The Top 10 Anti-Drug TV Commercials of All Time

Ad Age Picks Best Salvos in War on Drugs

Published on .

For decades, the ad industry has helped wage a war on drugs with commercials created for by Partnership at and its predecessor group. But with government funding now dried up, young kids are seeing a lot fewer ads like these ten classics we've chosen here.

A know-it-all boy has an answer for everything a playground drug pusher peddles in this classic ad believed to be from 1970 and created by Compton.

How did this kid turn to drugs? "I learned it by watching you," he tells his dad in this circa 1980s spot.

This 1993 commercial turns celebrity endorsements into a bad thing when it comes to drugs.

Perhaps the most iconic of all anti-drug ads, this 1987 spot attributed to Keye/Donna/Pearlstein is also perhaps the most parodied.

Margeottes/Fertitta updated the original "brain on drugs" with a more violent version starring Rachael Leigh Cook.

Scare tactics are in full force in this commercial from FCB/Leber Katz Partners showing young people's dreams gone awry after they do drugs.

In the 1990s, cartoon characters joined the war on drugs, including the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in this spot.

In this compelling 1994 spot from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, an African American boy speeds home through some back lots and tells us that just saying "no" is sometimes not an option. It took the Grand Effie, making it the first PSA to win the coveted award, which it shared with Burrell's "Who Wants."

After his son Hugh died, actor Carroll O'Connor did a 1997 ad via Leap Partnership pleading for parents to "get between your kid and drugs any way you can."

Drugs can cause lapses in judgment as this 1998 shopping network takeoff from Team One shows.

Did we miss any of your top picks? Let us know in the comments below.

Most Popular
In this article: