Culture Jam – Jammed Ad

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Before, the car magazine over the woman’s face was a symbol of the consumer’s mindset; the sexuality of the new car line. Within this context, however, I would argue that it is a call to wake up. We do not see the effect in social scenarios until we take a step back and simply observe for a few minutes. Even then, a large number of people do not realize the shift humans have made from purchasing for necessity to buying as an accessory.

In the original ad, a pleasurable human interaction is subverted by the desire to purchase a new car. I hope to have achieved the opposite effect of this by taking the car magazine and turning it into a reason to be ashamed of what we have let the media do to our thinking. The manipulation that our society faces on a day-to-day basis is astounding. It takes a lot of self-awareness to be able to observe and admit defeat when it comes to consumerism. Most people now can name a brand by its logo, but cannot name influential past leaders by their picture.

“The ultimate distraction” today seems to be physical human interaction. We are always plugged into our phones, laptops and tablets and yet, a large number of us do not feel as if we are in any way disconnected until made aware of how far we have come since the internet was created. A visible shift can be observed even since the first smart phone was invented. Kids wish to play outside less, and parents are using new technology to keep their kids occupied.

By only changing the words and leaving the image as is, I want people to think about the effects mass media has on our thought processes and how easy it is to distract and exploit them for a corporation’s own benefit. The masses need to wake up. It is our ‘toys’ that are the distraction, not the kids on the playground. There is more value in a smile or a hug than a car could ever amount to.

Culture Jam – Original Advertisement



This advertisement plays upon two almost stereotypical portrayals of human interaction in the media. The first being that men are so often stereotyped to be obsessed with cars and tend to get distracted very easily. They are shown to have a simple mind. The second portrayal being that the main purpose of a woman is to reproduce. Women are synonymous with sexuality in the media today. This advertisement for the all new BMW model targets and relates to the male psyche by playing off the humour of the scene.

Although there is a humorous play made in this ad, it is sad to observe the changes in society’s interactions with one another. This advertisement accurately shows the effects of over-consumption on the average consumer. We are obsessed. Obsessed with what we are wearing, whose restaurant we are eating at, where we are going on vacation over spring break and even what car we are driving.

To expand on the role of the female model in this BMW ad, the appeal is to showcase the sexy new BMW, and it is funny in this context, sure, but the objectification of women is an issue our society likes to exploit for profit and that is not okay. Notice how the car ad is shown over a two-page spread like a centre fold in a pornographic magazine. They want to highlight that this is a car with a great deal of sex appeal. However, with the man on top, there is a clear power dynamic being displayed here as well. The magazine being placed over the model’s face devalues the importance of the woman’s identity. Her face means nothing, her words mean nothing. Our values as a society place a greater importance on material things. I would argue that human interaction is the new distraction.