Weekend Vid Picks: Your Week in PSAs

Good PSAs, with their short runtime and punchy conclusions, have always done well in the online video world. This week, an assortment of odd clips came together with nothing in common other than a desire to educate people on serious (and not-so-serious) matters.

Public Service Announcement: Test your awareness

Pushing viewers to examine the action on screen — all the action — this heavily circulated ad (reaching almost 2 million views on YouTube in two weeks) has a bit of a twist. But that just makes Transport for London’s message all the more effective.

Public Service Announcement: Jeff Zucker is…funny?

Promoting the return of My Name is Earl to the airwaves and the Internet, in this clip the president of NBC simultaneously catches fans up with the sitcom’s latest developments and proves he may well have the comedy chops to pull off his upcoming Earl guest spot. He also gets in a few good digs on the writers. Well-written digs. And if you’re wondering what he means when he refers to “17 days” — on the 18th after a new episode of primetime content is released online, the writer’s share of the downloading revenue increases significantly. (Sub-PSA: Day 18 for this new episode of Earl will be April 21.)

Public Service Announcement: Tommy Lee Jones. Definitely funny.

This Japanese ad for Suntory Boss canned coffee is the quintessential foreign commercial made by a big star with the hope that it will never make it to the U.S. So bless you, YouTube, for stripping away international borders and allowing us to watch a Harajuku girl feed Jones an omelet. I don’t understand a single moment of this advertisement, but that doesn’t stop me from loving it.

Public Service Announcement: Save Erica’s life (even if she can’t sing)…

Leukemia patient Erica Murray and sister Jaci are definitely off-key here, but that doesn’t stop their reworking of Barenaked Ladies’ If I Had $1000000 from being funny, poignant and affecting, while simultaneously encouraging people of mixed race to register as marrow donors. More information about Murray and her search for a donor can be found here. Check it out, before more Hapas go missing.


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