Commercial con

Have you seen the new Liberal Ad? If not, catch it getting mocked on social media via #FakeTradie

The pre-election games have begun. The slinging of insults via social media has been going for a while. Countless ‘dank memes’ have been thrown from side to side.

The latest liberal ad featured a stereotypical tradesman, however the public was not convinced he was the real deal. His $7000 watch and loose bracelet on a building site were enough to stir controversy. A satirical twitter account was created, and #faketradie started trending.

It’s since been discovered through The Daily Mail Australia that the #faketradie is in fact a real tradesman – a metalworker. Convinced or not, it’s got people talking about the advertisement again. As the age-old saying goes – any press is good press.

Let’s just have a look at the viral ad from a comms perspective, and see what they were thinking back at Liberal HQ. By using a typical Aussie tradesman, they were hoping to relate to a different type of public. The tradesman in the ad asks Opposition Leader Bill Shorten why he wants to wage a war on “people like me”, who are just trying to negatively gear an investment property to get ahead.

We can all relate to a bit of hi-vis right? Wrong. These types of commercials are scrutinised – not just by the other political parties but by the everyday voter. Give the everyday voter a computer, some free time and they’ll soon make a mockery of it. This is exactly what was done.

The use of the tradie’s simple language in the ad (no mention of Turnbull). Just “we should just see it through and stick with the current mob for a while”. It’s not just the content that had people up in a storm. But what seemed to be a very lowbrow production – you can see the “tradies” microphone sticking out from his crisp, King Gee work shirt.

In 1983 the Fraser government had a similar everyday Australian using the same scare tactic – don’t trust the new guy.

The Hawke Government tried the “if aint broken” approach in its 1987 campaign: “Let’s stick together, let’s see it through … nobody ever got anywhere changing horses in mid-stream.”

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