By Anthony Colangelo
A Liberal Party election advertisement featuring a man on a worksite dressed as a tradesman has become the talk of social media for all the wrong reasons, with the public ridiculing its protagonist as a “Fake Tradie”.
Released on Sunday, the new ad’s tradesman urges viewers to “stick with the current mob”.
The only problem was that the viewers didn’t believe the tradie was a tradie at all, prompting a #FakeTradie online trend.
“Let me get this right,” the tradie says in the ad. “Mr [Bill] Shorten wants to go to war with my bank, he wants to go to war with miners.
“Bill Shorten even wants to go to war with someone like me, who wants to get ahead with an investment property. Well, I’ll tell you what happens when you get a war going on the economy – people like me lose their jobs.
“So I reckon we should just see it through and stick with the current mob for a while.”
Shortly after the ad was released, hundreds of social media users questioned whether the man in the ad was a genuine tradesman, highlighting his silver chain, flashy watch and clearly staged background as proof he was fake.
People also pointed out that in the ad’s credits it listed the tradie as “A. MacRae”. It was quickly uncovered there is a voice actor by the name of “Andrew MacRae”, but he later took to Twitter to deny he was in the ad:
It’s not me. I’m not in the ad. I didn’t voice the ad. I had nothing to do with the ad.#faketradie
— Andrew MacRae (@MedinaVoice) 20 June 2016
Later on Monday, a Liberal Party spokesman disputed the criticisms of the “#FakeTradie” movement, telling the ABC “the tradie is real”.
“We are very pleased that people are talking about this ad, which highlights the risks of Bill Shorten’s war on business,” the spokesman told the ABC.
“The tradie is real, unlike Mr Shorten’s claims about Medicare.”
Watch the ad below:
— Liberal Party (@LiberalAus) 19 June 2016
Reaction to the ad was scathing:
— Nic Healey (@dr_nic) 20 June 2016
— Fake Richard Tuffin (@RichardTuffin) 19 June 2016
Also, why is his saw-stool set up in a lane outside the fencing? And who has a ceramic cup on a building site? pic.twitter.com/pZEs7TPk0T
— Bill (@Billablog) 19 June 2016
Shorten’s secret weapon?
An unconventional attempt by Bill Shorten to show off his human side also backfired, with a short video featuring the Opposition Leader being interviewed by his wife Chloe failing to inspire viewers.
While Mr Shorten’s wife has been beside him for much of the election campaign, she took on greater prominence on Saturday when Labor released the video of her interviewing her husband.
In the three-minute video Mrs Shorten asked Mr Shorten questions about campaigning in community halls, what he likes to do on the weekend and even one about his time in the Army Reserves.
“Clementine, as you know, our youngest, has got the genetic DNA of a rooster, so she gets up when the sun rises,” Mr Shorten revealed.
“Then we’ve got kids’ sport, which means I am a volunteer bus driver.
“I take child to sporting event A, then another child, then pick up first child, then take them to the next sporting event.”
Like the Liberal Party’s ad, the Mr and Mrs Shorten interview was widely panned for being unusual, slightly awkward and bizarre given she would have known all those things about her husband anyhow.
Watch it below: