutch Heart Foundation: QR Bystanders


Amnesty International: Tsunami


Ecuadorian Red Cross: Life Inside Life


Department of State Health Services: Share Air


World for All: Building


WWF Desertification: Elephant


Amnesty International: Pencil


Operation Smile: Charlie Dot


Safe Kids: Football


OndAzul NGO: Sardine


Operation Smile: Sally Monkey


TAC: Confusion, Overpass


Samusocial: Stop the Nightmare


Fight for Peace: Favela


Canadian Journalists for Free Expression: Tara


Pedestrian Council of Australia: Man


Stivoro: Open Road


GirlHub: Amina


Global Warming


Utah Department of Highway Safety: Alcohol Cuffs


Greenpeace: Become David


So Acao Solidarity Movement: Much More than Trees


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

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there’s something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

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