In their new ad campaign, the Boy Scouts of America seem to be positioning themselves to appeal to a younger demographic--or at least, a more ironic, hipster-minded one.
The spots, produced by the Atlanta office of the global ad firm Ogilvy & Mather, depict fresh-faced scouts sporting facial hair that would look right at home at the indie music festival Coachella. The tagline: Be One With The Wild.
It's far from clear, at least to the casual viewer, just what the intended message of the spots is supposed to be. It's certainly difficult to imagine the founder of the scouting movement, Anthony Baden-Powell, a British baron with distinct authoritarian leanings, envisaged his 21st-century followers adopting the unkempt facial-hair stylings of Zach Galifianakis. (And given the child sex abuse claims against the group, maybe depicting them as miniature adults is a poor choice?)
Still, whatever you choose to make of the Boy Scout campaign's messaging strategy, at least its timing is serendipitous. The ads are hitting the news cycle right at the beginning of "Movember"--a month long campaign where participants grow facial hair to raise awareness (and cash) for men's health.
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