Eat Your Veggies Little Timmy, This Safety Asparagus is Good for You
It’s no longer amazing, when Safety doesn’t know what to do it comes up with some crazy PR shlock to feed to the masses or some weird way to pickle safety. The NZ Worksafe ‘Pickled’ campaign is a classic example in the long tradition of: Hazardman, Mum’s for Safety and the Dumb as Dumb Ways to Die . As long as Safety ignores the medium as the message and the semiotics of communication it will continue to come up with this bizarre stuff. I wonder how long Pickled will last in ineffectiveness before they shift to a new yo-yo campaign (https://safetyrisk.net/the-yo-yo-delusion-and-conversations-about-risk/) in marketing in non-safety? Of course, it will be justified by the number of hits on the site not if it actually works.
It is strange how such simple things such as helping, listening, being wise and having humanized conversations seems to be the last thing Safety wants as an aspiration.
Of course the symbolism of being pickled is about being in trouble (https://www.theidioms.com/in-a-pickle/ ). When you are ‘in a pickle’ generally the metaphor is one about paradox, ambiguity and having no way out. And of course, there is always the angle that somehow a cartoon vegetable communicates better to us about safety than a human?
When you play one of these veggie games you learn that veggies are dumb. That’s the real and overt message of this campaign. Typical Safety all about how people are dumb and want to harm themselves. Safety is so good at deflecting away from real issues in safety and distracting people away from the simple message of listening, helping, caring and conversation.
Just like the dumb ways to die message of choosing suicide with trains, these little characters: shoot a nail-guns into their hands, bully onions, endorse ‘get the job done’, hit themselves in the head with rakes, carry excessive weight, etc.
It’s hard to stay with the site for too long without thinking, ‘Isn’t Safety dumb’. All these veggie brained fools harming themselves because safety is all about being dumb. If only we could be safety crusaders but hey wait, let’s help people to learn about risk by making a potato do something dumb then explain why the spud was a dud!
The most entertaining aspect of this campaign is the video PR to spruik why this is such a good idea. Supposedly these veggies are the way to teach people about safety. Just like the Dumbs for Safety campaign from lend Lease or Dumb Ways to Die, the theme of dumb continues. Hidden in the language of ‘gamify’, risk tool’ ‘edgy’ and ‘innovative’ is this crazy apologetic for packaging the ideology of dumbness as a way to communicate safety. These people believe their own spin!
How strange that an organization that wants to see people have simple conversations about risk choses a methodology that will NOT achieve it. No language about learning, humanizing, helping or listening – the key to conversations in risk. No, just dumb veggies harming themselves with follow up platitudes about how to keep safe.
One of the good aspect of the campaign is it invites feedback, well good to accept constructive criticism. How about Safety considers simple ways that it creates the wrong message in safety and how it sets safety back years with yet again another campaign that reifies the idea that safety is about being dumb.
So if you want to cut your onions in half or bang a brick on your head get into Pickled its sure to go well with your next BBQ. Eat your Veggies Little Timmy, if you don’t you might get harmed.