It was certainly a warning work in the build up to 1975. The old adage re the burning house was used over and over when people objected to the frequency of witnesses calls.
Yes it definitely was a warning work in the build-up to 75. Also, if you check the literature from the early to late 1930s, JWs were cookin' and growing exponentially. Meetings were often way longer than 3 hours 3 times a week (so my mother told me) and JWs were active in the literal sense of the word. They were known for putting their foot in the door and as door-to-door knockers they were known to be chased out of small towns. For a while, Rutherford stirred up the rank and file to hold protests outside major churches.
Nowadays, active means inactively standing by a literature cart.
"This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth."
Earlier generations of JWs would have considered it a travesty to annex the part of that key text that states, "...and then the end will come."
In turning to jw.org, you do not get a sense of urgency - but there are lots of airbrushed displays of JWs actively showing people the literature - interestingly, no shots of jws sitting idly whilst passersby ignore them.
BY the way, has anyone else noticed that the key scriptural text on the jw.org homepage is Matthew 24:14 where the part about the end coming is not included: