GRSJ 300 Culture Jam

The advertisement I will jamming is a single image from a series of print ads made by Burger Fi, an American fast food restaurant chain. The slogan of the ad campaign is “Burgers for Every 1” and depicts four quirky archetypes showing off the chain’s burgers, with the apparent goal being that the restaurant has something for everyone. The image in question depicts a “minivan driving metal mom” holding one of the restaurant’s burgers, dressed in a metal band t-shirt with a hairstyle that looks like a stereotypical homemaker.

While I do not see an inherent issue with the ad campaign using the homemaker character, the ad becomes problematic in the context of the campaign as a whole. There is a complete lack of diversity in the campaign, as the other three images depict only white men. Each of the men is depicted with an unconventional profession or hobby; an illusionist, ventriloquist, and daredevil compose the rest of the campaign’s cast. Each of them has taken a path that has made them unique, a fact that the campaign seeks to highlight. In contrast to this non-conformity, the sole woman depicted becomes the outlier in the set of images.

Each of the men is presented as unconventional, both in their manners and interests, which could be used to further the campaign’s message that the restaurant’s burgers are for everyone. In contrast to these three, the woman comes off as “unconventionally conventional”: she has a highlighted interest that is not typically associated with homemakers, but her identity is rooted conformity to traditional gender roles. The advertisers responsible for this campaign are relying on her atypical and historically unfeminine interest to place her at odds with the general public while still making her gender conforming in her life path. The strength of this conformity is compounded by her contrast with the men, as none of them are bound to traditional professions or roles.

My jammed version of the add seeks to further exaggerate the feeling that the sole woman in this campaign is the outlier, exaggerating the gender conformity underlying the supposed non-conformity of the original ad. The original advertisement attempted to present her as socially non-conforming in her love of metal music, but still kept her as a stereotypical, minivan-driving homemaker. I have inverted that relationship, placing her as a musician first and a mother second, placing the part of her identity that is not socially reinforced before the part that is. By placing her explicitly as a former metal guitarist who compromised her life plan to raise a family, I seek to further juxtapose the homemaker against the three men and their chosen, though unconventional, professions.

I have also played on the intentional lameness of the character in the original ad, saying that she “still [feels] cool” despite her role as a homemaker. Mothers are often as being pigeon-holed into their role and as being un-cool. I highlight this fact and use it to reinforce my point that her depiction as a homemaker, being the sole woman in the ad campaign, is reductive as far as the diversity of women.