Government Technology

NYC Targets Teen Pregnancy with Mobile Phone Game



March 11, 2013 By

A new campaign launched last week by the New York City Human Resources Administration is making waves thanks to its frank depiction of the harsh realities of unplanned teen pregnancy. 

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention campaign combines ads designed by the city’s Office of Communications and Marketing with social media, video and even an interactive texting game. 

The campaign’s ads, which appear on buses and subway trains, pull no punches. The ads (one of which is shown at left) feature distraught-looking children and provocative messages such as “Dad, you'll be paying to support me for the next 20 years,” and “I’m twice as likely to not graduate high school because you had me as a teen.” 

In a clever appeal to the target demographic, the campaign also includes a “choose your own adventure” style texting game. By texting NOTNOW to 877877, anyone can play the game, which has you choosing to act on behalf of either Louis or Anaya, two fictitious 16-year-olds who are dating.

The game begins with Anaya’s discovery that she is pregnant. Once a player chooses either Louis or Anaya, the game sends text message scenarios with two choices. Each choice leads to other scenarios, which generally illustrate the difficulties of teen pregnancy. 


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Comments

BC4U    |    Commented March 18, 2013

Though some of the ad campaign and mobile content is controversial, we applaud anyone's effort to combat unwanted teen pregnancy. At BC4U, which is headquartered in Denver, we reach young adults ages 12-24 by providing completely free and confidential birth control (plus STD tests and more). The program has found a lot of success through social media and untraditional tactics. Here's a link to learn more: http://www.bc4u.org/


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