For decades, public service ads have tried to steer people away from costly, harmful behavors, from child labor to smoking while pregnant. Their slogans, most from government and non-profits, have become a part of American venacular, moving from billboards and children’s TV programming to YouTube and social media. The Post’s Emily Wax-Thibodeaux looks at some of the most memorable.
1. People Start Pollution. People Can Stop It. On Earth Day 1971, the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful premiered an ad that showed Iron Eyes Cody, aka "The Crying Indian," witnessing how litter and pollution were damaging American rivers and highways. Cody shed a single tear at the smoldering mess and help make throwing trash out the window a taboo. The campaign, which ran through 1983, was the favorite of veteran PSA ad man Lou Magnani’s career. “So much today is light on idea and long on delivery system,’’ Magnani, 86, says. Razzle-dazzle, he adds, ‘’doesn’t mean much unless it has a gut-wrenching, humanizing message.’’ Watch Courtesy of Ad Council/Courtesy of Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful Buy Photo