2028: Apparently the best way to educate teens about pregnancy is to dupe and terrify them.

Teens in Milwaukee, WI were treated to an elaborate hoax recently in the form of 2028, an alleged horror film that turned out to be a PSA about teen pregnancy. Here’s the trailer, though it’s not for the faint of heart:

W? T? F?

As if the whole dupe-tastic duping that took place here (more over at AdFreak on that front) isn’t enough of a problem, how TERRIFYING is that trailer? The only effect I can imagine the PSA having on a pregnant (or potentially pregnant) teenager is scaring her out of her wits. And without her wits about her, she might not take the proper precautions when it comes to pregnancy prevention.

Apparently this video was the brainchild of Serve Marketing. “We’re trying to combat the glamorization of teen pregnancy by Hollywood,” says Serve founder Gary Mueller. What glamorization is he speaking of here? Juno? Another group behind the hoax, babycanwait.com, had this to say on the subject:

The fake flick, complete with official movie trailers, theater posters, soundtrack, website etc. is really a PSA about teen pregnancy in disguise. 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 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.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider an “elaborate hoax” to be the best way to educate anyone, especially on a topic like teen pregnancy. And even if this weren’t a hoax, the ridiculously scary PSA does a lot more to shock than it does to educate. Why not have a fun-looking trailer for a movie that shows teens using condoms and preventing pregnancy instead? And why do the father and son in this trailer both end up in prison?

Overall, this hoax appears to be a massive fail that did more to anger, confuse, and scare Milwaukee teens than it did to teach them about pregnancy prevention. What do you think?

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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15 Comments Have Been Posted

Good idea, but too intense

I do agree with the motivation behind this PSA: Celebrities running the gamut from Angelina Jolie to Bristol Palin to Juno (not to mention the general zeitgeist around pregnancy) portray pregnancy and motherhood as a happy shiny thing, and it's not. It's hard, it's painful, it can damage you physically, financially, emotionally, it can destroy your childhood. It's just as easy as keeping the baby and marrying the father and having an adorable little baby happily ever after the way some anti-choicers would like us to think (Bristol included). I don't think the most effective way get that message across is to scare the dickens out of women, but we also can't ignore that women absolutely do bear the brunt of all the problems that come with teen pregnancy. Showing the patented Icicle Dick (tm) photo of someone with out-of-control genital warts kept my entire class using condoms. Maybe instilling a little fear isn't amiss. This seems over-the-top, though.

Reply to comment | Bitch Media

It's fantastic that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our discussion made here.


Why is the teen mother the only one who seems targeted as responsible? They briefly show the father, but he's basically a sound byte. I understand that they don't want to glorify pregnancy, but this doesn't sit right with me. :/

Perhaps its because once she

Perhaps its because once she is pregnant the father is relegated to a sound byte if she so chooses. He has no input in keeping or aborting the baby, no chance of custody rights, and nearly guranteed to be relegated to a money dispenser once their efforts to stay together shatter.

Instead of blaming women,

Instead of blaming women, perhaps we should question the societal pressure that's placed upon the woman to feel that she should or should not have the baby. Also, I suspect that most of the time, it's not the mother's choice when a father decides to abandon his parenting responsibilities. This is a very complex issue and we need to move beyond reductionist, woman-blaming criticisms!



Daddy wasn't there because

Daddy wasn't there because teen dads usually take off.

One Step Forward...

It seems like when the Milwaukee ISD made condoms available in schools (via the school nurse) that we were working towards a real effort to stop the teen pregnancy problem that seems to growing here, some one decides this is the good idea!?!?

It is horrific and I can't see it doing any real good. It just makes people wince.

Thank you for sharing this,

Thank you for sharing this, but how completely infuriating!! Sure, fear is always a much better tactic than truth, information, or support. And it's way better than having to talk about icky birth control, right? </sarcasm>

And I really get tired of the insinuation that if a teen girl does get pregnant (and yes, it is pretty much always painted as the girl's "burden"and "fault") then her life is effectively over. Absolutely no chance ever. She will be shunned by her friends. She will be faced with screaming non-supportive parents. She will be eternally broke and desperate and worthless. And she will, without question, turn out to be the shittiest mother ever. How could she not? She is never redeemable...ever...because she was **gasp** a horrible pregnant teenager!

Way to go, Serve.

Hmmm ..

First of all, why are teen moms the ones seen as the like "oh-so-bad" ones? Being a mom is not easy for any age. Do I recommend it for anyone? Fuck no. Because I can't. No matter age, class, race, etc ...

I got pregnant when I was 18, in high school, with the dad (whom I left because he's an addict and abuser). My kid is now 8.5 and I can't imagine my life without her. I'm a full time student in college, waiting to see what awesome grad school is lucky to get me. I know so many other moms like that, too. Moms who got pregnant as teens and/or in high school and are kickin' ass at life.

My babydaddy owes me like, $4500 and the first thing he said to me when I got pregnant was, "get an abortion." Is that supportive? No. Am I pro-choice? YES, very much so.

I also see feminist communities critiquing teen moms and saying they must have rich parents to take care of the baby.

This video is based on huge assumptions of teen parents. My kid's dad was in jail for 6 months. Did it suck? Omg, yes. I visited him twice a week during that 6 months. How was this my fault (as this video seems to assume)? It's not. These assumptions put everything on the moms. Because of my age and the fact that I am not married, my kid is going to lack so much in life. My kid is in a gifted and talented program and way above average in math, reading, and spelling.

Even with all these "odds" against me, I still made it and so did my kid. And I hate the "well you're the exception" ... why? So, who cares? Many other moms have been in this situation and kicked ass.

Being a mom is hard on anyone, it changed my life completely. It's also grounded me and changed my life for the better. I LOVE being a mom. Did I grow up fast? Yes. Do I regret it? No. These types of assumptions and PSA's only add to the so-called negative assumptions of teen moms without encouraging them that they can do it. Because teen moms still can do it.

This is ridiculous

Scare tactics suck besides which this is a lie. Teen parents can do great things: http://www.girlmom.com with support (financial, educational and emotional).

And if we're talking about teen pregnancy, let's be sure to talk about this:

"This study highlights an under-recognized phenomenon where male partners actively attempt to promote pregnancy against the will of their female partners," Elizabeth Miller, a co-author of the study, said in a news release.


Thanks Dawn!

You're absolutely right. Thanks for the links!


I guess providing accurate information about how to avoid pregnancy was too hard. I mean, why bother to inform kids when you can just terrify them! Education is overrated anyway. /sarcasm

The day when we stop

The day when we stop treating teens like they're all dense cannot come soon enough. The assumption that because a message isn't being received is at the fault of the receiving end just grinds me. It's time to change ourselves and what messages we choose to offer and how we offer them.

Lovely site - looking

Are you really complaining?

I think it's great that this is out there. No matter what you think. Any and every tactic works to get the message out there. Most people sit on their hands and do nothing, except complain. Well boo. This is well done. Hell yeah, it's scary and a strange tactic. How else are you going to reach kids. Schools aint doing a thing. Friends pressure it. Why you all hatin. This is sweet.

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