A social advertising campaign that was launched in Germany last December (we can’t work out when it ended) may have contributed to a slightly higher birth rate there this year. The “Du Bist Deutschland” (You are Germany) campaign — whose TV ad is now available on the internet with English and Spanish subtitles — picks up modern phobias about children (“You drive us crazy. You scream all night. You wet the bed.”) and puts a positive spin on them: “Yes, you drive us crazy. With happiness.”

The advertising, which was paid for by private businesses and promoted as a public service by media and sports stars, consisted of a two-minute video spot, a radio spot and three print ads, all of which were intended to generate a lively debate on Germany’s disastrously low birth-rate of 1.4 children per woman, and restore the idea of having children “as a cherished matter of course”. One print ad features a child with Down’s syndrome and text which begins, “You are completely ruining our lives. Ever since you appeared on the scene it’s been like Piccadilly Circus around here. You teach us something new every day…”

The ads were the biggest social marketing campaign in Germany’s recent history — bigger than the original Du Bist Deutschland campaign which ran prior to the 2006 World Cup in Germany — say the organisers. They were seen by an estimated 42 million people. Surveys showed that more than 35 million people thought the topic important and people who had seen them were 16 per cent more likely to agree with the statement, “Having children is a wonderful thing.”
The video’s voiceover says: "You show us that it is never the wrong time to receive you. You have mother and father, and you need the whole country to grow happily. You are not alone. You are our most valuable task." ~ LifeSite News, Sep 23

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet