January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, and the non-profit ad agency Serve Marketing is looking to draw attention to this growing epidemic. Only they are doing so with a shocking twist. Telling people that if you live in the suburbs, your children are not safe from sex traffickers.
This provocative campaign entitled “Your Suburbs Are Not Safe,” was created for the Wisconsin non-profit, Lacey’s Hope Project, and launches this week in outdoor, TV, radio, digital and social media channels.
“People that live in the suburbs think of sex trafficking as something that happens somewhere else,” explains Serve volunteer creative director, Gary Mueller. “The reality is, sex trafficking is a growing problem, everywhere and we need to make people more vigilant.”
Mueller hopes the campaign will not only create greater awareness but lead to great education on the subject. Serve also created a website, LaceysHopeProject.org where they can learn the warning signs, find resources and become better educated on the issue.
Besides creating some bold PSA’s, the agency built much of their campaign around the surprising story of a sex trafficking victim and the organization’s founder, Emmy Myers, who grew up in the suburbs only to be groomed and later trafficked for sex for many years. The courageous Myers even agreed to be the literal face of the campaign, with her image appearing on billboards with headlines like, “I was sold to the highest bidder.
Her story of survival is also told in a short documentary-style video highlighting the signs of a sex trafficking victim, while also shedding light on how her ordeal impacted her family, and the common signs of sex trafficking victims.
The campaign was launched around Milwaukee, which has been ranked as high as 3rd in the nation for sex trafficking and cases involving minors have been reported in all 72 counties of Wisconsin.
Serve is the country's only all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency, for more information go to servemarketing.org.
Title: Your Suburbs Are Not Safe
Agency: Serve Marketing
Client: Lacey’s Hope Project
Executive Creative Director: Gary Mueller
Creative Director / Copywriter: Samantha Smith
Art Directors: Alison Galarza, Austin Kelley
Photographer: Meredith Meier
Retouching: Anthony Giacomino
Director: Robb Fischer
Broadcast Producers: Mary Pat Fischer, Loreta Dilaveri
Account Executives: Laura Gainor, Lauren Sutter
Social Media: Lauren Sutter
PR: Emily Wright
Website: Fred Ziegler, Hunter Ruth, Bryon Schmear
Print Production: Rob Birdsall, Stacey Soden
Broadcast Traffic Manager: Karen Nennig
Sound Production: Peter Batchelder, Independent Edit
PSA Edit: John Elmendorf, Wonder Wonder
Documentary Edit: Dave Kuhnen, Terri Burmeister