GRSJ 300: Culture Jam Assignement

In this Tom Ford cologne advertisement, it is clear that this company is aiming to provoke potential customers to buying their product by extremely sexualizing their product. Although this method of advertisement may be perceived as witty or creative, it is clearly objectifying women and aiming to cater to men’s sexual desires to entice them towards this product. This advertisement is clearly only promoting the brand name of Tom Ford; the ad does not focus on the actual cologne product whatsoever. This cologne could smell like the bottom of a recycling bin for all we know because this ad is telling us nothing about the product, it only tells us who makes it. This strategy of advertisements that only really focuses on the brand of a product is highly prevalent with many luxury products, and unfortunately many high end brands tend to follow the ‘sex sells’ notion and create sexist advertisements such as Dolce & Gabanna and Gucci. The main problem with this Tom Ford ad that I will be addressing with my culture jam is the fact that this visual for a product that is only used by males focuses on the female body in a highly provocative manner that degrades and objectifies women. Not only is the female body being exploited in this advertisement, but the woman in the photo is quite thin, white, and has no flaws to her skin or body shape, which is most likely due to Photoshop. This depiction of what society often refers to as a ‘perfect’ body or woman sends the notion to men who purchase Tom Ford cologne that women who look like the female in the ad will be attracted to them if they use the cologne. Even though the cologne is not targeted to female consumers, women who see the ad may feel inferior to the woman in the photo due to her ‘perfection’.

In my jam, I have replaced the Tom Ford cologne covering a woman’s private parts to covering a male’s. Since cologne is a product for men, I wanted this change to represent a more accurate depiction of who actually uses the product. What I wasn’t expecting to realize when the cologne bottle was no longer in front of a glossy, airbrushed female body is that the bottle now looks much less glamourous and attractive. The original ad clearly enhances the image of the product which shows that when standing alone, or in front of a less romanticized male body, the cologne loses a lot of its extravagance. By taking away the sexualized female body, I aim to invoke the idea that even though the cologne is considered to be the center of attention in the original add, it is the ‘Barbie like’ female body that actually makes the product appear more luxurious and enticing. Seeing an advertisement like my culture jam, but for a female perfume would be unheard of because marketers know that most women would not be more enticed to purchase a perfume that’s covering a man’s private parts. In fact, most female perfume advertisements have only women on them that are not naked. This difference in marketing methods to men and women show that the people who create these advertisements for men’s products are catering to males’ sexual desires and are willing to do this by objectifying females. With brands that are household names worldwide sexualizing females and amplifying society’s idea that beautiful women are skinny, white, and flawless, will only cause these concepts to trickle down to the media and the public. Although Tom Ford may not be intending to glamourize the objectification of women, by releasing ads such as the one above, people who view them may think it’s okay or cool to treat women as objects instead of as equals to males.