As far as Public Service ads go, I believe ‘a call for action’ works a lot better than an attempt to change perceptions, habits & attitudes. A majority of the PSAs are of the latter kind – urging you to change habits like texting & driving. The effectiveness depends largely on how powerful the messaging is, like the Australian campaign against drunken driving: while it doesn’t have a call for action (like calling a helpline or making a donation), the message drives home clearly.
A recent ad for Pro Infirmis is making the rounds of ad blogs. The ad urges you to ‘get closer’ with ‘handicapped’ people as they are a regular part of the society.
Agency: Jung von Matt
The ad worked for me simply because the transformation from a happy feeling at the beginning of the ad (it brought a smile to my face) to one of sadness towards the end was so stark, it moved me. It reminded me of prejudices we all carry. Did it work for you?