Agency Serve marketing is having a history of controversial campaigns and shock tactics. Campaigns that are not universally appreciated.
Like the Statutory Rape campaign from 2008 which made a lot of hassle and misunderstanding.
It was made for United Way of Greater Milwaukee and that is still their client.
Since 2008 they have become more cautious. Like these fairy-tale ads from last year.
The ads in this post are also from the ongoing Baby Can Wait campaign. It’s very informative to see the evolution since 2008.
The ads, posted in bus shelters throughout the city and concentrated in areas where teen pregnancy rates are most alarming, feature two young girls literally in the clutches of rats and snakes – a metaphor for the kind of men that prey on and take advantage of young girls. The text reads, “What kind of man preys on underage girls?” and “When an older man has sex with an underage girl, it’s more than creepy. It’s statutory rape.”
The target audience are the parents: talk
The ads are strategically placed at bus shelters in areas with high teen pregnancy rates.
One of the most shocking and significant challenges the United Way‐led Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative continues to face is the link between Milwaukee’s epidemic teen pregnancy rates and statutory rape. Many babies born to teens are fathered by adult men, some significantly older than the young mothers.
Nicole Angresano, vice president of community impact, United Way of Greater Milwaukee: “We must act as a community if we are going to change this behavior, and we need parents to lead the charge. They have the power to help their teens avoid pregnancy, sexual victimization and other unhealthy situations by talking to their children openly and honestly about relationships and sexuality.”
With this new campaign chapter it seems that the strategy becomes more provocative but not as shocking as the Statutory Rape campaign.
Serve founder and volunteer creative director, Gary Mueller: “If we want to get parents’ attention about this issue, then we have to give them a graphic wake‐up call. When an older man has sex with an underage girl, it’s more than creepy, it’s statutory rape.”
The use of snakes in campaigns about child abuse is not new.
See this German campaign from 2008: