The Nation's Health + [Public Awareness]

Eye-opening “Sex Myths” Social Media Campaign Aims to Shock Parents Into Talking with Teens about Sex

Milwaukee has seen its share of surprising public service ad campaigns but the newest PSA hitting the airwaves is certain to make parents uncomfortable once again.

The heavily digital and social media-based campaign, created by Serve Marketing, features an interactive YouTube quiz and website, heavy social media promotion on Facebook and Twitter. Teens and their parents will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion using the hashtag #SexMyths. Users will then be encouraged to share the videos and visit GetTheSexFacts.com for more information on the campaign.

PRESS: Milwaukee has seen its share of surprising public service ad campaigns ranging from images of pregnant boys to baby’s sleeping with butcher knives. But the newest PSA hitting the airwaves is certain to make parents uncomfortable once again.

The campaign, titled “Who’s Teaching Your Child about Sex?” is designed to start that conversation between parents and youth about sex and the many myths surrounding teen pregnancy. The campaign features kids proliferating many sex myths, and depicts them spreading throughout a school without any attempt to debunk or call into question the validity of the myths.

“You can’t get pregnant if we have sex in a hot tub,” advises one boy to the teen girl he is talking to. Another teen says assuredly, “you can’t get pregnant if you use your sister’s birth control.” One even goes as far as saying he heard “Mountain Dew lowers your sperm count.” A super then implores parents to talk to their kids about sex, because if they aren’t, then someone else is.

“The first line of defense against teen pregnancy is keeping kids informed about sex,” explains Serve Volunteer Creative Director, Gary Mueller. “But the problem is, many parents aren’t willing to sit down and have the talk with them. So when kids aren’t informed, misinformation and myths about sex spread.”

The heavily digital and social media-based campaign, created by Serve Marketing for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, features an interactive YouTube quiz and website, heavy social media promotion on Facebook and Twitter. Teens and their parents will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion using the hashtag #SexMyths. Users will then be encouraged to share the videos and visit GetTheSexFacts.com for more information on the campaign.

"The average teen spends more than five hours a day online and the kind of misinformation they're getting about sex is frightening," notes Serve Creative Director, Gary Mueller. "We wanted to use social media to combat these myths because that's where the conversations are happening. And at the same time we want to open the eyes of parents to what their kids are learning online."

Other elements of the campaign include :30 and :15 TV spots, and bus shelters.

The multi-pronged campaign is the latest tactic in the United Way-led Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. Milwaukee’s teen birth rate is currently at a historically low level. City of Milwaukee health officials say the current trend indicates that Milwaukee should be on track to reduce the teen birth rate by 46% by 2015, a goal which was set by United Way of Greater Milwaukee, the Center for Urban Population Health and the Milwaukee Health Department in 2008.

Creative Credits:  
Ad Agency: Serve Marketing, Milwaukee, USA
Creative Director: Gary Mueller
Writer: Nick Pipitone
Art Director: Mitch Markussen
Digital Lead: Kevin Kriehn
Social Media: Dave Perry, Rob Ebert
Digital Designer: Mark Goldstein
Developer: Joe Salvatori
Producer: Heidi Sterricker
Director: Quinn Hester
Audio: John Egan
Editorial: Wonder Wonder