Baby Can Wait

United way of Greater Milwaukee


In 2006, Milwaukee had the second worst teen pregnancy rate in the country. To combat this two-decade long problem, the United Way asked Serve to help them achieve an audacious goal. Reduce teen pregnancy in the city 46% by the year 2015.


First, we had to galvanize the entire community around this issue by making it impossible for Milwaukeeans to ignore. Then create unique, provocative and highly-targeted marketing campaigns every 3 months to teens with the goal of deglamorizing their view of teen pregnancy. At the same time engage and inspire parents to talk to their teens and tweens about sex.


In just 8 years Serve launched over 30 individual campaigns to reach tweens, teens and parents in Milwaukee’s most at-risk communities. Earned media coverage exceeded 100 million media impressions. The Milwaukee community collectively made Teen Pregnancy Prevention one of its top priorities. But more importantly, Milwaukee’s teen pregnancy rate reached its goal 3 years early, and has now plummeted more than 65%. The campaign’s incredible success has been honored nationally as a model for other cities. It has been studied by public health departments and teen pregnancy prevention coalitions around the globe. It’s also received the United Way Worldwide’s highest honor of achievement and was recognized by the Obama White House as one of the ten most innovative community solution campaigns in the country.

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