GRSJ Culture Jam


Original Ad: Jose Cuervo Especial Gold & Silver


My original ad is portraying a young man, at the beach, surrounded by four (possibly five) females. The ad text reads “Assemble your fantasy team.” This image is intended to advertise a type of alcohol, namely Cuervo Tequila Especial, Gold and Silver. This brand of tequila is actually the best-selling tequila in the world, with a market share of 35% of all the sales, and it has a very high, 40% alcohol content. The ad is not saying anything about the quality of the alcohol or about the high alcohol content. It doesn’t attempt to sell the product on an informational basis. Like the image says, the ad is selling a fantasy. The ad is intended to appeal to a specific, young male audience who is supposed to feel empowered and desired as the ad suggests that some drinks are bound to make one more popular and perhaps even funnier. The “fantasy” includes a 5 to 1 female to male ratio, with a clearly heteronormative undertone. The male is desired and surrounded by all these females and they are all laughing because alcohol makes everything better and more fun. In reality alcohol is one of the main killers and disease-causing substances in the world. However, the Cuervo ad is appealing to the subconscious desires of its target audience, saying that everything is happier and better with drinking. The ad is dangerous not just because it portrays alcohol as having the power to make one more desirable but also because it promotes white, heteronormative ideas of what an ideal situation might be, an ideal situation in which there are no drawbacks or side-effects. It says alcohol is all about having a good time and fulfilling one’s fantasies.


Deconstructed Ad

Rebecca Li Deconstructed Cuervo Ad

(please see PDF for my deconstructed ad)

In my deconstruction I attempted to show that alcohol is not the fantasy-fulfilling, magic potion that the advertising companies are trying to sell. In reality alcohol is responsible for many problems in our society. Alcohol is responsible for a high number of deaths, ranging from alcohol poisoning to drunk-driving. Alcohol is also associated with a lack of responsibility when it comes to using protection and the spread of STIs. Alcohol abuse is responsible for a high number of motor-vehicle accidents and arrests for DUIs. Finally, alcohol is almost always involved in cases of sexual abuse and rape. In my deconstruction, I tried to oppose the idea of a “fantasy team” with the idea of a “real team.” This is intended to show the many negative effects associated with drinking and allow oneself to move from reality to the so-called “fantasy” place where everything is supposed to be better. Most people drink to excess because they are going through life difficulties and many times the alcohol is actually making things worse for them. The consumption of alcohol also put a burden on the medical system as many emergency cases have to do with alcohol poisoning, traffic accidents involving drunk driving, violence caused by inebriation and sexual assault in cases where alcohol is present. In my deconstructed ad I said “Meet your real team” to show that alcohol is selling an illusion but the reality is very different from what the marketing campaigns are aiming to sell.