Remember the good old days when you just wanted to kick back with some YTV and enjoy your childhood innocence, but were instead flung into that inferno of hell-bent momproganda a.k.a. CONCERNED CHILDREN’S ADVERTISERS?

For those of you lucky enough to have suppressed these memories, CCA was a Toronto based non-profit founded in 1989 that produced PSAs whose subtlety ranked somewhere between Marilyn Manson and the Blitzkrieg. Ranging from bizarre, to horrifying, to just plain stupid, they’re a fair reminder that it wasn’t your parent’s divorce that messed you up as a kid - it was YTVs public service announcements.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_1sf5hhR60

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

1: “Brain” (1989)

There's nothing like watching a wholesome episode of Popular Mechanics for Kids, only to hit commercials, witness this freaky shit, and never sleep again. Although, I’ll give credit where credit is due and admit this was far more effective than its American counterpart:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub_a2t0ZfTs

Video cred – Partnership for a Drug-Free America


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV6PM8KjBZg

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

2. "Hip Choice" (1993)

“THANKS BRO, BUT I’M JUST GONNA GO AHEAD AND CALL MY OTHER GUY.” This should’ve been a PSA on how not to sell drugs. Give a round of applause for Edward Needlehands – your friendly neighbourhood AIDS dealer – as he attempts to corrupt a pair of developmentally delayed cabbage patch kids. And right when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, production decided to just go ahead and give him NO EYES, because, NO EYES!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOBzQpBJUh8

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

3. "Loser" (1995)

Oh shoot, I had it wrong all along! I thought the dipshit with the girlfriend was supposed to be the loser and these badasses with rock star hair, chilling in a 1969 FORD MUSTANG - NO BIG DEAL - were the cool kids. Interpreting is hard when you’re six-and-a-half!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4DA6hrDZ8s

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

4. "Crack Bag" (1990)

"...and now back to your morning cartoon!"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZKqtD2lJ84

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

5. “What do you do when you find a needle?” (1991)

“Leave it alone!” “Tell your mom!” “Tell a teacher!”. This momproganda probably interested you in needles even more, leading you to watch crazy street-drug documentaries on Youtube.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA_otNq-akg

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

6. "How was your day?" (1994)

While we’re still on the subject of momproganda, we might as well get the Holy Grail out of the way. I’m confident this clip wasn’t even intended to be a PSA, but was actually a deleted scene from “7th Heaven” that somehow found its way into the wrong briefcase.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92Qefq-UiG4

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

7. “Syringe” (1990)

Ah yes, another quality anti-heroin PSA airing over a network who’s audience still traded Pokémon cards. HEROIN – THE GATEWAY DRUG – COMING TO AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NEAR YOU! You don’t just get to do heroin; it requires years of self-destruction and at least one tour with a metal band. How about something a little more on point:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AuLkMBAFZg

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

8. “Don’t you put it in your mouth” – 1992

Finally! A PSA that actually coincides with the maturity level of its audience. That’s right kids, No CRACK BAGS here! Just good, old fashioned, unintentionally sexual, horrifying fun!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuiPl4P1wyg

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

9. “The trap” – 1993

At the very least, we can give CCA a pat on the back for resisting the urge to jam a rusty needle into that block of cheese. You know, to make their message EXTRA CLEAR. Very out of character for them, but I’ll take it!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHUXCNnWM0

Video cred – Saskatchewan Safety Council

10. "Simon is about to kill his father" (early '90s)

The old lady in this one kills me almost as hard as Simon kills his father. "Excuse me, aren't you putting on the boy's seatbelt?" Directed by the highly astute Saskatchewan Safety Council, this is possibly the best, worst PSA of all time. The haunting nursery music, the prehistoric film editing, and the way Simon’s dad blatantly disregards that old lady, moments before his doom – this one has it all!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3RH2C6TiSI

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

11. “Boutique” (1998)

What the hell just happened? Imagine seven-year-old you being subjected to this insanity in between episodes of "Uh Oh!" It does explain these hazy flashbacks I keep having of chasing my sister around the house with lipstick smeared all over my face yelling, “WHY BE YOU WHEN YOU CAN BE ME?”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgvv4wnVlFU

Video cred – The Stay Alert Stay Safe Organization

12. "Stay Alert! Stay Safe!" – 1994

Remember kids! Everywhere is dangerous, everyone is a pedophile, and most importantly, "if anybody ever tries to grab you, fall to the ground and roll, or just keep spinning! You'll be much harder to hold that way!" Thanks for the advice Gert and Bert!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrhuaj540Aw

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

13. "Drug Rap" (1990)

Not sure whether or not the pharmaceutical companies had a hand in this one, but my god, is it unnerving. Irritatingly catchy, too. And look at that man's mustache. Maybe I'm just paranoid from "Stay Alert! Stay Safe!" but the last time I saw a mustached man smiling like that, he was being lowered into the back of a squad car.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZS8_oN60so

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

14. "Rehab" (1992)

The emotion was so intense, I was always waiting for them to lock lips at the end but it never happened. At least it has that great uplifting quote, “if you try and stop a friend from doing drugs, you may not succeed. But, hey, at least you tried.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmplMQ6CbmA

Video cred - Concerned Children's Advertisers

15. "Mimic" (1990)

My god that was terrifying. The little girl waving at the end is what nightmares are made of. Nevertheless, this is still, somehow, miles ahead of its American counterpart:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUXb7do9C-w

Video cred – Partnership for a Drug-Free America


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBfi8OEz0rA

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

16. "House Hippo" (1998)

For all the kids who completely missed the point of this commercial and asked for a House Hippo for Christmas, we salute you!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL08E84C8337E04D53&v=NgUGvZkQd0M

Video cred – Concerned Children's Advertisers

17. "Smart as You" – 1997

I'll round out my list with this fine number. If their intent was to get you to turn off your TV, they were probably successful, because this was the most annoying, most overplayed Canadian PSA of all time.

Comments are now closed.
Account Settings
Notifications
Favourites
Share Feedback
Log Out

Register this device to receive push notifications