10 Of The Strangest Safety Campaigns Ever Made

Lists, Other, Shocking

Safety campaigns have become an established part of the media, with government agencies, charities and other organizations putting out their message in the hope of keeping more people safe. Oftentimes they will tackle problematic issues such as dangerous driving and unprotected sex, encouraging viewers to change their behavior for the good of the public. While they can be hard hitting and emotional, they often do their job very well. However, not all are quite so effective and have instead become a mockery thanks to their odd and bizarre nature.


Earlier this year, Durex started a campaign in association with World AIDS Day to try to come up with an official emoji for the condom. The scheme was centered around the premise of encouraging safe sex to try to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS while acknowledging that up to 80% of internet users used emojis to communicate on a regular basis.

Binge Drinking Flip Flops

Police in the seaside resort of Torbay in the United Kingdom spent £10,000 on a campaign in 2008 that saw those who had been drinking all night being offered a free pair of flip-flops. The footwear were meant to give women, who might be wearing high heels, a way to walk home safely without falling over in their inappropriate footwear. The police hoped this would encourage more people to talk to officers and give them a chance to get their message across about drinking less.

Distraction Free Driving

In a bid to emphasize how important it was for drivers to focus on the road while driving and not get distracted by other things, the New Zealand Transport Agency ran the “Focus on the road, not me” campaign. Unfortunately it kind of defeated the entire purpose of the message as it had a man dressed up trying to grab the attention of drivers, and thereby distracting them, while they were moving past him.

Farming Hazards

The National Farmers’ Union, a United Kingdom organization representing those who work on farms, began a campaign known as Yellow Wellies in in March of 2015. It involved educating members about the dangers of working in the farming industry, where injuries account for up to 20 of all workplace accidents in the country. What made it strange though, is that they got the famous band The Wurzels to re-record their hit song “Combine Harvester” with new lyrics and an accompanying music video.

Deadly Sex

This poster was just part of a series that saw people engaging in sexual acts with scary creatures such as giant spiders and scorpions. The organizations behind it, an AIDS charity, hoped that it would get across the message of how dangerous unprotected sex can be.

Irish Car Safety

While car safety campaigns are often designed to be as shocking as they can be in order to grab the attention of the viewer and bring home exactly how dangerous a car can be, few are as violent as this one from Norther Ireland. It contained a bizarre amount of ferocity as it showed a car going out of control and killing a large group of children having a picnic. So many people complained that the ad could only be shown after 9pm.

Happy Prostitute

The Health Ministry in Brazil faced criticism for its strange strategy for convincing the public to use condoms and practice safe sex. Running the scheme called “I’m happy to be a prostitute,” they tried to encourage condom use by showing prostitutes asking their customers to wear them. The only problem was that it seemed to be doing more to promote prostitution than get across their intended message, forcing the ads to be taken down.

Drunk Lollipops

In an effort to stop drunken men who had been on the town all night from getting into fights and causing trouble after closing time, police in Mayo County, Ireland began to hand out lollipops. According to the local council, the move was designed to help placate those on the way home and help to ensure they would be quiet while enjoying the sweets and not disturbing local residents.

Selfie Danger Zones

In response to the growing number of deaths and injuries that have been caused by people trying to take ever more impressive selfies, Russian authorities printed a series of billboards and posters to spread around cities. They hoped that they would convince people not to put their lives at risk in the hope of getting a good photograph.

Anti-Pee Paint

A number of cities around the world, including London and San Francisco, have begun to trial a new type of paint that they hope will educate the public and stop people from urinating against walls. Local councils often spends hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to clean up the urine left on the street by those peeing in public and the new paint has been designed to deflect the liquid back at the person and to prevent the wall from absorbing it.