Brand, image and a degree in mansplaining

05 July 2022

An image surfaced on my Twitter feed this week which took me by surprise; it appeared to be a very unfortunate marketing choice by the University of Adelaide. On hoarding outside the Royal Adelaide Hospital, a young man is shown explaining something or other to five women. Although he gesticulates with a pen in hand, the women’s faces betray their total disinterest. Positioned to the left of this dire scene is a large University of Adelaide emblem. Keen-eyed social media users deplored the University’s oversight, suggesting they might offer a degree in ‘mansplaining’.

Interestingly, the image bears no actual connection to the University, instead belonging to urban development company, Renewal SA’s hoarding. However, the reality of the situation is redundant, as four years after it first circulated in 2018, the image still possesses an inextricable link with the University. Made worse by the reduced attention span social media use engenders and a thriving cancel culture, many who come across the post won’t look further to discover the truth behind the image. In fact, the contrast in size and positioning of logo sizes between the University’s and Renewal’s, leaves no incentive to do so.

Further, though the image is not related to the University, it is related to an organisation which works on behalf of the Government of South Australia. Thus, it is no more reassuring to learn of the University’s distance from it. As a large business involved in and partially accountable to the community, Renewal’s choice of a small logo was their saving grace.

Here at 106 Communications, we have a wealth of experience in helping employers, including those who want to attract graduates in particular, position their businesses as an attractive prospect. Unlike the University of Adelaide who had to work backwards to maintain their reputation, 106 can ensure you never undergo the same trial by public.


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