PSA’s are tough. Generally speaking, PSA’s all have some sort of “don’t do this” message. You can’t make them too preachy or graphic, as those typically get completely ignored and turn off the core audience. At the same time, if you use humor, you have to make sure that you’re not making light of the core point. It’s a fine line to walk, and here’s how the CDOT went about it:
These ads are, let’s just call it “fine”. I love the fact that the ads aren’t preachy or hyperbolic like those gawdawful “buying drugs means you’re a murderer who supports terrorism” ads, but they’re also not terribly memorable. It’s just sort of a one note joke that people will likely see, give a quick chuckle and forget.
The visuals simply aren’t strong enough (or funny enough) to stand alone. Not the worst PSA campaign I’ve ever seen, but it certainly isn’t a single tear running down the face of of a Native American either.