Public service announcements.
We don’t pay them much mind.
How many times have we been told to ‘stand back from the platform edge’,
yet the urge to get on that train quickly and find a seat overtakes our safety concerns?
How many times have we been told to ‘look both ways’ before crossing a road and ‘only cross at a crossing’, yet how many people do we see strutting straight across, headphones in, without so much as a sideways glance?
And how about the warning labels on packs of cigarettes?
They’re pretty brutal, but do they actually stop people smoking?
The answer is ‘not really’. It certainly didn’t stop me, when I smoked (in the end, it was a mouth that tasted of ash that put me off). And it doesn’t stop other people that I see, puffing away while holding the pack.
The problem is, it’s too nanny state. Too finger wagging. Almost too gratuitous to pay attention to. You can almost see an MP talking down to you, telling you you’re going to get cancer, your teeth will rot, you’ll have a stroke etc.
They’re the polar opposite of these beauties, from GambleAware:
These ads are designed to get you to think twice before placing a drunken bet or chasing your losses.
And what they’ve got is a sense of fun. They’re not humourless, finger-wagging warnings – they’ve got heart. They make you smile and they gently mock betting behaviour (‘do you even know anything about Ukranian football?’). They might – just might – make someone think ‘yeah, that’s me – better lay off betting next time I’m in the pub’. It’s all neatly wrapped up with ‘avoid bet regret’.
It’s a public service announcement (of sorts) with a bit of oomph.
It proves that you don’t have to be drab and dreary, or threatening, to get your message across.
Well played M & C Saatchi – well played.
Anyway, I think that’s quite enough from me – time to tap out for time out and let you lovely people read this.