Culture Jam Assignment

Original ad by FormalWill

Analysis of original ad:

The advertisement presented above created by a Canadian will company known as FormalWill can be seen on Toronto’s subway system. First of all, this is a company that is advertising their services in writing wills. The advertisement targets elderly people in their latter years who are afraid to lose their money to the ‘wrong hands.’ This service seems like a great deal at a glance since it can be completed ‘affordably in minutes.’  The way this advertisement is setup is highly offensive and wrong in so many different ways. The advertisement is showing a non-white young girl in a relationship with a very old near to death man while the non-white girl has her hands on his money. This is what the advertisement mean as losing their money to the ‘wrong hand.’ This is extremely sexist and yet racist at the same time. This selected advertisement shows how problematic both in term of gender issue (a woman living with a Sugar Daddy) and race issue (the greedy woman is non white). This company shows and is warning the old man to protect himself by contacting them so they can charge money at an “affordable price” to write his will so his money wouldn’t be ‘stolen’ by the young non-white women out to get his money. This is highly offensive because this depicts the non-white woman as greedy and manipulative while the old white man is the victim. Formalwill is an questionable company as it not only target specific races, is extremely sexist and is also most likely scamming you into doing a service you can probably do for yourself online for free.

Jammed version of original ad by FormalWill

Importance of the jammed version:

My jamming policy is based on the rational that the ad agencies, FormalWill in this case, are using a series of methods to attract the consumer with subtle imagery and cue. If I can show these people the flaws within these ads, hopefully I can give the consumers a reality check and not to believe such companies ads. For this re-jammed version of the advertisement, I created a message on the top of the ad warning the consumer not to pay for a service since it is available free online in BC. For the second half of the advertisement I addressed this issue where the original ad shows a non-white woman grabbing money out of the pocket of an old man in the latter years of his life. This image is showing how a young non-white woman is in a “Sugar Daddy” relationship with a naïve white man, and the original advertisement is offering service that is “affordable” so that they wont lose their money to these women. The warning is to protect the old man from his money grabbing partner. After researching a bit about writing will, it can be easily done online for free as stated above rather than at an “affordable” price. In this jammed version of the advertisement, I replaced this sexist and racist image with an image showing a white lawyer grabbing money from an old black man. The message I want to reveal here is how greed cannot be stereotyped on gender and race basis. The message in the modified advertisement with new images is to show the public of how obvious these flaws are once we switch the ethnicity or genders within the advertisement. To sum up my jamming, I inserted the message “Formal Will are the Wrong Hands”. This is to show the real exploitation in the ad.