Partnership for a Drug-Free America

PDFA was formed in 1987 by an association of volunteer advertising agencies and tv networks to combat rising drug use among teens.


Los Angeles and New York


Public Service, Nonprofit

Volunteer staff


Services we provided
  • Research
  • Strategy
  • Writing
  • Advertising
  • Media Planning & Buying

The client

By the late 80’s, America was losing its War on Drugs. “Just say no” was an ineffective response to the realities of spiking drug use among America’s teens.

The crisis led a group of concerned and committed ad agencies — spearheaded by keye/donna/pearlstein and Daily Associates Los Angeles — to approach major tv networks, solicit free airtime and volunteer their creative services to develop a powerful anti-drug campaign to stem the tide. The media went all in. The agencies responded with powerful campaigns within weeks.

The challenge

Develop bold, breakthrough tv commercials to go directly at the drug epidemic. No jingles, no syrupy scripts, no nonsense. The strategy was simple: Fight fire with fire.

The solution

Of the dozens of spots created by The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Fried Egg tv spot — “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” — was the most effective by any measure: Impact, message, believability, memorability, and tangible results.

The award-winning spot was created and written by BHI founding partner Larre Johnson. It ranks as TV Guide’s 8th Best TV Commercial of All-Time. It became the most remembered spot of the 1980’s. More importantly, it raised awareness about drug abuse, demystified the effects of doing drugs, changed attitudes and the lives of teens. It has remained in the language for decades.

Let’s get to work.

Start a project

© 2023 Big Honkin’ Ideas. All Rights Reserved.