The 30 Freakiest Ads of 2009 Roller-skating babies, Hitler, 9/11 exploitation, rat poison and more

World AIDS Day10

"Mass Murderer"
Das Comitee, Hamburg, Germany
Click to view. Warning: Video is sexually explicit and NSFW. Sleeping with Adolf Hitler: never a good idea. An Adolf impersonator did his best John Holmes impression in this steamy mini-epic from Germany—to make the point that AIDS is a mass murderer.

NHS Birmingham East and North9

Dr. Foster, London, U.K.
Click to view. This English PSA compared the physical effects of smoking to that of getting beat up in a back alley. Nice directing work by Rankin & Chris.

Parkinson Society Canada8

Taxi, Toronto, Canada
Click to view. A truly terrifying depiction of the nightmare of Parkinson's disease. When you fight against yourself, you lose. Awesome ending, too.

U.K. Department of Health7

"Act F.A.S.T."
DLKW, London, U.K.
Click to view. More PSA shock tactics from England—this time, the depiction of a stoke, as it happens. Many Britons found the campaign upsetting. Others said the warning signs are confusingly similar to the faces their friends make late Saturday night at the pub.

U.K. Department for Transport6

"Always There"
AMV BBDO, London, U.K.
Click to view. In this harrowing road-safety PSA, a man goes through life haunted by a boy he killed while speeding. Depressing to the max!

Casa de Menor5

McCann Erickson, Milan, Italy
Click to view. This devastating PSA about sexual abuse showed a boy struggling for normalcy as he carries a dying version of himself through his daily life.

Leicester Teenage Pregnancy Partnership4

"Teenage Kicks"
The Rocket Science Group, London v, U.K.
Click to view. What appears to be a schoolyard fight turns out to be a lot worse in this hard-hitting British PSA. Presumably not based on actual events.

World Wildlife Fund3

DDB, São Paulo, Brazil
Click to view. The most controversial campaign of the year, it exploited images of 9/11 to make a point about the environment. ("The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.") This is the video version of the infamous print ad.

Gwent Police Department2

"Texting and Driving"
Director: Peter Watkins-Hughes, U.K.
Click to view. This video from a small police department in Wales went viral all over the world, thanks to its depiction of the bloody consequences of texting and driving. Impressively gruesome.


Langland, Windsor, U.K.
Click to view. Got something in your throat? We won't spoil this commercial for you, in case you haven't seen it. Let's just say it's utterly distressing—a worthy winner as the freakiest commercial of 2009.

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AdFreak is a daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd.

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