If there's one thing I miss about the '80s, it's my She-Ra lunch box. If there are two things I miss about the '80s, they're my She-Ra lunch box and Hi-C's Ecto Cooler. If there are three things I miss about the '80s, they would be my She-Ra lunch box (so, so much), Ecto Cooler, and public service announcements on TV all the time. Mixed in with commercials. At the end of He-Man and G.I. Joe. PSAs taught me all the important stuff:
- How to not litter, lest I make American-Indians who are actually Italian cry.
- How to not get kidnapped by McGruff the Crime Dog
- How crash test dummies are absolutely terrifying, so I should buckle up or they'll come in my room at night and get me (that was my take-away, I don't know about the rest of you).
- And, of course, what my brain on drugs looks like. (He asked if I had questions at the end, and I did. Little-girl me had so many questions, like "Do I have an egg in my head?").
Joking aside, I'm a big fan of PSAs as a general idea. I like the idea that the Ad Council is out there, like a bunch of benevolent Don Drapers, trying to make our lives better and safer. But the truth of the matter is that sometimes these things can wind up being unintentionally hilarious... or just plain weird. And, surely, there is no subject more prone to coming out hilarious or creepy than sex. And that's what I'd like to discuss with you today: bizarre safe sex PSAs from around the world. Strap in, folks: I have found some winners.
Safe Sex for Seniors (Florida)
The intended take-away: STI rates among seniors is on the rise, so wrap it up, Grandpa.
The actual take-away: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew! Old people boning! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeew! (Get over it, prudes!)
Was it effective: Yes. You're not shaking those images for a while, I'll bet.
The Wire's Safe Sex or No Sex (United States)
The intended take-away: The cast of The Wire, arguably the greatest show of all time, wants you to have safe sex, because your life is at stake!
The actual take-away: WTF is this? What is McNulty dancing like that? Why is Bunny so sassy? Why does this sound and look like it was made in 1994 when it was made in 2007?
Was it effective: No. Too many questions, but now I want to watch The Wire again because holy hell was that show amazing.
Jackie Chan and the Cartoon Condom (United Kingdom)
The intended take-away: Jackie Chan is an action hero, and so are condoms, which effectively protect against HIV/AIDS.
The actual take-away: Cartoon condom. Cartoon condom. Cartoon condom. Cartoon condom.
Was it effective: Yes, because Jackie Chan seems like the nicest guy ever and I will do as he asks me.
Cartoon Genitalia Skulking About a Bathroom (France) (NSFW)
The intended take-away: Dudes, wear condoms and you will get to put your P in all the V.
The actual take-away: Is there that much raunchy bathroom graffiti in France to inspire this ad?
Was it effective: Kinda? I'm half grossed out and half charmed.
Singing, Dancing, Anthropomorphic Condoms (India)
The intended take-away: ...
The actual take-away: ...
Was it effective:
Actually, We Will Give You Free Vacations and Merchandise to NOT Wear Condoms... No, Really (Denmark)
A bit of explanation on this one. Denmark's birth rate is at a 27-year low, which is bad news for an aging population. So Denmark put out a sexy ad about going on vacation, banging fellow hot Danes while wearing sexy lingerie in Paris, and having babies. Oh, and did we mention that if you go on this vacation with the intention of getting pregnant you'll get a discount? And if you have a baby you'll get 3 years of free baby stuff and a government paid child-free vacation?
Is it effective: Brb. Packing my bags. Moving to Denmark.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy