Strong Baby

City of Milwaukee Health Department


The City of Milwaukee Health Department was facing one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. Worse than most third world countries. The main culprit? Babies born prematurely in Milwaukee’s central city.


Instead of following the traditional public health strategy of simply "telling" moms what to do and not to do, Serve decided to "show" them the results of their healthier behaviors. Serve’s “Strong Baby” campaign instantly captured the imagination of parents and changed the dialogue around infant health.

The impossible to ignore social, digital, mobile, experiential and outdoor campaign focused on educating parents on the behaviors necessary to develop a healthy, full-term baby. The campaign even spawned an annual city-wide casting call for Milwaukee’s next strong babies at the Bradley Center as well as the popular “Strong Baby of the Month” feature on social media.


“Strong Baby” has become one of the city’s most popular PSA campaigns. With limited marketing dollars, the campaign has generated over 125 million media impressions in five years. Immunizations are on the rise. Infant mortality in Milwaukee declined to its lowest level in decades. And research sponsored by the UW School of Public Health shows that the Strong Baby campaign has the most unaided awareness of any health-related campaign among inner city moms in Milwaukee.

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