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Brickl Brothers #RegretNothing about billboard campaign

From the From Tribune files: 10 most-read stories in April at lacrossetribune.com series
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As part of an advertising campaign to recruit workers, Brickl Brothers construction company is using hashtags such as #NoSnowflakes among others to try to recruit hardworking employees, business development manager Greg Brickl said.

The #NoSnowflakes hashtags are coming down soon and in their place a local construction company will be use a new slogan: #RegretNothing.

West Salem-based Brickl Brothers put up two print and five digital billboards in the region as part of a spring hiring campaign for construction workers. The campaign uses nearly a dozen hashtags including #TrueGrit, #LifeSkills or #BoldlyForward, to highlight the kind of tough and hard-driving candidates the company is looking to hire.

The hashtag #NoSnowflakes was used on billboards located on Third and Jackson streets and along Interstate 90. Business Development Manager Greg Brickl said that hashtag will come down on those billboards Monday and #RegretNothing will take its place. He said the change is part of a rotation that will continue with #BoldlyForward before returning to #NoSnowflakes.

“The #RegretNothing hashtag is meant to convey that choosing a career in the construction trades is likely to reward an individual with useful, marketable skills and will definitely appeal to a candidate who desires frequent, strong and durable feelings of accomplishment,” Brickl said. “People who cannot build admire and need those who can build, and that’s something of which to be proud.”

The term “snowflake” is a disparagement of spoiled, lazy millennials, and is often applied to political liberals, college students and professors. The term got its pop culture start in the 1999 cult film “Fight Club,” in which the Tyler Durden character tells his crew of anarchist thugs, “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.”

Thomas O’Guinn, a marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and expert on branding and advertising, said using the hashtag could result in a smaller applicant pool or even a loss of liberal customers if the campaign rubs enough people the wrong way.

That’s hasn’t been a problem, Brickl said.

“We’ve had a huge outpouring of support from many influential, high-profile people across the Coulee Region and beyond, and particularly strong support amongst our client base and from other construction-related business owners,” Brickl said in response to coverage of the hashtag campaign.

“Of course, we have had some blowback from those on the political left who mistakenly believe our hashtag was politically motivated ... It’s unfortunate that many of those folks seem to have no intention of accepting or even hearing our intended meaning, but I guess that’s the environment in which we live today.”

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Nathan Hansen has been the Education Reporter for the Tribune since 2014. Prior to that, he covered education, agriculture and business topics for the Winona Daily News. He is always on the lookout for news tips and can be contacted at 608-791-8234.

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