Public Service advertisements (as the name goes) are meant for public interest as opposed to commercial advertisements for products or services advertised “to sell”. PSAs are intended to modify public attitudes by raising awareness about specific issues. The main objective behind Public Service Advertising is to spread social consciousness among the masses and promote important social issues which generally go unnoticed. Such advertisements may range from being subtle to direct, and practical to ironic.
PSA Today Today, Public Service Advertising has become very popular and is considered to be one of the most effective means to create social awareness and bring about a change / shift in the mindsets of people. The most common topics of PSAs are health and safety. Health, conservation and safety themes are prevalent in many PSAs. A typical PSA is part of a public awareness campaign to inform or educate the public about an issue such as smoking or compulsive gambling.
Some of the issues discussed through Public Service Advertising campaigns over the years include – Blood Donation Importance of Going to School AIDS Awareness Use of Condoms Right To Vote Save Electricity, Save the Planet for Our Children Polio Eradication Eve Teasing Anti Smoking Campaign Respect for National Anthem Family Planning National Integration
Public service advertising campaigns are widespread around the world. Such advertising is generally produced and distributed on a cooperative basis by governmental agencies or nonprofit organizations acting in concert with private advertising and mass media companies.
PSA ads. Some PSA ads use celebrity spokespersons to garner attention. Others attempt to appeal to the masses through portraying risks and issues relevant to ordinary men, women and children. A common misconception about public service advertising is that it includes political campaign ads, which are actually privately funded.
PSA ads. (cont.) In most cases, the nonprofit organisation provides the programming that is to be advertised, while the participating advertising agency and media companies provide creative services, media planning, and dissemination services on a pro bono (done for public good/ unpaid) basis.
PSA ads. (cont.) Non-profit groups and government agencies commonly team up with private mass media, promotion and advertising firms to produce spots for radio, television and print media. Most commonly, the non-profit agency creates the message and an advertising firm develops the campaign, polishes it to meet industry standards and plans its distribution, all free of charge. Television and radio stations usually broadcast these ads at no charge, and magazines and newspapers customarily publish them for free as well.
Effective PSAs When it comes to effective Public Service Advertising, it is essential to keep the target audience in mind while creating the social message. A thorough understanding of the target group further improves the impact of the message being delivered. Public Service Advertisements should carry a short message which is to the point. Such messages can be dramatic and should ideally stand out from the clutter of all other advertisements.