Finnish PSA: What If Kids Could Pick Their Parents?

A Finnish public service announcement flips the script on adoption, posing the question of what would happen if children could choose their parents.


Finland-based children’s charity Fragile Childhood has again teamed up with Helsinki ad agency Havas Worldwide to produce a chilling study on parental alcoholism. The two groups collaborated a couple years ago for a PSA depicting drunk parents as horror-movie monsters. This new spot is less in-your-face, but is every bit as effective.

The ad follows two children as they tour an ‘orphanage’ of parents. They are first shown three sets of ideal parents, before a fourth couple appears, this one drunken and shouting. Of course, children can’t choose their parents, and the kids are forced to accompany their abusive, alcoholic parents back home.

Adding to the spot’s unsettling nature is the quasi-futuristic art design that depicts the ‘parental orphanage’ as a sort of cavernous observation laboratory. It’s quite clearly meant to make the viewer feel a sense of foreignness and discomfort, and it works.

I’m a big fan of these ads for that very reason – they make the viewer uneasy about topics that should make everyone feel that way. Contrast these with American PSAs, which are usually brightly lit affairs stuffed to the gills with celebrities. Which ones do you pay more attention to?

We’ll probably never see PSAs like this in the US, because American PSAs are usually just excuses for famous people to feel good about themselves. The message itself is nearly always secondary. It’s nice to see that isn’t the case everywhere else.

Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts


13 thoughts on “Finnish PSA: What If Kids Could Pick Their Parents?

  1. Brent P. Maples says:

    I’m also a big fan of these ads. Finnish PSA’s are usually very cool. So, thank you Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts for this awesome article. But can you imagine a world where kids really do pick their own parents? Candy for days. No limits. And who tell anyone to wash behind ears. Could be a really cool movie.

  2. Telicia Sheldon says:

    Nice work here, Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts!

    Letting kids choose their parents? Let the flood gates open. But how smart of a public relations and marketing campaign to garner buzz and awareness from adults and children alike. Some PSA’s can be so boring. But this PSA scored big time.

  3. Hey, this is Sunil as your regular reader. First of all thanks for sharing this wonderful post on “What If Kids Could Pick Their Parents”. Well a world where kids should able to pick their own parents leads to massive disaster! I think kids are given more freedom as before. Great work Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts and thumbs up.

  4. Dare I Say: Previous research has shown that every fourth Finnish child has suffered some harm or emotional disturbance because of parent’s alcohol usage. Research carried out among Finnish teenagers aged 12-18 years shows that children think that their parents ought not to drink at home and that they are much nicer when sober. Thanks Howard Davidson Arlington MA for sharing.

  5. Tonysteve6 says:

    Well this one actually a nice post i never heard something like this before,

    Nice share… looking forward for more


  6. Adam says:

    It can be a good experiment for fun but in reality if kids start choosing parents the whole world would be a mess and they will change parents everyday as they change their toys . When parents choose kids they love them , protect them and take care of them but if kids choose parents what would be result? Just a thought

  7. Kennedy says:

    Well just a sec, Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts! If children could pick there own parents how would they decide? I know, they could decide based on looks? Nah. How about the size of their wallets? That’s cool. Nope, size of their cars. Now we are onto something.

  8. Leader567 says:

    Kuddos toHoward Davidson Arlington MA… Great point you have raised. Now-a-days children have been given a lot of freedom.. even much more than they deserve. But if they start choosing their parents, then this will be more than disaster. Moreover this will also disturb the laws of nature. This thing could be attention seeking for the ads. But not in reality!!!!

  9. Kemar says:

    Interesting post Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts!

    Just to imagine a world where kids can pick their own parents will be great…Whether it is possible or not is a different debate. I haven’t seen this commercial so will not be able to comment on it but the way you have described it here is very good.

  10. Mitchell says:

    You have raised some very interesting points here Howard Davidson Arlington MA. I believe kids already are getting a lot more freedom to chose than what we use to had in our growing up days…So, the question of letting them chose their own parents is only going to invite more trouble…I think it is a bad idea and should never be given a nod ahead at least United States.

  11. Darren says:

    A question here for everyone. Do kids have emotional understanding to make such big choices so early in their childhood days?? I am a parent and I can say this with confidence that at times we all feel that we are not doing enough but to see our kids pick someone else over us is a thought nobody could bear….Thank you Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts for writing on this and letting us speak our mind.

  12. Travis says:

    To be honest, I had never heard this before, so this came to me as a news. This is interesting, kids to chose their own parents. As someone mentioned this could made into a cool movie. Thanks Howard Davidson Arlington MA for sharing this post.

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