5 Of The Most Impactful Public Service Campaigns In The World

These ads from around the world aren’t selling anything. They’re just promoting messages for good.

All too often, public service campaigns are dry, boring, and at their very worst, embarrassing. They don’t have to be that way. A new platform called Creative for Good showcases over 60 of the best public service campaigns from around the world, ranging from a domestic violence campaign in India to a FARC guerilla demobilization campaign in Colombia.


Launched by the World Economic Forum, the Ad Council, and Ketchum, the platform will continually be updated with new submissions. Below, our favorites:


This Argentinian campaign focuses on diabetes–specifically, the 4 million people in the country who have the disease, and the 2 million who have diabetes and don’t even know it. Ad agency Mccann Buenos Aires targeted men specifically, because they’re likely to have routine check-ups and a healthy diet, according to research.

The result is a campaign that manages to connect diabetes and soccer by “solving” an urban legend about a doctor named Bilardo who would prick his rivals with a pin during soccer matches.


Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to quit if they’re shown their “lung age,” instead of just their percent predictability of lung function. That’s the thinking behind the LungClock, a campaign created by Frontera London that tells you your lung age based on answers to a series of questions (and if you use the LungClock app, you can breathe into your microphone to get an even more accurate gauge). Check out the website here.

Talking Babies for Breastfeeding

Infant malnutrition is a big problem in Vietnam, where mothers often give their children infant formula, soft foods, and water before they’re ready. Alive and Thrive, an organization promoting child nutrition in the country, found through research that the most effective campaign dealing with the issue would focus on breastfeeding. And who better to promote breastfeeding than cute talking babies? Below, an ad for the campaign, courtesy of Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam.

Don’t Be An Asterisk

Created by TBWA\Chiat\Day, the United States Olympic Committee, The Ad Council, and others, this American campaign is intended to get teens to think about the consequences of abusing steroids. After conducting extensive research, the agencies found that teens weren’t threatened by the potential health problems from steroid use. But after surveying teenagers, they found that this age group values honesty above all else–the worst thing you could call someone is “fake.”


In the sports world, an asterisk is the ultimate symbol of fakery, seen alongside the accomplishments of tarnished athletes like Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds. Hence this campaign, which aired during 2012 summer Olympics.

At Christmas Everything Is Possible

In Colombia, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)–the oldest guerrilla group on the planet–commits a terrorist act approximately every three days. A series of campaigns, including this one, have been deployed for the past seven years to encourage FARC members to quit and come home.

After speaking with over 200 former FARC members, agency Lowe-SSP3 found that guerrillas most often think about quitting around Christmas, when they miss their families the most. The result: ads like the one below.


About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more