2028 - Can you handle it?

I ask that you view the following video before you read this post. The video is a new release that I believe will leave you breathless - have you wondering what has become of our society that a movie such as this needs to be made.

If you are like me perhaps you were thinking that you were viewing a trailer to a new film; a suspenseful drama.

If you were like me then perhaps you were left with mixed emotions....and if you are like me, then you're a parent of a teen wondering just how seeing something like that video would impact their life.

To me it's shocking that a message, like in the above PSA sends needs to be so gritty....so fatalistic. But then why shouldn't it? The more that I digested the message contained in it I realized that we too often try to sugar coat the world from our children....that "Just say no" approach that many of us grew up listening to. And if that is the case, then we should realize that a sweet and innocent approach to a real and often times spiral downwards life situation, needs to be addressed for what it is.

After all, isn't that why I write this blog? To give a glimpse into the life of a woman who has been a victim of abuse....walked a horror story of my own?

While I was never a teen mom I was once that mixed up teen. I made bad choices, and have since paid the price for them.

Now as I write that I think of my children, my boys, and my gut tells me the love I have for them, and their presence in my life keeps me going....so then should any message about a child coming into this world ever be considered a life sentence? That horror story?

But then I know timing is everything, and this PSA isn't saying a newborn is bad or a life sentence but rather being an unprepared teen parent is.

That was the internal debate I've had since watching this clip last night.

After much consideration I showed it to my children, Justin age 16 and then Kyle age 11.

Now please remember that Justin has learning disabilities and sees the world in very black and white terms...there are no gray areas with Justin. It's either right...or it's wrong...period!

His comments as the clip played were..:

Hey cool, looks like a new movie...

Is it a horror flick...?

What the hell?

What the hell is this?

(and once the clip was over)

Dumb asses...... that's why you wear a condom!

Now since I am very open with both my boys, I did show it to my 11yr old, Kyle - his comments were....

What is this Mom?

Oh I get it....it's a movie about the world ending -


Mom, what did all that mean?

I think the two different reactions is very telling on just how teens and pre-teens would digest this PSA. I was more than thankful that Justin realized what the message was all about in his matter of fact response about wearing condoms....

But, even more so, I welcomed the opportunity to have an open and frank discussion with Kyle. He may be 11 now but before I know it he will be Justin's age....and unlike Justin, with Kyle, the world IS gray.

According to the email I received about this PSA is that the producers of it wanted to do exactly what my children first thought....trick teens into thinking they were watching a trailer for a new movie. And there is no doubt it's well made and grabs their attention as was evident by my children while they watched it.

The PSA was just released this week here in Wisconsin and was made to address the alarming and often glamorized teen pregnancy rates .

To follow is the press release from the organization who started this campaign....better to hear why they did from them and in their own words and I ask that after you see the clip, and read the following....please leave a comment and let me know how you feel about this PSA.



2028 “movie” addresses harsh realities of teen pregnancy

MILWAUKEE (Jan. 15, 2009) - Teens in Milwaukee have been buzzing for weeks about a new movie with a surprise ending which premiered in Milwaukee theaters on January 15. The so-called “movie,” 2028, is described as a psychological suspense thriller about a young girl whose life spirals out of control after learning about a family secret. The movie’s Wikipedia, Facebook and MySpace pages claim that it is based on a true story and features a controversial twist for an ending.

“We know that teens aren’t waiting for the next message telling them to not get pregnant,” explains Serve Founder Gary Mueller. “We need to catch them by surprise. Sometimes even to punk them into receiving a message that they don’t necessarily want to hear. We are competing with Hollywood’s positive portrayal of teen pregnancy, so we thought what better way than create our own movie.”

On January 15, Milwaukee teens learned the truth. The 2028 movie isn’t real - but the twist is. The fake flick, complete with official movie trailers, theater posters, outdoor, radio ads, web banners, soundtrack, giveaways and a website is really a PSA about teen pregnancy in disguise. And when teens see the movie trailer for 2028, they will get the message that if they become pregnant as a teen today, the next 18 years of their life will never be the same. The elaborate hoax all focuses on sending teens a message about the harsh realities of teen pregnancy, which for some teens, stands in stark contrast to Hollywood’s often positive portrayal of teen pregnancy.

The bold effort, which is part of a long-running series of provocative communication tactics targeted to change teens’ perceptions about teen pregnancy in Milwaukee, was created by Serve Marketing in partnership with the United Way of Greater Milwaukee. Milwaukee ranks 7th in the nation for births to teens and although sometimes controversial, ongoing Serve/United Way education efforts seem to be working as the City of Milwaukee Health Department recently announced that the city’s teen birth rate dropped for the second year in a row (a 10 percent decrease overall).

The official 2028 website is www.2028movie.com. In addition, the new trailer on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbwNX_KdNfI connects kids to www.babycanwait.com and its vital resources, providing information to help prevent teen pregnancy and promote healthy relationships. People are also encouraged to become fans of 2028 on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/2028/227813870565?ref=ts

About Serve

Serve is a nonprofit advertising agency whose mission is to give underserved charitable causes a stronger voice in the community. Since 2002, Serve has helped create behavior-changing marketing campaigns for over 30 non-profits, both locally and nationally, on issues ranging from teen homelessness, child sexual violence and shaken baby syndrome to teen pregnancy, ovarian cancer and gun violence. To date, Serve has donated over $11 million of in-kind creative, media, web, pr and strategic planning services to non-profits, in an effort to raise their profile and increase their impact in ours and other local communities.

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Gracie said…
Really appreciated the comments you shared about your sons reactions to the trailer. I'm really happy that it got you talking with your younger son! That's what we do this for. Thank you for being so honest about your own situation & beliefs, which formed your reaction to it as well. Your blog was very insightful.
~ UWGM-Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative Coordinator/BabyCanWait.com

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