Monday, 27 August 2012

PIFs - The Tattered Past of Public Information Films

PIFs, or Public Information Films, seems to be a thing of the past. Nowadays, people get their share for fearmongery through fantastically animated cgi-documentaries but before these were of any real quality image-wise, governments had to rely on patronising, blatant truisms which any sensible person today would take for granted. It is, however, exactly these properties which makes the PIFs either amusing or quite creepy to us today. As a challenge, one of the PIFs below is a fake. Can you spot it?

Following the war, new threats loomed...

and new solutions.

Later, with death tolls rising to seven-digit numbers per annum, kite safety had to be addressed.

You would think this had become common knowledge by the 80s, but

They never listen to the sensible kid. That's why they introduced the twice shy cat:

And they say cats are clever. However, this 1973 film depicting dark and lonely water as an active agent is just ridiculously creepy.

His brother, it seems, was less malicious though just as creepy and righteous.

Life was indeed harder in the 70s. Even a rug could kill you.

Or a chair...

Even man's best friend could be a killer.

Felt worse for the dog, really. In any case, in the 90s, some PIFs focused more on being grisly than which message came across. In this PIF it's clearly better to hit a child at 30 mph than at 40mph.

Luckily, though, there were Hale and Pace.

Which brings us around to our fake. The fairly easy to spot spoof here was of course the chair and fries skit from the Armstrong and Miller show. (More from them here.)

Sources: As given