When Is a PSA Too Blunt?

Campaigners resort to 'high-sensation' approach
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Jul 29, 2010 9:06 AM CDT
Updated Aug 1, 2010 6:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – When it comes to public service announcements, can you be too forthright? That's the question raised by a campaign against texting while driving. The ad shows, in what ABC describes as "gory, throat-grabbing detail," a dramatic car crash caused by a distracted driver and a slow-motion sequence that features snapping necks and bleeding foreheads.

The campaign is deliberately gory. "I think the 'Texting While Driving' ad is the new way to go because it's almost like watching in real time," one ad expert tells ABC. "Teenagers are used to seeing shocking scenes, and they want to laugh at it or tune it out." This type of ad, she reasons, is hard to tune out. Similar campaigns against smoking and drugs have had positive results, proponents claim. Click here to read about other unusual ad campaigns.

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