The Ladders got a ‘makeover’ but didn’t need to

Something disturbs me greatly at a visceral level about the latest commercial from The Ladders.

In his latest email newsletter, Marc Cenedella, Founder & CEO (@cenedella) explained the commercials and the creative process behind it. I still didn’t buy it. It felt like someone handed me a dog turd and told me it was fine European chocolate.

And while you are chewing on that visual, watch the commercial.


View on YouTube | The rest

Really, I get it. Average-looking people with exceptional skills look fantastically sexy to quality employers. It’s a good concept and not one I’m going to argue with. But what I do have an issue with is how they are portrayed it in the video.

The premise The Ladders capitulated to is simple; eventually, everything comes down to sex. Period. Even job skills, brains, ability, aptitude and attitude. To be seen as qualified to do the job, you must also be seen as sexy.

That saddens me greatly.

How many qualified women have been hired based on their “skills” and years later found out it was because “she has a nice rack?” Or qualified men being hired because “he had a nice a**?” For someone who values skills, experience and smarts over looks, that is insulting.

I don’t know how else you could have depicted qualified candidates as attractive, but I know this visual is more insulting than complimentary. The Ladders went and gave itself a makeover, but didn’t need to. The quality employees and employers already found them more than attractive. For all the right reasons.

I’m not entirely sure who The Ladders hired to create and shoot the commercials, but perhaps they should have reached just a little further up the ladder for the better label. Perhaps they will next time around. They need to be what they sell.

*Yeah, I’m pretty hot-looking and I have a nice a**, so this isn’t sour grapes, just in case you want to snipe at me. If I wanted to get hired based on my looks, I’d aspire to be a model. I’d rather be seen as a talented writer and thinker; worth well over $100K. And I did get the the Nastassja Kinski cultural reference. Very clever, geeks are well-endowed, ok, subtle. Yes, that is sarcasm. Or is it?

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