New Serve PSAs Remind Us to Talk About Sex, Baby

By Patrick Coffee 

Do you, reader, have children approaching that difficult age? If so, we feel sorry for them because at least one of their parents works in advertising.

A new campaign by Milwaukee’s Serve Marketing, which is “the country’s only, all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency,” takes an interesting approach to convincing parents that NOW is the time to talk to their own kids about safe sex. Serve has been creating work for the Milwaukee United Way’s anti-teen pregnancy initiative for a while, and The White House even acknowledged its work.

The message in this campaign is quite simple: are you a grandpa or grandma? Do you WANT to be? Then get the hell out of your lounge chair and tell your kids to use condoms.


Here’s “4 O’Clock,” which is the time that teens are most often thinking about having irresponsible, unprotected sex as opposed to, say, getting really high after class and playing Call of Duty.

We’re pretty sure we saw that apartment in Bushwick once, minus the carpeting. Another spot set in the very same mothball facility features some creative use of the notorious Clapper.

Next, did you know that The Olds often suffer from constipation while listening to the Ballgame on old-timey radios and clipping coupons from the most recent Coupon Book?

And do they enjoy three-way phone calls? Apparently they do.

Finally, we return to the first couple for a lesson in keeping the teevee volume at a sensible level.

We would mention the fact that none of these actors look old enough to have teenage kids and that their fashion choices very closely resemble those of Brooklyn residents in their mid-20s, but we’re not big on nitpicking. And we do like the diversity of the cast.

Serve’s founder/volunteer CD Gary Mueller, who doubles as EVP and CD at local indie shop BVK, says:

“Most PSA’s in the past have encouraged parents to talk to their teens about teen pregnancy by focusing on the consequences to their child. We wanted to take a little fresher approach. One that would catch them surprise and show them in a tongue in cheek way, the consequences to them as young grandparents.”

This campaign, which is part of the “Let’s Talk Month” project, includes “bus shelters, YouTube videos, digital pre-roll video and five :30 TV spots” including the three embedded above. They will run through November in the local market and hopefully convince at least one teen’s parent to talk about how safe sex is no joke. (Not that this will actually work, but you have to try.)


Executive Creative Director: Gary Mueller
GCD/Copywriter: Brian Ganther
CD/Art Director: Matt Herrmann
Art Director: Ryan Strzok
Broadcast Producer: Jon Hanusa
Print Producer: Heidi Halperin
Retoucher: Anthony Giacomino
Developers: Ben Gray + Fred Ziegler
Director : Vinnie Besasie
DP: Mike Gillis
Production Company: Full Circle Productions (Kara Mulrooney-Producer)
Editor: John Elmendorf (Wonder Wonder)
Audio: Alex Smolinski (Wonder Wonder)
Photographer: Lucian McAfee
Social Media: Alex Boeder
Account Executive: Heidi Halperin