Recent News

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: HALEY MILLER

We’re grateful for our recent MIAD grad and #ServeMKE volunteer, Haley Miller! Whether she’s creating STD themed coasters, strong babies, or our very own Serve graphics Haley is always willing to help us with our design needs!
1. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

About 6 or 7 months now. I came on as a graphic design intern for Serve/ United Adworkers while I was finishing up my last semester at MIAD, and I’ve continued helping out post-graduation.
2. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

Anything for Get Checked Omaha has been a blast – from designing and photographing STD-themed coasters to hanging out on set for a condom attire photo shoot.

3. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

This isn’t something that I personally created, but it was kind of hilarious and awesome seeing models pose and dance around in condom dresses. I doubt there are many people out there who can say they’ve experienced that!
4. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

I love seeing how Serve’s unique, outside-the-box campaigns can grab people’s attention and raise conversations about important causes. Being a part of that in any small way is pretty cool.
5. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

There are many worth mentioning, but I’m especially grateful for what Pathfinders does for Milwaukee’s youth – whether they are currently in crisis or coping with past traumatic events. This organization helps provide them with a sense of safety, stability, and community when they need it the most.

Serve Marketing, United Way Launch New Advocacy Campaign to Highlight Milwaukee’s Lowest-Ever Teen Birthrate

Critical measure of birthrate for girls 15 to 17 years old is at a historic low

Betsy Brenner, Retired President and Publisher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Co-Chair of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Oversight Committee, Nicole Angresano, Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, and Laura Gainor, Executive Director of Serve Marketing

CLICK HERE to watch the \”Thanks for just making out\” video.


MILWAUKEE (Aug. 8, 2017) – The City of Milwaukee’s birthrate for girls 15 to 17 years old is the lowest it’s ever been—and now officials want to say thanks. The United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and Serve Marketing will launch a public advocacy campaign today thanking the community for its support in helping to lower this critical statistic.

City of Milwaukee Health Department Commissioner Bevan Baker will be joined by United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County Vice President Nicole Angresano as well as Serve Marketing to launch its ‘Thank You’ campaign, reflect on how much progress has been made in the effort against teen pregnancy and look ahead to what more can be done.

A press conference will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County office, 225 W. Vine St., in Milwaukee.

“For several years, we have celebrated the success of this initiative.  But until now, I don’t think we’ve given enough credit to the real stars—the young people who, when given accurate information, when supported and listened to, have made better decisions and taken ownership over their futures,” said Nicole Angresano, Vice President of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

According to the Milwaukee Health Department, the city’s birthrate for girls 15 to 17 years old—a key measure of teen pregnancy rates—is the lowest it’s ever been and continues to plunge, now reaching a historic low. The decrease was seen across various social groups and has declined 65 percent since 2006.

The community initiative to curb teen pregnancy began in 2008, when Milwaukee’s teen birthrate was second only to Philadelphia among the nation’s largest cities. The goal was to then reduce Milwaukee’s teen birthrate to 30 births per 1,000 by 2015; the city met that goal in 2012. While the city’s population of girls between the ages of 15 to 17 increased by 10 percent from 2014 to 2015, the number of births declined from 279 to 233, the lowest number of births on record.

Highlighting that 1 in 4 teens will become pregnant by age 20, this new public advocacy campaign stresses that it is important to know that most teens have a choice in whether or not they want to protect themselves from pregnancy. The ‘Thank You’ campaign from Serve honors those teens for abstaining from sex and includes the website www.BabyCanWait.com to educate teens on pregnancy and start conversations earlier by reaching teens before they become sexually active.

The website features an interactive challenge, where an adventure pits you against the pressures of being a teen. The website also includes resources to help teens find a clinic, discuss sexual rights and information on sex and consent.

“What better way is there to celebrate the teen pregnancy rate being an at all-time low, than honoring the teens that made it happen?” said Gary Mueller, Founder of Serve Marketing. “We wanted to create a campaign that had a positive message, while still having enough shock value to ensure the message would stop teens in their tracks and be sharable. We hope this campaign will reinforce also that not all teens are having sex and if they are it’s protected sex.”

In addition to the website, bus shelters, 30-second television and digital pre-roll videos, and an extensive social media campaign have been created to highlight that Milwaukee’s teen pregnancy rate is at an all-time low.

For more information on teen pregnancy and prevention tips, follow @BabyCanWait on social media channels and visit www.BabyCanWait.com.

About Serve Marketing

Serve is the country’s only all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency whose mission is to give under-served charitable causes a stronger voice in the community. Founded by Milwaukee ad man Gary Mueller in 2002, Serve volunteers have created behavior-changing public service campaigns for over 50 local and national non-profits on issues ranging from teen homelessness, child sexual abuse and shaken baby syndrome to teen pregnancy, brain injury and statutory rape. Causes that aren’t hot. That aren’t sexy. And that don’t have a lot of money. Serve’s provocative brand of work is sometimes controversial, but it gets people to notice and talk about these silent causes, which leads to an increase in awareness, volunteerism and funding. To date, Serve has donated over $15 million of in-kind creative, media, web, public relations, print and broadcast production and strategic planning services to non-profits. Through its educational seminars, podcasts and Small Servings program, Serve has also helped educate thousands more non-profits on the importance of public service marketing. For more information, visit www.servemarketing.org.

About United Way

United Way brings together partners from business, education, government, faith-based, and nonprofit organizations to work toward common goals, resulting in a better quality of life for all. Through donations to the Community Fund, United Way drives lasting change by strategically focusing on the areas of health, education, and financial stability. In addition to their focus areas, United Way invests in many community-wide initiatives. United Way is an independently-governed 501(c)3 nonprofit organization connected to a network of more than 1,400 local United Ways through United Way Worldwide.

CREDITS

‘Thank You’ Campaign

Client: United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County

Creative Directors: Nick Pipitone, Gary Mueller

Art Director: Michael Vojvodich

Account Executive: Laura Gainor

Designer: Alison Galarza

Senior Producer: Jessica Farrell

Public Relations: Ryan Smart

Social Media Coordinator: Lauren Sutter

Media Planners: Jenna Kaerek, Erika Guenther

Director/Cinematographer: Quinn Hester

Assistant Camera/Grip: Haley Kreofsky

Photographer: Meredith Meier

Casting: Cream City Casting

Location Manager: Pang Her

Editor: Hannah Christensen

Music Composer: Peter Batchelder, Independent Studios

Colorist: Rob Due, Independent Edit

Production Managers: Rob Birdsall, Stacey Soden

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: CHARLIE MARSH

Looking for one of the nicest people in the world or a funny GIF with babies? #ServeMKE volunteer, Charlie Marsh, is an expert on all multimedia projects. We can’t thank Charlie enough for turning our crazy ideas into reality!

1. What are your main responsibilities as a Multimedia Designer for BVK?

I’m lucky in that I get to work on a wide variety of projects: digital online banners, presentations, videos, wacky website features, and various other multimedia projects.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

It was within a couple of years of starting at BVK that I was tapped to work on a Serve project, so about ten years.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

Oh, I think it has to be the Strong Baby animations. They’re always a fun challenge: how to create a fun, convincing animation from a still photo.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

That’s tough to answer – there’ve been so many strange things. I think I’d have to say the social media post animation that showed a condom being unrolled onto empty space. I was very proud of the little bounce I added for when the bird landed on the condom.

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

I love the creative leeway given on the projects – our clients allow the creative team to do some really edgy stuff. Also, of course, it’s very gratifying to know that one is helping to spread the word about important causes.

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

The Milwaukee Health Department – their work is so vital and, selfishly, I really enjoy working on those baby animations.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: LAUREN MURRAY

This week’s #ServeMarketing spotlight does a little bit of everything. Lauren Murray’s talent in experiential marketing has provided great insight and support for our impactful campaigns.

1. What are your main responsibilities as an account supervisor for BVK?

I oversee all of the activities as they relate to our day-to-day client work, one-off projects and campaigns. Working in experiential marketing, public relations and social media, this means anything and everything from communicating regularly between the BVK team and the client and sourcing thousands of frozen treats to managing ongoing media relations and finding the best piece of blueberry pie in Maine.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

Since I walked into the doors of BVK – so just under three years.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

Without a doubt the Rubber Rover campaign for Get Checked Omaha. I can honestly say that I have never – and may never need to – order so many condoms in my life. It was awesome to see the concept translate into the real world; the positive feedback we received from Omaha residents, local media and the organizations made the program entirely worth the team’s amazing effort.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

A condom-wrapped Jeep. Need I say more?

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

The opportunity to be on the ground level, seeing first-hand the impact that Serve’s campaigns have on the community. It’s nothing short of inspiring.

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

If you know me, you know of my unconditional love for my pit bull Henry, who came from the Wisconsin Humane Society. I really appreciate the great work that they do to educate the community on animal welfare and find animals happy forever homes.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: MELISSA MASTERS

Media plans are a crucial part of our success. We are grateful to have amazing #ServeMKE volunteers like Melissa Masters to provide insight on placements and scheduling for our messaging.

1. What are your main responsibilities as a Media Planner/Buyer for BVK?

I am a Media Planner/Buyer here at BVK. I work with the media team to plan and execute media plans across digital, print, out of home, etc. We evaluate all of our options and find the most appropriate and efficient places for our clients media to be seen and make the most impact.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

I started at BVK in August so I’ve been able to work on Serve almost my entire time here.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

I really enjoyed executing our Birds, Bees and STD’s native campaign. The campaign was successful and we saw a large number of people clicking thru the ad to learn more!

4. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

Serve campaigns are so impactful. It’s a very cool feeling seeing a campaign you worked around the city of Milwaukee and how much attention it receives.

5. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

I was able to volunteer with Growing Power in college and I really enjoyed the experience. Having access to fresh and healthy food is so important but unfortunately is unattainable for some. I love how Growing Power is able to educate and provide that in the city of Milwaukee.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: SARAH SCHMIDT-JENSEN


A big shoutout to our #ServeMKE volunteer, Sarah Schmidt-Jensen. Sarah has played a key role in some of our most unique campaigns and their success.

1. What are your main responsibilities as a Director of Earned Media for BVK?

As the Director of Earned Media for BVK, I oversee our client’s earned media activities – from public relations to social media to experiential and events. I make sure the earned disciplines are seamlessly integrated to make amazing and effective programs for our clients.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

Since I started at BVK – so nearly 3 years.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

I’ve been fortunate to touch many great Serve programs, but I think my favorite would have to be the Rubber Rover for The Women’s Fund of Greater Omaha. Seeing the faces of people when they saw our condom-wrapped Jeep for the first time was priceless – and a great way to get people talking about a topic that is usually considered taboo.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

I am not skilled enough to “create” this – but I do own a hot pink tank top that features a pizza slice with condoms on it. So there’s that.

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

I love knowing that the work we’re doing with Serve is truly making a difference. Hearing bleak statistics and then seeing how, a year later, that the Serve campaigns have made strides in changing things for the better – there’s no better feeling than that!

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m pretty obsessed with dogs – so I’d have to say the Wisconsin Humane Society.

A Week of World-Class Golf & Sex Trafficking

The Serve Marketing team and volunteers headed to the U.S. Open to help drive awareness for the expected rise in human trafficking activity around major sporting events. Their goal was to make people aware of how close this issue happens around you in your every day life and to educate the community on the signs to watch out for so that they can report suspicious activity.

According to the FBI, Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for the recovery of trafficked adolescents over the past several years. And, Milwaukee is tied with Las Vegas for the third-highest number of young people rescued during trafficking-related FBI raids across the U.S.

“Our goal is to increase the awareness of the issue so that we can educate people to be conscious of the warning signs of this activity,” said Gary Mueller, Founder & Executive Creative Director of Serve, an all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency. “We also want johns [the purchasers of sex] to know that we’re going to be watching for them and reporting them.”

“Our message is very clear: we want to host great, world-class sporting events in our area. But the individuals who are selling kids and women for sex are not welcome here,” said Jarrett Luckett, Executive Director of Exploit No More. “Some people may be surprised to learn that human trafficking happens in all areas of Wisconsin, and small things such as being aware of the signs of trafficking can potentially save a life.”

A website has been created, TimeToSpeakUp.org, where people can go to become familiarized with the warning signs and know who to call should you see such activity.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: CARSYN MCKENZIE

This week’s #ServeMKE spotlight has been a dedicated Serve volunteer for years. Carsyn Taylor continues to use her design skills to bring awareness to meaningful causes. She is always willing to help Serve with any creative needs.
1. What are your main responsibilities as an Art Director for BVK?
As an Art director, my responsibilities include generating ideas for projects, producing designs for campaigns, and directing photoshoots along with day-to-day project management.
2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

I’ve been volunteering for almost 3 years now.
3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

That’s hard to say but I would pick the Storefront Campaign we did for Get Checked Omaha to bring awareness to STDs in their city. It was the first campaign that I was involved with from start to finish.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

Letters that were covered in REAL STDs. For about 3 months or so, new and old coworkers would come into my office asking me the same question: “What are you working on?” 

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

Making a true impact on great causes that deserve to have great work.

6. Who is your favorite non-profit in Milwaukee?

I’m all about local support so here’s some of my favorites (Sorry, not sorry and not in any order): TRUE Skool, Inc.88Nine RadioMilwaukeeGreater TogetherPublic AlliesFirst StageCopyWrite MagazineLa Causa, Inc.

‘Don’t Be Quiet’ about Sex (Trafficking): Serve Calls Out Prevalence of Abuse in Milwaukee Ahead of Golf’s Biggest Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:
Justin Smith
justin.smith@bvk.com
(414) 247-2138

‘Don’t Be Quiet’ about Sex (Trafficking): Serve Calls Out Prevalence of
Abuse in Milwaukee Ahead of Golf’s Biggest Event

Survivors, advocates will gather downtown on Wednesday to educate on the warning signs

MILWAUKEE (June 5, 2017) – Survivors of human sex trafficking, as well as volunteers and advocates from Serve Marketing, will gather downtown on Wednesday, June 7, holding “Don’t Be Quiet” signs to call attention to the expected rise in human trafficking activity that typically occurs around major sporting events.

More than 20 survivors and volunteers will gather at the corner of Wisconsin Ave. and Jefferson St. from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., holding the signs and speaking to the public about the issue.

According to the FBI, Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for the recovery of trafficked adolescents over the past several years. And, Milwaukee is tied with Las Vegas for the third-highest number of young people rescued during trafficking-related FBI raids across the U.S.

“Our goal is to increase the awareness of the issue so that we can educate people to be conscious of the warning signs of this activity,” said Gary Mueller, Founder & Executive Creative Director of Serve, an all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency. “We also want johns [the purchasers of sex] to know that we’re going to be watching for them and reporting them.”

The following individuals will be available to speak with the media:

  • Rosalind Metcalf, human trafficking survivor and advocate / founder of Healing Starts Today
  • Jarrett Luckett, Executive Director of Exploit No More, a local nonprofit dedicated to ending child sex trafficking in the Greater Milwaukee region
  • Maria Bishop, MS, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor and psychotherapist at New Life Resources, Inc.
  • Laura Gainor, Executive Director of Serve Marketing

“Our message is very clear: we want to host great, world-class sporting events in our area. But the individuals who are selling kids and women for sex are not welcome here,” said Luckett. “Some people may be surprised to learn that human trafficking happens in all areas of Wisconsin, and small things such as being aware of the signs of trafficking can potentially save a life.”

Furthermore, a website has been created, TimeToSpeakUp.org, where people can go to become familiarized with the warning signs and know who to call should they see such activity.

About Serve Marketing

Serve is the country’s only all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency whose mission is to give under-served charitable causes a stronger voice in the community. Founded by Milwaukee ad man Gary Mueller in 2002, Serve volunteers have created behavior-changing public service campaigns for over 50 local and national non-profits on issues ranging from teen homelessness, child sexual abuse and shaken baby syndrome to teen pregnancy, brain injury and statutory rape. Causes that aren’t hot. That aren’t sexy. And that don’t have a lot of money. Serve’s provocative brand of work is sometimes controversial, but it gets people to notice and talk about these silent causes, which leads to an increase in awareness, volunteerism and funding. To date, Serve has donated over $15 million of in-kind creative, media, web, public relations, print and broadcast production and strategic planning services to non-profits. Through its educational seminars, podcasts and Small Servings program, Serve has also helped educate thousands more non-profits on the importance of public service marketing. For more information, visit www.servemarketing.org.

# # #

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: COURTNEY KRONSCHNABEL

This next #ServeMKE spotlight has been a helping hand in some of our biggest experiential and social campaigns, including the famous Rubber Rover. Courtney Kronschnabel is a dedicated Serve volunteer that’s always willing to help bring awareness to a great cause.

1. What are your main responsibilities as an Earned Media Assistant Account Executive for BVK?

My main earned media responsibilities generally stay within the social media and experiential world. For social media, I help create, budget and schedule content in addition to community management and giving the client strategic council/education on social media when needed. For experiential projects, I help create experiences for brands, consumers and influencers from start to finish. Everything from concepting ideas, budgeting, planning logistics, onsite execution and recapping the event. It’s pretty fun!

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

2ish years

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

Get Checked Omaha’s Rubber Rover mobile tour was pretty fun to work on. Although it was a lot of work, it was an awesome experience to work with such talented people and see it come to life with great success.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

Haha for sure the items for the Rubber Rover project – condoms & STD facts on everything – good stuff.

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?


Where do I start?

I truly love that as a unified BVK/Serve team we are sharing our passions and producing impactful work for organizations that strive to create positive change in our communities. Not everyone can volunteer on the ground, but everyone can find a way to share their talents for something larger than themselves. I’m thankful that BVK offers the opportunity to work with Serve and give a voice to such meaningful causes.

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

This is a tough one, but Pathfinders and the work they do for youth in crisis within the Milwaukee area has really struck a chord with me. From daily meals, to clothing, housing, counseling and tutors – this organization is doing some amazing work to give youth a safe, supportive and community orientated resource. <3