Jacksonville has long worked to curb its littering and trash problems, which have improved over the years thanks to many aggressive local ad campaigns in the late 90s and early 2000s.
The most notable of these campaigns came to us courtesy of the “Don’t Trash Jacksonville” program. In the mid 2000s, they released two ads featuring singing trashmen offering helpful advice to citizens regarding proper trash pickup day etiquette.
Obviously, there’s a lot going on here. There’s the couple being awoken by two trashmen announcing that it’s trash pickup day. There’s the man’s dance as he walks down his driveway with the singing trashmen. As far as cheesy local commercials go, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Their next entry, “Trash Day Blues”, was more straightforward in its still-amusing style.
The caring trashmen of Jacksonville simply can’t stand the thought of your streets being bombarded with garbage bags thrown out far past the deadline for pickup. They convey their helpful spirit in the only way they can: through funky jams.
Bafflingly, the program moved away from the trash pickup focus to tackle the next item on their agenda: unsecured cargo.
This commercial looked a bit more like something you’d expect from a low-budget auto accident law firm. Nonetheless, it makes a good point — think of how many times you’ve found yourself behind a truck with very loosely (or not at all) secured items seeming ready to come flying into your windshield.
Plus, it delivers the excellent line “Before you hit the road, secure your load.”
The campaign involved one last ad that can best be described as bizarre.
Again, good point being attempted here. Smokers in Jacksonville do seem to delight in tossing their cigarettes wherever they please, and that needs to stop.
The execution, however, is a bit strange. Apparently the discarded cigarettes of Jacksonville have become sentient, and are plotting a revolution to turn Jacksonville into Buttopia.
All in all, the campaign was certainly memorable; anyone who lived in the area at that time and owned a television probably recognizes at least one of these commercials. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the only goal of an ad campaign?
It’s equally important to remember the actual message of the commercials. It’s not hard to keep up with the right time to put out your trash, and it makes your neighborhood a nicer place to do it the proper way. It’s not hard to secure your cargo before you drive; it could save you from losing that cargo, and the people behind you from losing their lives. And cigarette smokers, get an ash tray. Or, you know, stop smoking cigarettes.
So while we remember the “Don’t Trash Jacksonville” campaign, we should also remember today that we must do as its name suggests.
Footage courtesy of, and copyrighted to, COJ.net.