Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 232

Definition: Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

A public service announcement, also called as a public service ad, are advertisements or messages communicated through media, whereby they(T.V channels, radio, newspapers) do not charge any money for carrying the message. The primary motive behind such ads is to raise awareness amongst the masses or changing the attitude of the general public towards a key social issue.

For e.g. the Jaago Grahak Jaago advertisements on TV and in newspapers.


All media channels are expected to donate some part of their air time to PSAs as measure of social responsibility.

PSAs can be very simple advertisements, with a single actor or celebrity reading or performing a message, for e.g. Amitabh Bachchan in the Polio vaccination drive campaign, or they can be elaborate stories with drama and music involved, for e.g. the various short stories in the Atithi Devo Bhava campaign as a part of Incredible India.


PSAs are inexpensive means of communication for the government since, cost of producing the ad is the only expense involved as air time is “donated” or free. A good and engaging PSA can really encourage the audience to take action or change their behavior with regards to certain social issues. The “Do boond zindagi ke” campaign played a huge role in encouraging people to get their children vaccinated for polio and thus eradicated the disease once for all from India.


Since free air time is less and precious, media channels are very selective in choosing PSAs. As they do not bring any revenue for the channels, they may not be tracked for success.



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