As a child I distinctly remember anti-drug campaigns telling me to “Just say no!” and how narcotics would turn my brain into a fried egg rather than a raw one, which I guess meant that cold, transparent and runny is the optimum condition for one’s gray matter.

And after I was released from rehab for the third time, I realized that those messages were largely ineffective. This was because rather than educate about the way drugs work both chemically and socially, they simply resorted to speaking down to the viewer and giving us simple commands that we were expected to blindly obey for some reason.

Looking at the above image to an alcohol abuse PSA from Thailand, you might expect more of the same dogmatic obscurity of days past. However, this ad—as bizarre as it is—is a very persuasive and inspiring message regarding knocking off the booze and getting your life together.

The PSA opens with our surprisingly chiseled protagonist double-fisting a couple of brews while sitting on the floor of his home and vocalizing his stress by shouting “STRESS!” at the top of his lungs.

However, as his unimpressed family looks on, he suddenly has a change of heart and decides to get up and make something of himself. The rest of the video outlines a 22-step program to quit drinking.

1 – Stop drinking
2 – Work
3 – Work
4 – Work
5 – Collect Money
6 – Work
7 – Collect Money
8 – Pay Debt

…to Jackée Harry

9 – Work
10 – Collect Money
11 – Get Educated
12 – Stable Life
13 – Help Others
14 – Happy

Happiness is sweeping a never-ending sea of sand.

15 – Wife Loves Him
16 – Happy Family
17 – Healthy
18 – Teach Others
19 – Improve Social
20 – Smart
21 – Improve His Country
22 – Just Stop Drinking!!

And that’s it! The Thai path to sobriety relies on no gimmicky higher powers, simply the act of getting your butt to work. While the video is done in a comical way, it makes it perfectly clear that there is a lot of work involved. It’s far from glamorous work either; in fact it sucks. Notice “Happy” doesn’t rear its head until well into the second act.

But if you stay focused on the things that are important to you, then good things will eventually come of it.

Many viewers on the YouTube page where it was posted agreed.

“I’m so inspired to start drinking and then stop drinking.”
“I found this inspirational for some reason.”
“Stop drink get money long time.”
“Can I get ripped like he is if I start drinking?”
[This is a] government commercial geared at making people feel guilty about enjoying themselves and to hurry themselves into debt and wage slavery. Not exactly subtle.”
“If you stop drinking you will miraculously turn into a teacher who also plows fields and make the Kingdom a better place…Given how poorly teachers and farmers are paid in Thailand, I’d rather drink.”
“Well, I find this beautiful. It’s not as naive as you think.”

While on the surface there doesn’t seem to be much difference between “Just say no!” and “Just stop drinking!!” aside from the extra exclamation point, this Thai PSA is very succinct and never seems to talk down to the viewer. In the end, that’s always the best route when trying to convey a message.


Source: Aol News Japan (Japanese)
Video, GIF and insert images: YouTube – YouTube/Kwachii