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"Can Sex Save Denmark's Future?"

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I’m pretty sure none of us have seen an ad campaign like this one. Spies is a Danish travel agency that is urging Danes to, not only take more romantic getaways and boost their business, but to get pregnant and boost the population as well. Denmark is seriously concerned about their low fertility rate so Spies came up with their Do It For Denmark campaign. As the Washington Post put it, “a bold — and hilarious — campaign emerged in Denmark to reverse the trend. For the salvation of the country, a travel company-organized movement called “Do it for Denmark!” wants Danes to act and act now — without precautions.”

The Spies website will explain things like this…

“Denmark faces a crisis. Our birthrate is at a 27 year low. At Spies we’re concerned. Fewer Danes mean fewer to support the ageing population – and tragically, fewer holidaying with us. Research shows that Danes have 46% more sex on city holidays and since more sex equals the chance of more kids, we are prescribing a romantic city holiday to save Denmark’s future.”

Women can even use their online calculator to input their menstrual cycle dates and find out the ideal time to plan a high fertility vacation. Not only do they make it that easy to ensure you come home knocked up, they’ve turned it into a competition, giving you the chance to win baby stuff for 3 years if you can prove you got pregnant on your sexcation. It’s the “ovulation discount”.

Their last bit of advice… “Don’t forget to have sex – without using protection.”

Ok, now this is just getting ridiculous. No one can say this campaign is just to rake in more business for Spies or even that Denmark is acting as some sort of sex therapist, encouraging her people to let loose. This is a desperate attempt by one generation panicking that the next one won’t be able to take care of it. And I have to say, in this day and age, given what we know we’re doing to the planet through our population and consumption habits, this is the most selfish and myopic ploy I’ve seen. And no one is saying anything about that! Check Huffington Post or Forbres or the Washington Post. They think it’s cute. Everyone is reporting on it because it’s gone viral and no one is saying there’s anything wrong with instilling these ideas in an entire generation of Danes. No one would dare suggest that a lower birthrate is actually a good thing. But it's exactly what we need. Denmark is in a unique position to teach this by example and they're blowing it.

What are they even worried about anyway? As the Washington Post points out, Denmark has been named the top country in the UN’s World Happiness Report. They also have a booming economy and greater financial equality than most countries. Plus they drink more booze than other Nordic countries. Life is good. The fertility rate in Denmark really hasn’t changed much since the 80’s but generally has lowered quite a bit over the past hundred years. Which I would say is wonderful news for future generations and sustainability. But Spies and most of the publications who wrote about the hilarity of this campaign would disagree.

I’m not saying that this campaign isn’t brilliant or effective or that European commercials aren’t typically cleverer. They are all these things. But that’s what’s scary. Edgy, young, and smart ads aimed at 20-30 somethings like this really influence people. Over 4 million people viewed it on youtube in the first 6 days.

Come on Denmark, use your wit to come up with something constructive, would ya? And you. Journalists. Can you please say something thought provoking about this campaign?

Photo | do-it-for-denmark.dk

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Comments

  • Guest
    gaia Tuesday, 01 April 2014

    Not to mention that Denmark still has a growing, and not declining, population.
    This ad is honestly one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. It gives all the wrong reasons to have children: to pay for pensions (there are many better ways), to keep the population growing (the opposite of what we should be doing) and to win a prize!
    Pure consumerism and distortion. I felt very sad after watching this. I really hope it doesn't work, but the first reactions are not encouraging. Good thing people in Europe have access to contraception and do know how expensive it is to actually raise a child.

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  • Guest
    Brian Sanderson Tuesday, 01 April 2014

    Good one Lynsey. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation also jumped up and down, salivating over this inane little story. I look forward to the next episode, the one about parents suing Spies for child support.

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Guest Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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