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Name That Trauma :: Reader OnlyChild1213 on Creepy Commercials

December 3rd, 2011 by aunt john · 7 Comments

Hi Guys. It’s been too long. Had to drop by after spending my morning chasing down old anti-drug PSAs. I was disappointed with DARREN ARONOFSKY‘s new ones for the Meth Project – too sleek for my taste, perhaps – which made me nostalgic for some of the ads from my past that *really* traumatized me.

There’s one I can’t seem to find, probably from the late ’90s or early 2000s, that I could never sit through after the first time (which unfortunately was late at night, wrapped in a blanket on the sofa in the dark). I always assumed it was made by Partnership for a Drug-Free America, but after researching their ad history, I’m beginning to doubt it.

In the ad, a glamorous woman, heavily made up and possibly in a long evening gown, seats herself before a lighted vanity mirror. She starts taking off normal things, like her makeup, maybe some fake eyelashes… though even that is very striking in the unflattering light. You begin to dread what is coming next, and then, affirming your worst fears, she removes her wig, revealing no or very thin hair, and finally, yes, false teeth. I’m assuming these were the effects of meth, but I’m not certain. I have no recollection of what the ad sounded like, in terms of music, effects, or voiceover.

And while I’m at it, I’ll mention another commercial – this one not drug-related, but obviously still employing a scare tactic – that I’ve also been unable to find. Up until recently I was positive it was for Liberty Mutual Life Insurance, but now I’m doubting my memory. A teddy bear is falling from the top of a tall building in slow motion, while a child’s voice sings some type of chant or nursery rhyme. The camera is looking up from directly underneath. The teddy bear gets closer and closer to the lens as it falls, and finally there is an impact that seems to crack the camera lens. The suggestion is clearly of a child’s death.

Man, that was a depressing contribution. Sorry! Advertising execs are sick! If you guys can assist with either or both of those, I’d be obliged.

Much Love,


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Tags: Name That Trauma!

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jami JoAnne RussellNo Gravatar // Dec 3, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Ug, I remember both these myself but can’t remember who made them or what they were about.

    I do think that the chant in Teddy Bear one is either Rock A Bye Baby or Ring Around The Rosie.

  • 2 ViNo Gravatar // Dec 4, 2011 at 12:25 am

    I remember the first one, and you were right – it was a Partnership for a Drug-Free America ad for heroin. I found a description of it here: http://adage.com/article/news/awards-public-service-horrors-heroin-turn-ugly-drug-abuse-partnership-wins/68141/

  • 3 Francisco Ponce PalmeroNo Gravatar // Dec 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I see the one about heroin, or another very similar, on a funny videos page!!! the girl is arriving home after a dinner or a party and before go bed she demakes up herself

    In Spain, specially in the 90’s they did some drug prevention ads very shocking, one of them directly loathing with coke ray becoming a great worm going into the nose of the adict other more sleek comparing adicts with puppets

  • 4 Charlie MulliganNo Gravatar // Dec 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    The first one could be found here. http://www.aef.com/exhibits/social_responsibility/pdfa/2414

  • 5 onlychild1213No Gravatar // Dec 5, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    @Charlie: Yeppers. Actually found it while waiting for my entry to be posted. But good job; it took me forever. (And I still can’t make myself watch it!)

    @Jamie: Thought about it more and I’m 99% sure the chant is just, “Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around, teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground…”

    I can’t believe with all the stuff on YouTube, neither of these appears to be.

    Thanks again! If anyone can present me with my teddy bear, I’ll be ultra impressed…

  • 6 Jami JoAnne RussellNo Gravatar // Dec 6, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Well, I’m asking over on Yahoo Answers just to see.

    As far as YouTube – even really old commercials can get a person banned, which sucks. MrClassicAds lost his account due to “copyright violations” even though he only uploaded ads from between the 50s through 80s and many for stores and products that no longer even exist.

  • 7 tomkhagaiNo Gravatar // Nov 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Sorry to answer so late, but I think the Teddy Bear was a Michelin ad.

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