The Army has delisted its advertising campaign titled “The Calling” on YouTube, making it harder to find the videos on the platform. The 2021 effort to court potential applicants from LGBTQ+ and other diverse backgrounds sparked a backlash from conservative lawmakers and pundits.
“The Calling” was delisted from the service's YouTube channel last week, hiding it from search results and recommendations, according to Laura DeFrancisco, a spokesperson for the Army's marketing arm, who said usage rights for music were set to expire. One of the ads, called “Emma,” featured a soldier who operated Patriot missile systems and was raised by a lesbian couple.
The series of ads focused on individual, personable, real service members from diverse backgrounds as a way to appeal to the shifting demographics of Gen Z. They were based on the idea that relatively low-ranking soldiers pitching service might be more trustworthy to potential applicants skeptical of institutions than corporate jingles or generic images of troops jumping from planes.
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The service also delisted some ads from its “What's Your Warrior” campaign, a slick series of ads highlighting the Army's different job opportunities, particularly those in science and technology.
The military services have faced a historic recruiting slump in recent years. The Army came…