Coincidence or not, a baby boom is coming nine months after a series of ads telling Danes to have more sex. Photo: Robert Schlesinger / NTB scanpix
Nine months after a set of campaigns encouraging Danes to get busy procreating, the nation is set for a baby boom.
According to a report in Politiken, the summer of 2016 will bring around 1,200 more Danish babies than last year.
The timing of the baby boom certainly raises eyebrows, given nine months ago Danes were targeted by a series of campaigns telling them to get busy between the sheets.
First came a new steamy ad from Spies Travel, the creators of the earlier viral hit, ‘Do it for Denmark’. The company’s late September ad ‘Do it for Mom!” played the guilt card by telling Danes they should make their parents happy by giving them a grandchild. The video has been seen nearly eight million times.
Just a week later, the City of Copenhagen hopped on board with its own push to get young people to have babies. It produced a campaign to remind Copenhageners that fertility won’t last forever. One of the campaign materials features a picture of sperm cells with the text ‘Are they swimming too slowly?’ while another asks women if they’ve “counted their eggs today”.
National broadcaster DR also got in on the procreation promotion act with a show called ‘Knald for Danmark’ (Screw for Denmark).
Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for health, Ninna Thomsen, told TV2 News that the sex campaigns were not coordinated and she didn’t want to take credit for the forthcoming baby boom.
“You probably can’t ascribe the increase in births to our campaign, but it’s definitely a feather in our cap if the campaign has had a positive effect,” she said.
“It was a bit of a surprise to me that there were so many campaigns on the subject within such a short time. It certainly resulted in people getting plenty of fertility advice,” Thomsen added.
The sex campaigns have their roots in Denmark’s falling birth rates and the tendency of Danes to wait later in life before having their first child.
The national fertility rate was at 1.69 in 2014, a small increase over 2013 and the first time that year-end numbers have been up since 2010.
That same year, the average age for becoming a first-time parent in Denmark was 29.1 years, a full five years older than in 1970, and up to ten percent of all children born in Denmark are now conceived only after fertility treatment. According to the fertility awareness organization Dansk Fertilitetsselskab, 20 percent of Danish men never become fathers while 12 percent of Danish woman either never have children or don’t have as many as they'd like.
Other attempts to boost Denmark’s falling birth rate have included changing the public school system’s sex education curriculum and getting parents to pledge to have more sex in order to save public institutions.
The original 'Do it for Denmark' ad from 2014 has amassed 9.2 million views: