The campaign warns men that they risk having their sperm lose virility if they wait until they are older to become fathers.
A video opens with the image of an old and lethargic sperm cell using a walker as text asks “is your sperm performing?” It then shows a hipster-looking cartoon couple, with the man saying that he’d like to have children a few years down the road. The couple is then shocked by a voice-over warning them: “perhaps you better get going!”
“When couples can’t have children, the cause is just as likely to be the man as it is the woman,” the video states.
“You can’t count on your sperm performing,” it warns as active sperm is replaced by old lethargic sperm.
The campaign warns that one in four men have decreased sperm quality and one in five don’t ever become fathers. It encourages viewers to visit the website spillerdinsæd.dk to learn more about why they shouldn’t wait too long to have children.
This isn’t the first time Copenhagen residents have been encouraged to have children earlier. In 2015, a campaign from the city and the Environment Ministry featured materials including a picture of sperm cells with the text ‘Are they swimming too slowly?’ while another asked women if they’ve “counted their eggs today?”
The 2015 campaign also featured a video in which a young, stressed couple named Jonas and Sofie are visited by a ghost of transgressions past who tells them that all of Jonas’s drinking and smoking, not to mention the chlamydia that Sofie picked up on holiday and her insistence that they finish their education first, are to blame for their problems conceiving.
The campaigns are spurred by the fact that Copenhageners become parents later than Danes in the rest of the country. On average, men in Copenhagen become fathers at the age of 33 while women become mothers at 31.
The national averages are 31 years for men and 29 years for women, but that too has increased dramatically over the past decades. In 1970, the average age for becoming a first-time parent was 24.1 years.
According to the new campaign, every twelfth Danish child is now conceived only through the help of fertility treatments.
The campaign encourages couples to begin discussing whether or not they want children and if so how many. “The more children you want, the earlier you should get going,” it says.
It also encourages men to speak to their doctors about their sperm quality.
In addition to the aforementioned 2015 campaign, Danes have also been encouraged to have more children by the saucy ‘Do it for Denmark’ and ‘Do it for Mom’ campaigns from Spies Travel that went massively viral. Other attempts to boost the 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.