Culture Jam Assignment
This ad was shown in 2012 for Landrover’s Defender SUV. The print ad depicts a white man in a suit driver an SUV with a lion in the backseat through what is presumably an African safari. The ad is problematic in two ways: having a white man in a suit driving the Landover and having the lion trapped in the back seat.
The man wearing a suit jarring contrast to the Safari setting because in no reasonable circumstances would someone wear a suit while exploring African wilderness. The ad was designed to attract to wealthy businessmen, and that they designed it to be more relatable for these men by showing the driver in suit.
Lions are wild animals in danger of extinction and they are in widely respected throughout many African cultures, having a white man driving the lion in the back seat is disrespectful to these communities. Lions are often regarded as rulers of the animal kingdom, so including the lion in the ad is likely meant to represent “the power of white businessmen”. The image centers around the power and strength of the driver, with his big car and lion stuck in the back seat.
Landrover is trying to attract what is presumably its main target market: wealthy white men, but there several assumptions and/or implications made about their target markets. The first implication is that white men who wear suits are the “rulers of the kingdom” due to the lion being in the back seat, another is that men like to drive big cars, and finally that this African region is unexplored.
My jammed version of the ad is meant to highlight the flawed aspects of the original version by putting into context the actions of the driver. I made two changes: the first is I replaced the work “defender” with “enslaver” in the bottom right corner, and the second is that I added likely inhabitants of this type of region in Africa.
I added the women to the image to make it clear that the man is not driving through unexplored territory, there are likely many communities and nomadic tribes that live in the region. I also added the women to highlight the absurdity of driving around with a lion in the back seat; as I mentioned in my decomposition of the ad, the lion is a highly-respected animal in Africa, by adding the women it becomes clearer how disrespectful “joyriding” with the lion really is.
The other change I made was adding the word enslaver to the bottom right corner, representing the lion’s situation more truthfully. Lions are happiest in the wild and anything else is depriving them of what their lives should be. I chose the word “enslaver” to create a strong contrast with “joyride”, because the experience would likely be far from a joyride for the lion. The word “enslaver” also has much darker connotations than the placement of the lion in the backseat, reminding the viewer of the treatment of Africans as slaves by white men. The reference to slavery is accentuated by the addition of the African women into the image.