“Most men will donate sperm because they want to help”

In October 2017 students at Brand Design at KEA were briefed by European Sperm Bank on a challenge called “How to attract and motivate young men to become sperm donors?”. Here is what one of their lecturers thought about the task. 

If you are in a relationship, your partner has a huge influence whether or not you chose to become a sperm donor”, “Most men will donate because they want to help – not for the money”, “Some men feel the need for spreading their super genes”, “A lot of men don’t volunteer to be a sperm donor cause they fear for the reaction in their surroundings”.

These and many more, were some of the interesting insights our 90 students at KEA Brand Design, were able to conclude after an intense 3 week process. First, we had a briefing session where Annemette Arndal-Lauritzen from European Sperm Bank gave the students a lot of insight and background information to the challenge. After a million questions, initial thoughts and ideas our students went to work.

Every group had to create a video demonstrating their process. See one example here.

The goal for the project was not about creating final executions and strategies to solve the problem, but about gaining insights around the target group. Researching and understanding potential sperm donors, the company and market. Who they are, how they think and feel about the subject, what’s driving or stopping them etc.  We saw many different approaches in this insight hunt. Some did street interviews, some got people to illustrate how they imagine the clinic should look, some held more classic focus groups, others gave the respondents homework to do and we even had one group who asked young men to take photos of the places they would masturbate. They certainly showed many creative ways of getting knowledge.

One of our groups found that a main barrier in becoming a sperm donor is the fear of accidentally bumping into “your offspring” one day in the supermarket. The thought of meeting “mini-me’s” scare them away. The students then asked a focus group to match photos of fathers and children to investigate if the fear was real or not. And it showed that NO ONE were able to pair the right fathers and kids. So maybe this kind of fear and barrier is something to deal with.

Thanks a lot, to European Sperm Bank for giving us this challenge, it was a super project.

By Laura Elmøe, Lecturer at KEA, Brand Design, Copenhagen