Culture Jam Assignment

Culture Jam Assignment – Melissa Springenatic

White Strips Advertisement

Professional level whitening. Results that last 12 months. Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Living in the new age of technology and the selfie obsessed, our society has become fixated with personal appearances. Celebrities have been influencing the public for generations, and today social media creates impossible standards for anyone to strive toward. Tanning, Botox, implants, etc. are obvious ways in which health may be compromised to improve appearances. In the less obvious category, teeth whitening is another behavior that may be affecting oral health. Imagine posting a selfie to Instagram showing what you thought were pearly whites. When you scroll down your newsfeed, you notice a friend or celebrity who posted a selfie.  With the nature of comparison, you notice their teeth are significantly whiter than your own. This realization may may cause you to search for products that will help brighten your smile. Quickly, you would find an advertisement like White Strips.

The issue with the promotion of any teeth whitening product, is it may be harmful to your teeth. Two-thirds of those who use at home bleaching products experience tooth sensitivity. (1) Whitening your teeth may also cause damage to your tooth enamel.(1) As a registered dental hygienist, I may recommend this product to clients who are looking to whiten their teeth. It is effective and it works. However, I will always give the disclaimer that is missed in this advertisement; “You may, and probably will experience sensitive teeth”. Teeth whitening has become such a common practice that it is often forgotten that it provides no oral health benefits, only cosmetic ones.


White Strips Advertisement “Jammed”

WHITE STRIPS – Selfie Ready, Sensitive Teeth. Satisfaction Guaranteed

I chose to “jam” this advertisement by focusing on the main side effect of the white strips product. Dentinal hypersensitivity is very common among those who use at home whitening products. (1)  Excessive use of whitening products can cause permanent damage to dental enamel. (1)  My new message acknowledges that a consumer is likely whitening their teeth due to societal pressures. The digital world is fixated on social media and pushes individuals to display their best self. The line of “selfie ready” is implying that the main reason a consumer would buy this product is to show whiter teeth in photos. The line “sensitive teeth” is tackling the main side effect of whitening products that people seem to forget. I decided to leave the phrase “satisfaction guaranteed” to express my confidence in the manner. This product does exactly what it says it will, and I recommend it to my clients. However, the original advertisement does not express the risks involved. Overall, my new message informs the consumer of the risks of the product, while admitting the benefits. By seeing this new message, a consumer may think twice before purchasing. It is important to do your research before getting drawn in by advertisements. As consumers we need to be more aware of what we are purchasing, especially when it comes to our health.


  1. McLaughlin, G., & Freedman, G. A (1991). Color atlas of tooth whitening. St Louis. MoL Ishivaku EuroAmerica.