When E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial hit theaters, it was a big deal. E.T. was everywhere after that. He did commercial for lots of products, including a very memorable Atari commercial. One that I always remembered was this ET Special Olympics PSA.
In it, E.T. is simply watching a child work hard on mastering the high jump. Even though the kid fails time and again, E.T. patiently watches. E.T. even pays the kid a visit to let the kid know that he believes in him. Eventually through hard work and perseverance, the kid manages to make the jump. When he does it, his parents are their to praise him, but this kid knows who really cares about him, E.T.
When I first saw this ad back in the 1980s, I was naturally attracted to it because of E.T. At some point something occurred to me that made it extra fun in my book. E.T. can make things fly. He did it with the bikes. Why didn’t he do it with this kid? Yes, I know why. He wants the kid to win by his own means. Still, this PSA would have been much more memorable if this kid suddenly started glowing and leapt twenty feet into the air. Sure, not as lesson oriented, but a hundred times more memorable.
Watch the ET Special Olympics PSA