David Lynch’s Rat-Infested 1991 Anti-Litter Ad Will Make Your Skin Crawl

'We care about New York,' says PSA

David Lynch's 21-year-old "We Care About New York" anti-rat, anti-littering PSA is suddenly infesting the blogosphere. (Has there ever been a pro-rat commercial? Apart from Gingrich's campaign ads, I mean.) Lynch's monochrome clip has an Eraserhead doomsday/industrial feel. The close-up of a rat's claws is especially unnerving. Those tiny hands look almost human. No wonder rats can play guitar. The New Yorkers shown here are pretty scary too. They litter compulsively—and one biker guy clutches a torch, Statue of Liberty style. Near the end, a styrofoam cup spills its contents across a manhole cover. Organic coffee perhaps? Folks clearly didn't heed the warning in '91, given how big the problem's grown.

@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: March 15, 2012 https://stage.adweek.com/creativity/david-lynchs-rat-infested-1991-anti-litter-ad-will-make-your-skin-crawl-138957/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT