Tradies cop a hard time in the media. There are plenty of stereotypes and not a lot of them positive – from overcharging to being dodgy and treating women badly.
While these stereotypes are not the norm, the media focus on easy targets, which translates to preconceived ideas in the public’s eye, which further reinforces the stereotypes – it’s a vicious circle.
A 2014 Snickers advertisement (below) showing tradies yelling positive messages of empowerment to passing women seems to buck the trend, until the end, where the advertisement says “You’re not you when you’re hungry”.
Essentially Snickers (Mars Food) is mocking the idea that tradies (98% of tradies are male) treat women well. And that this is the exception not the norm, when the reverse is true.
Commentary and opinion online is divided. Understandably, many women are outraged. Some tradies are insulted, others think it’s funny.
However, whatever your opinion of the ad, there is a good chance that you DON’T like it when people have preconceived ideas about you when they see you in high vis.
Every reader will have experienced pre-judgements in some form, and they do make life difficult as a tradie. It is this kind of media that is contributing to those preconceptions, not the behaviour of a select few.
That said, here is an example of where the stereotype card is played well, without damaging reputations or upsetting people. Perhaps Mars should talk to the agency used by Steel Blue?
What do you think about the Snickers ad? How widespread is calling out or whistling at women in your workplace, either from worksites or vehicles?
Boost saw an opportunity and hit back with this social media post.