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Sonic PSA's "Knuckles, agent of UK Government"

Badnik Mechanic

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So here is something I was wondering... we are all familiar with this....




Yeah go on we all laugh at it.


PSA's. Safety tips, using the mascot to try and influence kids. Sonic Sez is by far the most notorious of the lot. But I was wondering. 


Have there been any/many others?


Now before we all start quoting Archie comics' many PSA's and odd references (seriously theres an image of hitler salutes doing the rounds from one old story) and to a point some of the odd Fleetway PSA's which crept in...


Are there any other ones? 


Sonic is nearly 25 years old now, and considering his age and target audience, it's likely he's been used in a few PSA's or in some odd ways to convey some kind of message.


A lot of the time, Sonic is seen as being pro environment and well you know... But has there ever been anything specific or which is blatantly sonic being used as a PSA?


I can think of at least one.


Sonic Topps Trading cards. Specifically this one.




Even then that's not really a strict PSA since it's not telling kids what to do, just that Sonic doesn't do drugs or swear. I know that some japanese merchandise has a few 'inspirational' messages on it, but I wouldn't classify them as PSA's.


So other than Sonic Sez, have there been any other PSA's? Without resorting to archie/fleetway comics?

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Oh yeah I remember that. Hmmmm


"Maybe lurking in your school"


Erm... did he ever visit anyone's school here?

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So that Knuckles anti smoking thing just got a lot more interesting. I decided to log into the UK News stand website (you need to be a member of an educational establishment to access it). This is a place that has archives of newspaper stories going back decades.


So for a laugh I decided to look for Sega and smoking... and I found something that sounds like that Knuckles smoking thing.


And it wasn't a Sega thing... it was a Government thing!


THE Government launched a pounds 3 million advertising campaign aimed at teenage smokers yesterday with an admission that its previous attempts to cut cigarette consumption in young people had failed. The three year campaign, called Respect, will feature adverts in teenage magazines, and is sponsored by firms including Puma, Sega and Pizzaland.


Non-smoking sports and TV personalities are being signed up, including the footballers Lee Sharpe and Gary Lineker, the Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, and the athlete Roger Black. In addition, adverts in the tobacconists' trade press will remind retailers of the penalties for selling cigarettes to those under 16. Baroness Cumberlege, the junior health minister, said the Government's target had been been to cut smoking to 6 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds last year, but the current rate was 12 per cent.


Word count: 135

Copyright Guardian Newspapers, Limited Jul 9, 1996


That's right my friends. Knuckles the Echidna was apart of a UK government PSA... or if you wanna be a conspiracy, propaganda lolz! (though yeah it wasn't propaganda, just a PSA).


Who could forget this one?


Whoa! Whats that one!? 

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"Who needs smoking, when you can get hench, just like me, Knuckles! Mah spikes break thru boulders, that's why I stay alone-a! So remember kids, eat your vegetables, exercise, say no to smoking, and one day you will be ripped just like me! "



Who could forget this one?

Sonic you hypocritical bastard!

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Sonic doesn't swear? About a decade later, "Damn! They got away!"

Nah, damn isn't a swear word. Maybe one you have to be careful with, but I've never thought of it as a swear.

Now this wouldn't really count as a PSA, but I'm sure there was a Sonic swimming campaign at some point. No idea where it was in the world, and I don't know where the info for it is now, but IIRC it was tied to Sonic 3.

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Hmm. Why UK government isn't use Mario, the perfect franchise, And far more popular than Sonic franchise?. Using Mario to this AD is too expensive? I think UK gov already know Mario is far popular than Sonic in UK

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Hmm. Why UK government isn't use Mario, the perfect franchise, And far more popular than Sonic franchise?. Using Mario to this AD is too expensive? I think UK gov already know Mario is far popular than Sonic in UK Sent from my SHW-M250S using Tapatalk 2

You know those ads were when the Sega Genesis was popular right? And you know when the Sega Genesis was popular, Sonic was popular right? And Sonic and Mario were on (more or less) equal footing.

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I wonder if Sonic likes to play his own video games. ^^


Well, he does like to play "jokes"...

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Sonic doesn't swear? Didn't he say "shit" on Sonic X once? 


I have that Knuckles sticker - it's stuck on an old 32X game though (I forget which one) I mainly picked up the game for the sticker because I thought it was cool. 

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"Damn" is very much a swear in the common mind, although it's a tame one compared to some others. However, it can also be used as a non-swear if used in the religious context (that is, to be sent to Hell), much like the word "Hell." It sounds strange, but let's take a look at Fox's censorship policies for perspective - you are not allowed to say the word "Jesus Christ" unless it's referring to the historical figure; Family Guy made a gag out of this by having the term get shouted once, only for Jesus to literally pop in asking "What?" the next second.

Indeed, it's probably the "Damn" language that merits Shadow's T rating and not the "Hell" since Hell is used in the literal context, sort of like how Sonic said "the Gates of Hell" in Secret Rings to no ill effect on the rating. There was the Commander's "feel their own Hell" comment but that is... kind of on the edge of whether it's the swear Hell or non-swear Hell, I think.

AHEM! Back to the Sonic stuff.

Though given that the swearing part that applied to Classic Sonic no longer is valid for Modern... it makes me wonder if all those joke videos and comics that say Sonic's a mess who has actually succumbed to drug use at some point post-90s might be onto something. tongue.png That's without getting into the "Chronic the Hemphog" character that's popped up...

At least that care for the environment bit is still there. It's just not quite as blunt as it was during the 90s.

Sonic doesn't swear? Didn't he say "shit" on Sonic X once?

Indeed he did!

Then you have him giving Robotnik the finger in the anime film... I get the oddest feeling "alternate universe" would be used to explain these.

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When it comes to swearing, it's all a cultural thing. Some people find specific words offensive, while others is meh. In case of damn, I would feel uncomfortable if my kid was saying it--even though I swear so badly to the point where it would make Sailors blush.


I thought Sonic always used "minor" swear words in the modern games? In Japanese, anyway. Shit and damn. I'm pretty hazy on the matter, so I could be speaking complete hogwash. No references to pull from. ;_;

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