Worried about declining birth rates, these countries have developed creative measures to encourage their citizens to get it on…
Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more!
These days, Singapore’s public transportation system has been doing more than just ensuring that we get from point A to B. It’s also reminding citizens of our relentlessly ticking biological clocks.
Enter some MRT stations or carriages and even buses and you won’t miss those colourful advertisements sporting cartoony versions of your egg and sperm. You’ll be greeted with loaded questions like, “Can your egg and sperm wait? or ‘”Is your egg reserve low?”.
These ads, which have garnered mixed reactions, are aimed at kicking off a national conversation about fertility, explains I Love Children, a pro-family organisation and the brains behind this campaign.
It’s no secret that global birth rates are slowing down, nor can Tinder alone turn the tide. So, countries from Denmark to South Korea and Russia are taking matters into their own hands in an attempt to give their birth rates a shot in the arm. Scroll through the photo gallery to find out more about these innovative campaigns.
Singapore ― Chew some mints and sing a sex anthem
Total Fertility Rate in 2016: 1.2 births per woman
On August 9, 2012, a Government campaign organised together with scotch mint company Mentos, urged Singaporeans to end their National Day celebration with a bang ― literally. Right after the parade ended, a catchy 3-minute rap song played on TV (and continuously on the radio for days after) with a tongue-in-cheek message to encourage citizens to do their civic duty to raise the country’s birth rate. Verses like “let’s not watch fireworks, let’s make them instead” and “put a boa in the oven” were aimed at inspiring couples to give the country the population spurt it so desperately needed. Watch the advertisement here.
Denmark ― Go on a sexcapade
Total Fertility Rate in 2016: 1.73 births per woman
In 2013, the former happiest country in the world saw its fertility rate declining to 1.67 ― the lowest in 27 years. This quickly prompted Danish travel agency Spies Travel to put together a 2-minute video advertisement-cum-competition to encourage Danes to take a romantic holiday, make a baby and raise birth rates along the way. The “Do it for Denmark” campaign also put its money where its mouth was by promising a three-year supply of baby items to couples who joined the competition. All they had to do was book a holiday with them while ovulating, conceive a baby and prove they had sex during the vacation. Looks like it was a success ― not only did birth rates start climbing, but they came up with the “Do it for Mom” campaign in 2015, which enabled parents to send their adult kids on holiday, so that they’d be able to look forward to welcoming grandchildren. Watch the advertisement here. (Photo: YouTube)
South Korea ― Turn off the lights, turn up the heat
Total Fertility Rate in 2016: 1.25 births per woman
In 2010, South Korea’s health ministry ordered offices throughout the country to switch off its lights by 7pm in a bid to encourage workers to head home and have fun in the sack. Dubbed as “Family Day”, this exercise that took place third Wednesday of the month gave new meaning to hump day. While government officials acknowledged that going home early may not have a direct link to making more babies, they wanted to explore every option available in a fast-ageing society. This ploy may not have quite hit the mark because birthrates hit an all-time low at 1.187 children per woman in 2013. Since then, the powers that be have been offering cash gifts and incentives. (Photo: iStock)
Russia ― Make a baby, win a car!
Total Fertility Rate in 2016: 1.83 births per woman
Since 2007, Russia has declared September 12 as its National Day of Conception in the hope that giving couples a public holiday will entice them to make babies and lead to a spike in the birth rate. Women who give birth nine months later, on Russia’s National Day (June 12), stand to win cash prizes, a refrigerator and even a car! Looks like this promotion has appealed to many Russian women because the country has shown a steady population growth, as compared to its all-time low birth rate in 2000 of only 1.2 per cent. (Photo: iStock)
Japan ― Trial a robot baby
Total Fertility Rate in 2016: 1.41 births per woman
WHAT: In the face of crippling low birth rates ― so low that some predict the Japanese will be extinct in 1,000 years ― local Japanese university students decided to do what they do best, build a robot. While it’s not meant to replace a human baby, robot baby Yotara, who cries, sneezes, coos and giggles like a real newborn, is meant to spark parental instincts in couples and instil in them a desire to start their own family, or add one or two more to the brood. Watch a video of Baby Yotara here.
Georgia – Join a nationwide dating website
Total Fertility Rate in 2016: 1.48 births per woman
WHAT: In 1989, the former Soviet republic’s population was more than 5 million, but by 2014, it had plummeted to 3.7 million and remains stagnant till today. The country’s Demographic Development Fund believed the drop in the number of marriages was the cause and started taking a census of all singles, widows, widowers and divorcees. Personal details such as, the “weight, height and zodiac sign” were also documented and all the information entered into a centralised system, which is rumoured to be used as a matchmaking service. Nothing else is known about this campaign for now as it’s still in its infancy. (Photo: iStock)