It’s not news that when you do something a bit different or controversial in your advertising, you’re likely to strike a conversation with audiences. The Chicago Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Office of Adolescent and School Health has done just that with their latest public awareness effort. Their recent pregnancy prevention campaign showcases pregnant boys to highlight the message that teen pregnancies are more than just the girl’s responsibility. By taking over ad space on city buses, trains and bus shelters, the ads are striking up a lot of conversations, because apparently they work.
The CDPH Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair claims, “These ads work to increase education and awareness which will in turn help reduce the number of teen pregnancies in Chicago.” The numbers seem to agree with the commissioner, showing a teen birthrate decrease of 33 percent. All of that aside, people are still debating over the offensiveness of these ads – has advertising gone too far? Well, if it’s about achieving the desired result, the answer would be no. Audiences are reacting exactly how the creators of these ads had hoped, with their audience shocked and the topic now at top of mind. They broke the mold for public awareness campaigns and the community is benefiting from the results. We won’t be surprised if we see similar ads running in cities across the country soon.
Do these ads remind you of any other controversial campaigns from past years? Share your thoughts on the campaign with us below.