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Public Service Advertising - Advertisements that Spread Social Awareness

Over the years, many discussions have taken place about the question - 'Is Advertising Essential?' Despite conflicting views, if there is a mass acceptance of a particular kind of advertising, it has to be Public Service Advertising.

What is Public Service Advertising?

Also called Public Awareness Advertising, Social Service Advertising and Social Awareness Advertising, Public Service Advertising refers to those advertising efforts that are done as a part of social responsibility by entities like advertising agencies, Government, NGO's as well as other business organizations.

The primary objective behind Public Service Advertising is to spread social consciousness among the masses and promote important social issues which go unnoticed. Such advertisements may range from being subtle to direct, and practical to ironic.

Trivia: Alyque Padamsee was the first Indian to enter the 'CLIO Hall of Fame' for his public service film - India on Handicapped Children: The story of Hope.

Today, Public Service Advertising has become very popular and is considered to be one of the most effective means to create social awareness and bring about a change / shift in the mindsets of people.


Some of the issues discussed through Public Service Advertising campaigns over the years include -

  • Female Foeticide

  • Blood Donation

  • Importance of Going to School

  • AIDS Awareness

  • Use of Condoms

  • Right To Vote

  • Save Electricity, Save the Planet for Our Children

  • Polio Eradication
  • Eve Teasing
  • Anti-Smoking Campaign
  • Respect for National Anthem
  • Family Planning
  • National Integration


When it comes to effective Public Service Advertising, it is essential to keep the target audience in mind while creating the social message. A thorough understanding of the target group further improves the impact of the message being delivered.

Public Service Advertisements should carry a short message which is to the point. Such messages can be dramatic and should ideally standout from the clutter of all other advertisements.

Contributed By:  Akanksha, Advertising graduate and Freelance Writer [email protected]

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