By Andy Wolf
The Army has reportedly delisted videos from their “The Calling” ad campaign on YouTube, following massive public backlash, meme mockery and the campaign’s backfiring when it came to trying to recruit more Soldiers.
“The Calling” was a failed 2021 effort to court potential applicants from LGBTQ+ and minority communities, as the military began “soft purges” of its ranks due to perceived issues such as COVID vaccine refusals, “right wing extremism” and other hot topics for the then-incoming Biden Administration.
Unfortunately for the Army, the seemingly tone-deaf campaign not only failed to reach their targeted demographic, but it was almost universally mocked by netizens, politicians, meme-lords and pundits alike.
In what has been a backlash against “wokeness,” many have criticized the campaign in memes, claiming the Army was pandering to a demographic that doesn’t even provide that much of a numerical contribution to the Army’s ranks.
Pundits, YouTubers, and other personalities have gone out of their way to come down on Emma and her comrades from the “Calling” campaign, accusing the Army of turning its back on their primary traditional demographic of warfighters: straight (mostly White) men from the South.
In fact, when the US Army reversed course, shelved Emma, and started featuring White males in action-centric ads, many wondered if the Army switched gears out of desperation- or if World War III was on the horizon.
“Where’s Emma?” many comments on the new ad read.
From social media posts to YouTube comments, Army recruiters can’t seem to escape the shadow of Emma and her failed campaign, even if she’s since gone Missing In Action.
“But… where is Emma?,” one user tweeted in response to the newer airborne assault-themed ad. “Where are her two moms?”
According to the Department of Defense, the Army fell a staggering 10,000 recruits short of its 65,000 goal last fiscal year.
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