GRSJ 300 Culture Jam Thing


My ad of choice is one of Budweiser’s many infamous designs for a series of ads that have been reimagined multiple times over the last six decades. The gist remains the same; it’s always a woman, sometimes multiple women, almost always white, always thin and conventionally attractive, scantily clad, merging with a Budweiser bottle label. The usual suspects are here – gross sexualization of the cis female body exploited to promote a product presumably aimed at men. The model being mounted on a beer bottle, an ostensibly masculine and phallic product, with droplets of moisture all around her is also pretty straightforward in its own way. The way the body is displayed, however, takes it one step further down the objectification road. The model’s bathing suit makes up part of the label, both “labelling” her as a product in a flashy wrapper waiting to be sold and hindering her agency and body ownership.

The reason for choosing this ad is precisely the strange way is handles body politics. Beer commercials and ads in general often focus on the shape of the bottle resembling a woman’s curves yet there also often seem to be references to it being a staple of masculinity, with its shape and the way men love to whip it out when hanging out with their other (almost exclusively male) bros. The Budweiser ad seems to mash the binary together in a bizarre monster of objectification; a sexy cis woman is transforming into a beer bottle while also posing on top of it (while the bottle announces “King of Beers”, in case you were wondering what gender beer is).


My jammed ad attempts to bring out the sex appeal found in the original. However, I decided that body autonomy might actually be more arousing than simply observing the metamorphosis of “woman to bottle”. I put several sexy beer-bellied (for realism) individuals who appear to appreciate their own imperfections and embrace their uniqueness. Unfortunately, I was unable to find photos of a more inclusive and diverse group of models, but at least that part is in line with Budweiser’s usual strategy of “whites only”. The slogan is “Be a Body”; it encourages embracing one’s individuality on a physical level. Paired with the image, it also reassures the consumer that accepting their body is a cathartic experience – even if that body is the direct result of consuming Budweiser’s so-called beer. I really hope this artful effort finds its audience; it was made to invoke a sense of pride and confidence in one’s earthly existence and, of course, to arouse and titillate.