Culture Jam

The Original:

The Issue:

The ad that I have chosen is for PSP by PlayStation. I chose this ad because it is a bad representation of what video games should represent for people.

For starters, the ad’s biggest feature are the giant red pill capsules. The pill capsules are strategically used to make it appear that whatever is inside them, is something that should be taken and may give you benefits. In this case, metaphorical adrenaline, in the form of car parts and helmets, is inside the capsules; thus, the substance within the capsules is something that you will want and will make you feel better.

Secondly, their catchphrase “Adrenaline. In small doses.”, is meant to lure potential customers, who may want some excitement or that sought-after “rush” from adrenaline, into getting it in “small doses” from the capsule. Inside the capsule is car parts and helmets, both of which can be found in video games that can be played on the PSP. However, like many things, small doses can turn into the desire for larger doses.

The issue with this ad is that they are promoting their video games as an entity that gives you something desirable in small doses. Ironically, in this case they are using a pill capsule and, as with many types of medication, it can become addictive over time. So while the small doses of video games may provide that small dose of adrenaline at the beginning, it can get addicting and you will want to do better and play more. This can, in some cases, lead to issues, especially in adolescents and young adults, like anti-social behavior, lack of physical activity, and more common attributes of an unhealthy lifestyle.

The Revised Ad:

My explanation:

In my jam, I decided to add the words “you will want more eventually”. This is because I do not think that the video games they are representing, and the adrenaline rush they claim these games will give you, will be sufficient in their small doses. This is evident from personal experience with friends and relatives who play video games and cannot seem to stop playing them for hours each day. I have yet to see someone, besides a complete beginner, play a video game in small doses. I do not think it should be advertised as a seemingly healthy way to get a rush of adrenaline.      

I included the “Know Your Limit, Play Within It” weblink to prove the point that along with other games like betting games, there is an addictive quality to video games and they should be played responsibly. There should be a limit on how much an individual plays video games so that they are better able to enjoy other things like physical activity, engaging with those close to them, getting outside, an so on. Small doses may be sufficient when you are a beginner player or unaccustomed or unattached to a certain type of game, but you will eventually want to play more.

The original ad was alluring and provided a sense of therapy for those needing an adrenaline rush or something exciting in their life but it does not promote well-being or responsibility. I wanted to add something that showcased the reality that the small doses would eventually deem insufficient by extending their catchphrase to include mine. I added a sense of responsibility by adding a way for a consumer to be educated on the possible benefits of a small dose but also the consequences of a dose too large.

Links to materials used: