Saturday, 10 November 2007

The 2007 International Public Safety Broadcast Festival

The 2006 International Public Safety Broadcast Festival only seems like it was twelve months ago. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the 2007 International Public Safety Broadcast Festival was recently held in Guelph. We sent one of reporters there to witness the carnage.

The broadcast that had everybody talking throughout the festival was the public hygiene warning created by Jessops Martin Advertising. The fifteen-second ad is designed to be shown before the movie in specially adapted cinemas. Various people are seen preparing food while a grim-sounding voice intones, ‘Not washing your hands before preparing food is like throwing blood over your children.’ The screen then goes dark and the voice says, ‘Do you want bloodied children?’. Two cannon then fire blood and animal entrails over the audience from each side of the cinema screen, ramming the point home. This ad received a standing ovation from the back four rows of the theatre.

No less shocking was the anti-obesity ad from the government of New Zealand. For two whole minutes a bully stares at the viewer from the screen while letting rip a barrage of weight-based insults. He then pushes a Mars Bar into the camera, squashing it. Apparently, since it started being shown on television in New Zealand, several thousand overweight Kiwis have cried themselves thinner.

The award for ‘Most Puzzling Ad at the Festival’ if there was one (and there isn’t, but that’s beside the point, if there was one, which there is), would go to the Simonon And On Advertising Company’s public service announcement, ‘Stay Away From Pylons’. The ad lasts for 25 seconds and features footage of two rabbits sitting in a field eating grass while a guitar plays a soothing tune. At the very end of the ad the campaign slogan ‘Stay Away From Pylons!’ flashes onscreen. Bizarre.

Other noteworthy campaigns include the Mexican anti-smoking measures in which random smoking members of the public are set on fire by mobs, the eye-catching 'Wet Paint’ signs printed by John Morris of the Red Lion Pub, Leicester, and Microsoft’s famed ad campaign in which a series of Apple computers explode, killing their owners and eventually destroying the world.

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