The Best Anti-Drunk Driving PSA Ever (and Three That Fell Short)
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The Best Anti-Drunk Driving PSA Ever (and Three That Fell Short)


Anti-drunk driving PSA’s have historically been cheesy or overly dramatic, but the latest commercial from Budweiser is well on its way to becoming one of the company’s most successful ads of all time.

The spot was released on September 19th in honor of Global Be(er) Responsible Day and has since racked up more than 18 million views, which confirms that commercials always do better when hot guys and cute animals are involved. Under Budweiser’s #FriendsAreWaiting campaign, the ad stars a man named Luke and his energetic yellow lab named Cooper. The pair spend the day playing together before Luke goes off drinking with his buddies. Cue sad faced lab waiting by the window.

“For some, the waiting never ended. But we can change that,” reads the ad. Everyone watching this video promptly curls into the fetal position before Luke comes through the door the next morning, explaining to Cooper that he decided not to drive home and OMG LOOK AT THE PUPPY!

But while Budweiser’s latest ad managed to effectively tug at heartstrings and actually have some decent acting, other alcohol-related PSA’s have been far less successful at this.

Louisiana Highway Safety Commission

The porn-level acting in this 2007 video is simply epic. Within the same breath, the passenger goes from suggesting she should take over the wheel to ordering the driver to pull over and let her out. The guy driving says nothing, which makes it all too clear that this is a relationship fast reaching its conclusion. As the tone of her voice gets increasingly whiny and nasally, it becomes obvious why the driver got wasted in the first place. After eventually crashing into another vehicle, the PSA ends up by asking, “Had enough?” The answer is a resounding yes for both the couple in the car and the viewer.

Student-Directed PSA

This student-directed PSA features overly dramatic screaming straight out of a B-horror flick and a computer-created car crash explosion that looks like something resembling the pits of hell. “Before you get in the car with a drink in your hand, remember this could be you,” declares one of the teens. So you can have eight drinks in your hand and get behind the wheel as long as you’re not holding a 40 while doing so? Got it.

What About Drinking?

This PSA from 1954 features friends having a discussion about drinking after learning that a car driven by one of their friends hit a pedestrian and a bottle of booze was found inside. But rather than discuss the dangers of drinking and driving, this PSA discourages underage drinking entirely. Several of the teenagers quote what their churches said about drinking (wasn’t the passage on drunk driving somewhere in Leviticus?), while another claims that anyone who drinks is simply “getting high and putting on an act.” If only those kids from the ‘50s knew…

Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office

In a video whose concept was clearly created while under the influence, a man delivers a swift kick to a grizzly bear before the ad declares that this decision “makes as much sense as driving drunk.” File this in the “right idea, wrong execution” category of incorporating cute animals into anti-drinking PSA’s. Plus, the acting in this is so bad that you almost hope the man does end up getting mauled.

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About Author

McCarton Ackerman is a writer and editor living in New York City. His work has been featured in Time Out New York, The Advocate, and The Daily Mail. He can also been seen performing stand-up comedy at bars and clubs around the city.