Note to military forces looking to boost enlistment: Putting your logo on toilet paper will likely bring you ridicule, not recruits. That's the lesson gleaned from a recent effort by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF), which rolled out the campaign to boost recruitment at schools.
The recruitment campaign featured rolls of toilet paper with a blue cartoon SDF mascot printed on the sheets. The blue animal stood at attention, complete with a frown on its face and saluting with its paw to its brow, apparently ready to be, ahem, rolled out ... that is, deployed.
"We are recruiting SDF officials!" the ad says underneath the cartoon figure, with instructions for learning more about the opportunity listed below that, according to Japan Times.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 9, 2015
The campaign was met with some criticism from SDF supporters who view the force as an important and respected group. "It's an outright insult to SDF members who are risking their lives. I am greatly shocked that something like this could happen at schools," wrote a Facebook user whose daughter brought some of the paper home from her junior high school restrooms. The Facebook post, which contained a photo, had been shared more than 2,300 times as of Friday.
Those criticisms were joined by other Facebook users. "The SDF is not for wiping America's butt in international conflict! It's not something we should flush away!" wrote another poster.
It's not like this is the first time that a marketing campaign has taken the unusual tact of restroom references to get its message out there. Consider another restroom marketing scheme, the Poo Pourri. Instead of using a generic, expected name like "bathroom freshener" or "air freshener," this company decided to go with something a little more outside of the box. It was unclear how efective that marketing campaign has been.