This DeVito/Verdi spot for the American Asthma Foundation, lensed by Janusz Kaminski, the two-time Oscar-winning film cinematographer (for Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List), may be the best PSA ever made. It’s better than “This is your brain on drugs,” because that effort actually makes drug use appear subversive and desirable on some level. The frying pan was an apt metaphor, but few of us (hopefully) could relate to being cooked up in one. Conversely, this asthma spot, “Park,” conveys the experience of an asthma attack on a shockingly visceral and instantly empathetic level. After viewing it, I’d gladly donate just to get the images out of my mind. See if you agree. But first, take a deep breath.
—Posted by David Gianatasio