Recent News

#ServeMKE Volunteer Spotlight: David Thimmesch

We’re excited for our second #ServeMKE Volunteer Spotlight: David Thimmesch. Always there for you when you need a direct quote for what Gonorrhea would say in a tweet. (Photo by another #ServeMKE volunteer, Anthony Giacomino).

1. What are your main responsibilities as a Copywriter for BVK?
“Contrary to popular belief, I don’t work for the U.S. Copyright Office. Instead, I write pretty much everything read or spoken in advertising. That includes radio, billboards, print, emails, brochures, business cards, bumper stickers and even the occasional tweet.”

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?
“I’ve been volunteering for Serve as long as I’ve been working at BVK. So nearly two years.”

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?
“That would have to be “The Birds, the Bees and the STD’s.” Whenever I tell someone what I’m working on, they always laugh.”

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?
“If Chlamydia could talk, what would it say?”

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?
“I like the way Serve uses advertising to make a positive impact on people’s lives. That’s why I got into this industry.”

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?
“There are some great causes in Milwaukee, but there’s a new one that’s really touched my heart. It’s called Royal Family Kids. While they’re not exclusive to Milwaukee, they send foster kids between the ages of 6 and 12 on a life changing Christian Summer Camp experience that makes them feel valued and loved.”

#ServeMKE Volunteer Spotlight: Stacey Soden

Stacey Soden, Assistant Production Manager

We’re excited to launch a series to feature our incredible #ServeMKE volunteers and getting the chance to learn about their work and causes they love. Starting with Stacey Soden, who is an incredibly generous teammate that will accommodate any strange request with a smile!

1. What are your main responsibilities for BVK?
I am the Assistant Print Production Manager at BVK.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?
Shortly after I started at BVK – almost five years.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?
My favorite project was probably the Rubber Rover, but I also enjoyed being a part of the STD Storefront campaign.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?
I’ve had to track down a few strange items for Serve; most recently it was a certain color of condom that was needed for a photo shoot.

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

Being able to be a part of creating something unique and impactful.

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

Prom Outfits Made with Condoms Prove Safe Never Goes Out of Style

Prom Outfits Made with Condoms Prove Safe Never Goes Out of Style

New campaign seeks to normalize condoms to promote safer sex and reduce teen pregnancy

OMAHA (March 7, 2017) – While shopping for the perfect formal wear and prepping for the big day, local youth and parents will find a new type of apparel this year – outfits made of condoms. The latest campaign from the Adolescent Health Project, a program of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, features locally-designed condom formal wear on display at area stores, boutiques, salons and barbershops, just in time for prom season.

“Youth need access to complete and medically-accurate information in order to make informed decisions about their sexual health,” said Brenda J. Council, Adolescent Health Project Manager of the Women’s Fund of Omaha. “Open, honest conversations with parents and caregivers about sexuality help youth delay sex until they are ready. It is our hope that the condom outfits will spark conversations.”

Joined by sexual health and education community partners, the Adolescent Health Project launched the campaign at Alliance Barber Shop & Supply (2611 St. Mary’s Avenue). Additional condom outfits can be viewed at Cinderella Dress Outlet (inside Crossroads Mall), Curb Appeal Salon (518 South 10th Street), Hello Holiday (5008 Underwood Avenue), McLovin (1012 Howard Street) and Parlour 1887 (6068 Maple Street). Each outfit features the message, “Safe never goes out of style” and directs people online to SexFactsOmaha.com to find information about access to contraception as well as more than 100 locations to find free condoms.

Sarah Ann Kotchian, VP of Education & Early Childhood Policy of Holland Childrens Institute, Laura Gainor, Executive Director of Serve Marketing, Jill Heggen, PR & Social Media Manager of Women’s Fund of Omaha, Dr. Adi Pour of Douglas County Health Department and AHP (Adolescent Health Project) Advisory Board Member.

Press Conference Photos by Lucian McAfee Photography

In Nebraska, 32 percent of high school youth are sexually active with 60 percent reporting that they have engaged in sexual activity by the time they graduate. Youth need support and information for delaying sex as well as access to condoms and contraceptives. Condoms, if used consistently and correctly, can greatly reduce the risk of both unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), of which Douglas County has some of the highest rates.

Evidence clearly shows that contraception is driving the long-term decline in U.S. teen pregnancies. Highly effective long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods, also known as LARC, have the potential to help even more adolescents avoid an unplanned pregnancy.

This campaign is part of multi-year series of engaging and provocative youth-oriented public service campaigns, produced by the Adolescent Health Project and the Women’s Fund of Omaha, in partnership with Serve Marketing, a volunteer non-profit ad agency.

Information about access to no-cost birth control, free condoms and tips for parents on having sexual health conversations is available online at www.SexFactsOmaha.com. For additional information and ongoing conversations, follow the Sex Facts Omaha Facebook page and @SexFactsOmaha on Twitter.

SAFE NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE CAMPAIGN

CREDITS

Client: Women’s Fund of Omaha – Get the Sex Facts Omaha

Creative Directors: Gary Mueller, Jeff Ericksen

Art Director: Carsyn McKenzie

Copywriter: Jeff Ericksen

Photographer: Nick Collura

Retoucher: Anthony Giacomino

Producer: Kristin Peterson

Designer: Alison Galarza

Social Media Photographer: Haley Miller

Public Relations: Jill Heggen, Bridget Franke

Social Media Manager: Andrew Rojahn

Account Executives: Laura Gainor, Lauren Sutter

Print Production Managers: Rob Birdsall, Stacey Soden

Makeup Artist: Erika Sorenson

Casting Agency: Cream City Casting

The Birds, The Bees and The STDs

The “Birds and Bees” Welcome New Partner – STDs

New campaign “Birds, Bees and the STDs” to educate tweens and teens on safer sex and STDs

OMAHA (Oct. 25, 2016) – “The birds and the bees” is a conversation familiar to almost all teenagers, but the latest campaign from the Adolescent Health Project, a program of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, is offering a new way to discuss sexual health with tweens, teens and parents.

In the city with STD rates among the highest in the country, the “Birds, Bees and the STDs” campaign will focus on starting conversations earlier by reaching tweens and teens before they become sexually active. National data shows that seven out of 10 teens have sex before age 19, and right here in Nebraska, the average age youth start having sex is 16, according to the Douglas County Health Department.

“Clearly the traditional ‘sex talk’ isn’t working for our children,” said Brenda J. Council, Adolescent Health Coordinator of the Women’s Fund of Omaha. “Parents should begin talking about sex and healthy relationships with their children well before they have sex, and these conversations should be ongoing, stressing the importance of STD prevention and education.”

In correspondence with National “Let’s Talk” Month this October, the Adolescent Health Project, joined by its sexual health and education community partners, launched the campaign at a press conference at the Charles Drew Health Center, followed by an afternoon meeting at Girls, Inc., to start spreading the message with Omaha youth and their parents.

Recent data confirms what most parents already know – the majority of youth learn about sex online. The new campaign, “Birds, Bees and the STDs” includes the website www.BirdsBeesAndSTDs.com to reach tweens and teens where they already are – online.

The website features a fun cartoon design, interactive quiz and “sextionary” with common terms for STDs to help encourage conversations and reduce the stigma of the oftentimes uncomfortable sex talk. The website also includes resources for parents to help facilitate these conversations with their children.

“We know that most parents find having the “sex talk” with their kids to be awkward, and too many parents neglect to have it, or have it too late,” explains Serve Volunteer Creative Director Gary Mueller. “We hope that the BirdsBeesAndSTDs.com website makes it easier for parents to start the conversation and create an ongoing dialogue with their kids about sex and STDs when they’re young.”

The campaign includes billboard ads and cartoon cutouts throughout Omaha that feature characters Bird, Bee and various STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. The campaign also incorporates an animated rap music video that will run in select movie theatres during November and will be promoted on social media.

This is the ninth in an ongoing series of provocative STD awareness campaigns by the Women’s Fund of Omaha and Serve Marketing targeted at teens and young adults in Douglas County.

For information on STDs, how and where to get tested, and prevention tips, follow the GetCheckedOmaha Facebook page, @GetCheckedOmaha on Twitter and the GetCheckedOmaha YouTube channel.

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Advertising Agency: Serve Marketing

Client: Women’s Fund of Omaha, Get Checked Omaha

Creative Directors: Gary Mueller, Nick Pipitone

Art Director / Illustrator: David Zimmerman

Art Directors: Kelsey Barnowsky, Ryan Strzok

Copywriter: David Thimmesch

Designer: Alison Galarza

Senior Interactive Producer: Fred Ziegler

Creative Strategist: Rachel Whitt

Web Developer: Benjamin Gray

Senior Producer: Jessica Farrell

Animator / Editor: Bobby Ciraldo

Public Relations: Bridget Franke

Media Supervisors: Jeffrey Lancioni, Dan Murphy

Music / Sound: Alex Smolinski / Wonder Wonder Sound

Account Executives: Laura Gainor, Lauren Sutter

Social Media Manager: Andrew Rojahn

Print Production Managers: Rob Birdsall, Stacey Soden

Women’s Fund of Omaha Deploys ‘Rubber Rover’ To Raise Awareness on STDs

Published on Fox42 – August 15, 2016

Photo Credit: Andrew Feller Photography  //  Rubber Rover custom illustrated by BVK’s David Zimmerman and Kelsey Barnowsky.

OMAHA (FOX42KPTM) – More than 4,880 cases of sexually transmitted diseases were reported in Douglas County in 2015, the Women’s Fund of Omaha says.

To create more awareness and increase education about sexually transmitted diseases, The Adolescent Health Project, a program by the Women’s Fund of Omaha is deploying a jeep called the Rubber Rover.

The organization says the Rubber Rover is a mobile extension of the organization that it will travel around the city from August 17-22, 2016.

The organization says the Rover will stop at bars, after school programs and the Maha Music Festival.

The Rover will also stop at high-traffic locations throughout the city to engage teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24.

The organization hopes to connect kids to GetCheckedOmaha.com, a website containing information and resources about STD testing and prevention.

The Rover will travel with tons of gear, life-size STD fact Jenga and STD trivia games, all of which connects to the theme of the vehicle.

The Rubber Rover concept was designed by Serve Marketing, the country’s only all-volunteer advertising agency, which is based in Milwaukee.

Hiring PR + Social Media Manager in Omaha, NE

We’re hiring a PR + Social Media Manager in Omaha, NE to work directly with Women’s Fund of Omaha and Serve Marketing on some of the boldest and most engaging non-profit marketing efforts. Minimum of 3 years experience in PR/Social.

Click HERE to read the full job description. Please send all resumes and work samples to laura@servemarketing.org.

Campaign Examples for GetCheckedOmaha.com and GetTheSexFactsOmaha.com:


Serve’s NEW Executive Director is here! A note from Gary…

It saddens me to inform you that we are losing two cornerstone pieces of Serve this summer. Both Heidi and Matt will be leaving our team in the next few weeks.

I’d like to first congratulate Heidi on her recent engagement to her boyfriend Jim. They will be moving into a new home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Heidi will be able focus on her son George and is planning to volunteer at a local retirement home in the area. Since Heidi took the helm in 2013, Serve has launched some of our most successful campaigns to date. In addition, Heidi has been able to license a lot of campaigns across the country, overseen our social media efforts, and established life-long relationships with our clients. I would like to personally thank her for all of her efforts and dedication to Serve over the past 3 years. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Shortly after Heidi gave notice, Matt also dropped a bombshell that he will be moving to San Francisco to join the Federal Government in early July. He will be helping people obtain permanent residency (green cards) and citizenship in the United States. While his time back was very short, we appreciate his stepping up when needed and seamlessly transitioning back to Serve after his service in the Peace Corps.

Finally, the good news! After thoughtful consideration and numerous recommendations, we have decided the next Executive Director of Serve will be Laura Gainor. Laura is kind-hearted, driven, well respected and most importantly a kick-ass mother of 2. Laura is currently the Executive Director of United Adworkers, a Milwaukee based non-profit which unites all the amazing talent and creative minds in our area. She has extensive experience in social media and digital content. She was the former Director of Social Media at GMR Marketing (one of the biggest national promotions/experiential agencies in the country). We are very fortunate that she was able to take over with such a small window of time and I have no doubt she will continue the amazing work we do at Serve. You will all get a chance to meet her very soon. Until then, she can be reached at laura@servemarketing.org.

With all that being said, I want to assure you Serve will continue to operate at full capacity during this transition. Heidi’s last official day is Thursday July 28th. Laura starts this next Tuesday so Heidi and her can work closely for the next three weeks to make sure everything transitions smoothly. Thank you again for your flexibility and patience. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any point.

Sincerely,

Gary

Serve set to reintroduce popular Teen Pregnancy Prevention efforts in Omaha

In a collective effort to grow awareness and encourage prevention of teen pregnancies in Omaha, Serve Marketing has partnered with the Adolescent Health Project, an initiative of the Women’s Fund of Omaha to launch the “Think Your Teen Life Won’t Change?” campaign.

The campaign is intended to be a wake-up call to teens who don’t think teen pregnancy will have a dramatic impact on their lives. The effort comes in response to statistics from the Omaha Department of Public Health showing that Omaha has five zip codes with teen pregnancy rates that are up to three times the national average, and nearly double the rate for African American and Hispanic teens.

The bold campaign features the imagery of teen boys and girls participating in popular sports, all while a baby is attached to their chest. Headlines on ads that depict teens slam dunking a basketball, skateboarding, and blocking a soccer goal read, “Think your teen life won’t change with a baby?” Copy then directs teens to visit the website, GetTheSexFactsOmaha.com, which offers resources to parents to help facilitate the conversation around sex and healthy sexual behavior.

Starting this week in Omaha, the campaign will appear on billboards, mall and restroom ads, digital channels and social media. A :30 TV PSA called “Kiss” will also be running on local TV, movie theaters and digital pre-Roll. To view :30 “Kiss”, please click here.

“We know from our work in Milwaukee that far too many teens think teen pregnancy won’t have a negative impact on their lives-in fact, a surprisingly large number of kids actually think it’ll make their life better,” explains Serve Founder Gary Mueller. “This campaign is intended at being a wake-up call to teens to show them that having a baby as a teen is really hard. It will get in the way of the things they want to do today. That their lives will change dramatically.”

For more information, go to GetTheSexFactsOmaha.com. Follow the GetTheSexFactsOmaha Facebook page, Twitter @SexFactsOmaha, Instagram page, as well as the YouTube channel.

Credits:
Executive Creative Director: Gary Mueller
Art Directors: David Zimmerman + Nick Heiser + Casey Christian
Copywriter: Stephanie Goldner
Photographer: Nick Collura + Jeff Salzer
Retouchers: Gina Ferrise + Anthony Giacomino
Account Executives: Heidi Halperin + Matt Larson
Producers: Heidi Halperin + Matt Larson

“Life Interrupted.” Without parents, futures get stuck. Our latest for Foster Care…

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and, beginning May 25, the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families will begin an aggressive statewide campaign to recruit more foster parents in order to combat the exponentially increasing need.

To address the foster family shortage, Serve created a new campaign to help recruit new foster families called “Life Interrupted.” The television ads, billboards and social media campaign will show a child whose dreams are only partially realized and direct individuals to the website fosterparentsrock.org.

To view all 7 TV spots, click here.

CREDITS:
Executive Creative Director: Gary Mueller
CD/Art Director: Mitch Markussen
CD/Copywriter: Jeff Ericksen
Account Executives: Heidi Halperin + Matt Larson
Director of Photography: Robb Fischer
Producers: Mary Pat Fischer + Terri Burmester
Editor: Dave Kuhnen
Public Relations: Heather Perkins
Broadcast Traffic: Karen Nennig

Condom Dresses in Omaha get National and International attention…

From March 16th through the end of April 2016, dresses made entirely of condoms will be on display in Omaha’s Cinderella’s Formal Dress Rental inside Crossroads Mall, as well as at Hello Holiday in Dundee. Teens shopping for a prom dress this month will be surprised by an unconventional message about safe sex. Each week a new dress will be put on display for teens and parents to see.

A “price tag” on the attention-grabbing dress reveals the true costs of unprotected sex: STDs or unplanned pregnancy. The tag reads, “Being safe is always in style. Avoid sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies,” and directs people to GetCheckedOmaha.com. The website provides a locator map with over 60 locations that provide free condoms. Parents can also download a Family Communication “Lets Talk” toolkit, with resources and tips for talking to teens about sex.

So far, the stunt has been picked up on Seventeen.com, Cosmopolitan.com, Glamour UK, USWeekly, Huffington Post, Yahoo News and more. Dresses were designed and created by fashion students at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. They graciously donated the dresses for our cause.


The guerilla marketing campaign is the latest public awareness effort by the Adolescent Health Project, a program of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, and is part of a larger campaign to educate youth on risk factors and encourage teens to make informed decisions about their sexual health. SERVE Marketing, a non-profit volunteer agency based in Milwaukee, WI., is the creative team behind the Adolescent Health Project’s campaigns.

“A condom dress is a powerful conversation starter,” explains SERVE creative director, Gary Mueller. “This is a great opportunity for us to reach teens and their parents in an unexpected way before prom, and get the message out to think twice before having unprotected sex, because it can lead to multiple health risks or even a baby. This is a picture that speaks a thousand words.”