General discussion


The image/perception of IT

By The IT Guru ·
I happened to watch a bit of TV, where an advert caught my eye.

A company was advertising for new PC systems, and were including 3 hours of tech support via third party.

They portrayed the IT person as a "geek", with the thick glasses, pocket protector full of pens, no personality kind of bloke... you know the stereo type.

Is this how the world still portrays the IT industry today? Do we need to push a new image or is this what we really are? What would we say to the world if we wanted to update our image?

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It's a useful stereotype for an advertiser

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to The image/perception of I ...

You see a guy who looks like that, and computers, you think aha I bet he can set up my printer.

I ceased to bother what advertisers 'think' a long time ago. Otherwise I'd be using hair colour, a malignant melanoma bed, daubing fat on my face and walking about in my undies, smelling of flowers and talking french....

Pour l'homme....

Peer at that image through your bottle bottoms for a bit, and you'll realise they haven't done us such as bad deal after all.

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lovely image

by ajohansson In reply to It's a useful stereotype ...

And perhaps as equally accurate as the specs and pens...

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You'd want to black

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to It's a useful stereotype ...

your specs out if you faced the prospect of seeing me in my undies...


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Stereo types aren't supposed to do you a favor

by Maevinn In reply to The image/perception of I ...

They convey an idea. In some cases, quite effectively. When someone asks what I do for a living, I seldom say "I'm an applications developer", I say "I'm a computer geek." The former is more accurate, the latter better understood by the average non-tech.

If I'm turned down for a job because I don't wear thick glasses or a pocket protector, I'll worry about it. Until then, the common perception means that a) I'm seldom pressured to attend work parties b) I can wear jeans and a nice shirt and not get hassled for failing to appear professional.

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It's just an advert

by Bizzo In reply to The image/perception of I ...

It made you remember the advert/product, so the advertising company has done it's job.

But I agree, the "geek/nerd" stereotype is getting a little stale now. Do we need to change the stereotype image? We could do, but what would be the point? No-one would remember the product, so advertisers wouldn't pick up on the new image.

All male images in the advertising arena are derogatory towards men anyway, so chaging one wouldn't make a difference.

Technical adverts: Always portray men as either skinny geeky nerds with thick horn-rimmed glasses, or fat hairy sweaty blokes with personality problems.

Shopping adverts: The man is either following the wife around and hasn't a clue what's going on. Or they're on their own, again clueless, and need help from anyone who's available.

Cleaning products: "Mr Muscle", I think that speaks for itself, or again it's some clueless bloke who doesn't know one end of a toilet brush from the other.

Everything else: It's some 6ft2 bronzed adonis, with hair only on his head, drinking Diet Coke after saving a kitten from a tree whilst changing a wheel on a Nun's minibus after helping several old ladies across the road. I don't think any of us can compete with that!

Sexism in advertising? How about male stereotyping.

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