Havas Worldwide Imagines Reverse Orphanage for Fragile Childhood

By Erik Oster 

Havas Worldwide, Helsinki crafted an emotional alcohol awareness PSA for Finnish charity Fragile Childhood, in collaboration with production companies Sauna International and Studio Arkadena, entitled “Orphanage.”

The beautifully-shot spot imagines a kind of reverse orphanage, where children choose their parents. Two children look through glass displays at different parents who present typical moments in their lives, such as at the dinner table or in the back yard. “Orphanage” does a great job of drawing in the viewer and fleshing out its strange little world, as the children visit differnt pairs of parents. As the boy takes a fancy to a certain father, a woman takes him by the hand and leads the children to a drunken, quarreling couple — their parents. As they leave with the couple, the message “Children can’t choose their parents. What if they could?” appears, followed by an invitation for viewers to share their thoughts on alcohol abuse. It’s a sad ending, and while it’s not initially apparent what issue the ad is addressing, that should make the ending all the more of a shock to any parents struggling with alcoholism.


“It is still not widely understood how much harm drinking problems at home cause to children,” Fragile Childhood told Adweek. “For example, previous research has shown that every fourth Finnish child has suffered some harm because of parent’s alcohol usage. Research carried out among Finnish teenagers aged 12-18 years shows that children think their parents ought not to drink at home and that they are much nicer when sober.”