#WorkLikeABoss VS Work #WithDignity: My Two-Cents

by - Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A few days ago, I came across an ad for a computer brand featuring Toni Gonzaga. It was a picture of her with a cut on her face while holding a cellphone (?) and with the caption “Drama Queen.” Curious about what it’s all about, I clicked on the image and came upon an interesting (to say the least) ad campaign about Acer phones.

My initial thought was “This is a bad ad.” but then I gave it the benefit of the doubt, it is Acer after all. A big brand like them wouldn’t create something this atrocious right? So I kept on clicking and got more and more bewildered with each picture and the accompanying text. It seemed to me at that time that I was the wrong audience for the ad since I can’t seem to connect with it and I find their “poem” pretty bad.

Yup, that’s their poem. You be the judge of it. As for the ad campaign itself, here are my two-cents:

·       Freelancers are not freeloaders. A freelancer was depicted in the picture was someone eating fishball while holding a martini dressed in dirty T-shirt. Hmm… that doesn’t look like any of the freelancers I know.  And “bests are free”? Apart from the bad grammar (FYI: “best” is an adjective, not a noun; therefore, there is no plural form of “best”.), the ad creates an impression that freelancers are freeloaders who do not worry about anything because they can get by with freebies.  

No, that’s not true at all. Freelancers work harder than employees because they need to make sure they will have alternative income source in case one of the clients don’t pay them. They also work long hours and often have to juggle work and family at the same time.

·       Ads do not need context to be understood. In defense of Acer, one online user talked about the story behind the ad and that people misunderstood the message.  But that’s exactly the point. Images/ads are designed to tell a story that will compel the user to purchase or subscribe to a product or service. If you need to have context in order for you to understand the story then the ad has failed. As they say, if you need to explain your message then you need to change it. You cannot make someone buy something they don’t understand.

·       Women deserve more respect than this. When I first saw the ad, I didn’t see the bit about the secretary. Ok. So secretaries are SECRETary ADMIRERs who would go to hell and back just to please (and have relations with) their boss? I don’t know where they got this but clearly whoever did, needs a lesson on how to respect women. Also, a person (regardless of their gender) who has cut or thought of cutting her flesh is not drama queens or kings. They may be suffering from depression or mental illness.  Stop trivializing the issue.

I could go and on and on about how offensive the ad campaign was or how powerful social media is to have a brand like Acer change their campaign because of the uproar. However, at the end of the day, one thing is clear – the representations or “personalities” are based on the perception or generalization of a reality. We see one aspect of a reality and we decide it to be the ultimate truth.

Can you blame them? I think not. It is our responsibility to create an image that actually represents us. If people perceive freelancers as freeloaders and happy-go-lucky, isn’t time to change that perception?  If they see depressive individuals as drama queens, isn’t time to educate them ? I think it is.

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