The Yukon government's recent bid to ensure residents are receiving enough Vitamin D is getting a rise out of the social media masses.
The Department of Health and Social Services recently rolled out a campaign exhorting residents to ensure they're getting enough vitamin D.
But the kind of activity the campaign wound up promoting is arguably best accomplished indoors.
The department's "we all need the D" campaign, using a common slang term for the penis, quickly went viral and spawned giggly dismay across social media.
Many of the comments voiced incredulity that the Yukon government could have committed such a gaffe without realizing how the message would be interpreted.
But the department itself says the campaign was not wholly accidental, adding the bid to target a younger crowd got a little out of hand. It tweaked the ad earlier this week in the face of the mockery.
"When trying to reach a young adult audience, Health and Social Services often reaches for provocative and humorous messaging, to great success," the government said in a statement.
"However, what was considered cheeky messaging on our vitamin D campaign escalated to ribald humour, taking the campaign into graphic areas that were never intended."
The original campaign consisted of a handful of posters asking what, in hindsight, proved to be some provocative questions.
One ad asked Yukon residents: "How do you do the D?" Another depicted a woman gazing at a plate of fish with the caption: "Need a little help . . . with your daily D?"
Another poster showed a man musing about how he managed to reach his 30s without realizing that he, too, needed to "do the D."
It didn't take long for the ads to arouse widespread mockery, with U.S. websites BuzzFeed and Jezebel among those posting items and weighing in with glee as social media users laughed at what they believed to be an oversight.
"Counting down to a population boom in the Yukon in 3...2...1," wrote one Twitter user.
"Do guys just naturally get the D?" quipped another.
The Yukon government ad now simply asks: "Have you taken your vitamin D today?"
And despite the embarrassment caused by the original campaign, the department maintained that it had left them more than satisfied.
"While the campaign had some unexpected results, such as being mentioned in BuzzFeed, we definitely hit our target audience and beyond," the statement read, going on to point out websites that prominently mentioned the real purpose of the ad blitz in their coverage.
"This is the entire point of the campaign."