Recent News

Have a baby too young and it’ll control your life…

Serve just launched a new provocative public awareness campaign designed to make teens think twice before becoming parents. The ads depict teen parents as a hand puppet, a jack-in-the-box and pull toy, all being controlled by a disproportionately sized baby. The truth about being a parent means putting baby’s needs before yours and if you are going to have unprotected sex as a teen, you better be willing to have your days being controlled by your  baby. The ads will encourage teens to visit for more information and resources on how to practice safe sex.

Strong Baby 2015 Winners!

Milwaukee’s newest Strong Baby campaign stars made their public debut with Mayor Tom Barrett on December 18th during a press conference held at United Way of Greater Milwaukee. The babies will be featured in upcoming advertising campaigns produced by Serve Marketing for the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (Milwaukee LIHF.)

The 10 adorable winners were selected out of more than 300 who attended an open casting call on Nov. 1 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and a social media casting call on the Strong Baby Facebook Page.

The winners, Karon (19 months), Mila (11 months), Aimee (15 months), Kaden (12 months), Zoe (17 months), Hunter (12 months), Mylah (8 months), Tyson (11 months), Hudson (9 months), and Marli (14 months) each received a $200 U.S. savings bond and will appear in future Strong Baby ads and messages online and in the community.

The Strong Baby campaign is a grassroots effort, developed in partnership with Serve Marketing, designed to engage the community in the crucial conversation around the importance of changing the conditions that can lead to stronger babies and help reduce Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate. It will also support Mayor Barrett’s goal of reducing Milwaukee’s overall infant mortality rate by 10 percent and the African-American infant mortality rate by 15 percent by 2017. It also supports the goal to reduce racial disparities in birth outcomes, set by the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families.

Be sure to stay tuned for the 2015 Strong Baby campaign in Milwaukee.

We’re looking for Milwaukee’s next Strong Baby!

Mini-installations of cutout babies doing outrageously strong things, such as lifting garbage cans, doing handstands and pull-ups and ripping phone books in half were placed around the city of Milwaukee to raise awareness of the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families’ search for infants (7-18 months of age) to star in the next Strong Baby advertising campaign aimed at reducing Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate.

A live casting call will take place at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (1001 N. 4th Street) on November 1 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (enter Kohl’s Gate on corner of 5th and Highland). Submissions can also be made on the Strong Baby Facebook page. Parents who attend the live casting call can increase their chances of having their baby chosen; five finalists will be selected among those that attend the BMO Harris Bradley Center casting call, while one will be selected from Facebook entries.

In addition to taking home a $200 U.S. savings bond, the winning babies will have the opportunity to star in the next public service campaign that will appear on billboards, bus shelters, social media, and web banners in the coming year. Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced in early December.

The Strong Baby campaign launched in 2011 to promote healthy behaviors for pregnant and new mothers, such as avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke, spacing pregnancies at least 18 months apart, breastfeeding, immunizations, and early prenatal care. The long-term goal of the campaign is to reduce racial and ethnic disparities within the infant mortality rate and promote healthy child development.

The effort supports Mayor Barrett’s goal of reducing Milwaukee’s overall infant mortality rate by 10 percent and the African American infant mortality rate by 15 percent by 2017. It also supports the goal to reduce racial disparities in birth outcomes, set by the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families, which is co-chaired by Mayor Barrett and led by United Way of Greater Milwaukee and funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program.

For more information on the Strong Baby campaign, visit

Serve Sheds Light on Human Trafficking Crisis in Milwaukee with “13″ Campaign

In an effort to raise awareness and encourage prevention of the growing human trafficking in Milwaukee, Serve launched the  “Unlucky Thirteen” campaign on over 60 bus shelters and digital billboards around the city.

To tease the launch, Serve chalked the number 13 on sidewalks across Milwaukee. Then launched a flash mob of over 100 people wearing “13″ t-shirts on Wisconsin Avenue in front of the city’s largest Public Libray.

Then at 10:13 following the flash mob, Serve launched a press conference in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee (HTTFGM), Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Health Department,  Clear Channel and Serve to announce that “13″ is the average age a person starts being trafficked for sex in Milwaukee.

To help parents talk to their kids, Serve launched a website,, where parents and teens can go to learn more about Human Trafficking, prevent tips and warning signs. A social media campaign was also launched to create advocacy and spread awareness  on the Human Trafficking task Force of Greater Milwaukee’s Facebook and Twitter Pages, asking residents to change their Facebook profile pictures to 13 the week of the campaign.

The campaign was launched in conjunction with the first week of summer, because this is the season when kids are outside and unsupervised the most.

According to the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, there have been 200 identified cases of human trafficking in Wisconsin. In these cases, 75 percent were victims of sex trafficking, and 15 percent were child victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of these child victims are runaway or thrown-away youths who live on the streets and become victims of prostitution engaging in “survival sex” trading sex for food or shelter. Others are abducted and often families or friends are involved.

Welcome our new interns!

Serve is proud to introduce our two new hires, Lauren Wagner and Spencer McAfee-Gundrum! We are thrilled to have them part of the Serve team. To learn more about our new team, please read below:

Lauren Wagner is a graduate of Winona State University, Majoring in Communications with an emphasis on Photojournalism and a Minor in Woman and Gender Studies. She has a plethora of experience ranging from assisting NBA photographer Gary Dineen during the Chicago Bulls season, shooting freelance and gaining experience in non-profit work with urban youth. Lauren works with an array of digital and fine art media and frequents Instragram. (follow her: Louloulolo) Lauren is passionate about social justice issues and plans to use her experiences to help make Milwaukee – and the world – a better place.

If Spencer had to pick one song that describes him best, it would be “Fancy,” by Iggy Azalea…and he can’t believe he just said that. Fresh out of his first year at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he’s ready to get a jump-start on his advertising career by helping us at Serve this summer. His intended major at UW-Madison is Journalism and Mass Communication with an emphasis on Strategic Communications. And after graduating, he hopes to be a copywriter.

Our Latest Chilling Statutory Rape Campaign

Serve Marketing launched a provocative new public awareness campaign for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee that will deliver a strong message to young adults and teens – informing them of the harsh consequences of statutory rape, amending that it is not okay for people over the age of 18 to prey on teenagers, that age does matter. Viewers are directed to for more information.

There is link between Milwaukee’s epidemic teen pregnancy rates and statutory rape, in fact, according to the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, most babies born to teen moms in Milwaukee are fathered by adult men.

Serve launches historic Animal/Domestic Abuse Campaign

In a collaborative effort to combat domestic violence in the Milwaukee community, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin Humane Society, Sojourner Family Peace Center, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) and Serve Marketing have partnered to launch the “Spot Abuse” project.

The Spot Abuse Project is an effort to reduce the growing percentage of domestic violence, by encouraging more residents to dial 9-1-1 when they suspect animal abuse. The effort is based on research from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) that found 76% of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. Serve Marketing created a powerful public service campaign using television, billboards, radio and social media to get the message out.  The campaign delivers the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence, urging the public that they have the power to stop two forms of abuse with one phone call.

The premise is that more people will report animal abuse (an act generally considered to be easier than reporting domestic abuse), that the police will then have the opportunity to uncover a higher number of domestic violence cases.

The campaign officially launched on May 1, 2014. For more information about the campaign, please visit. People are also encouraged to become a fan at, and follow at

To view our PSA, go to Spot Abuse :30 PSA

25 People. Two Hours. One Room.

Serve Marketing, Creative Alliance Milwaukee and Translator Lab harnessed Milwaukee’s creative talent for a community brainstorming session on March 20th, 2014 and generated incredible guerilla, social media and partnership ideas around the upcoming Animal/Domestic Abuse campaign that is to launch in April. The objective of the session was to develop creative social, digital and guerilla awareness campaign ideas that will inspire more Milwaukeeans to dial 9-1-1 to report animal abuse so that the police can uncover more domestic abuse cases. Working in teams of 8-9 people and led by volunteer social media, pr and creative directors from BVK, the three groups concepted more than 25 different campaign ideas on how to extend the animal abuse/domestic abuse message for an entire year with a small budget.

The launch of the campaign is scheduled for late April and is being looked at as a national model for cities looking to reduce both domestic violence, child abuse and animal abuse. Serve is working on the historic effort in collaboration with the Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee County D.A.’s Office, Wisconsin Humane Society and Sojourner Truth House.

Creative Lab: Domestic Abuse / Animal Abuse Campaign

You were promised another chance to brainstorm on the next Serve PSA effort and now you have it.

To continue the excitement from the Creative Milwaukee @Work Summit, Translator is hosting an Open Lab Concepting Session on Thursday, January 9 at 8 am. This important public service campaign is intended to inspire more Milwaukeeans to dial 9-1-1 to report animal abuse, so that the police can uncover and intervene in more domestic abuse cases. The effort is based on a national study that reports 76% of reported animal abusers also abuse a member of their family and is being done in collaboration with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office and Humane Society. The goal of the Lab will be to continue the creative campaign brainstorming  that was started at the Summit during Serve Founder, Gary Mueller’s presentation on Creative Thinking. Specifically, Serve is looking for ideas on how to creatively engage with Milwaukeeans and keep the message in the media throughout the year, looking at everything from guerrilla stunts, PR and social media, to developing cause partnerships or events.

Translator Lab
415 E. Menomonee St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Register here for Serve’s Creative Lab

Eye-Opening Sex Myths Campaign Uses Social Media to Give Parents a Wake-Up Call.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, in terms of provocative teen pregnancy prevention PSA’s, Serve has done it again. This time with their new campaign for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee,  titled, “Sex Myths.”

The effort is designed to start a 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 goal of the campaign is to reinforce the point with parents that the first line of defense against teen pregnancy is keeping kids informed about sex. And when kids aren’t informed, misinformation and myths about sex spread.

The heavily digital and social media-based campaign, 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 for more information on the campaign. 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 has dropped 35% in the past 5 years to historically low levels.