Culture Jam Assignment

Original Ad

The midol advertisement demonstrates the misconceptions behind menstruation and women. Menstruation is a phenomenon that has been made taboo by society and both men and women seem to find it extremely uncomfortable to talk about. Midol, a menstrual cramping drug, ran a controversial campaign claiming that you should “be the you he likes” by using the product when on your period. The most blatantly obvious issue with Midol’s advertisement was the assumption that women are less attractive and fun to be around when on their period. Midol suggests and assumes that women who are on their period will naturally have a bad temper due to being in pain and hormonal changes. The advertisement states, “when you feel good, you’re good to be around”. This assumes that women are bad company when on their periods, especially to men. Furthermore, the advertisement’s headline is “Your guy: Your no.1 reason for Midol”. In society, women are often told to act and think in certain ways to please men, and that a man’s acceptance is the only way to feel any sense of self-worth. In other words, women are incomplete without a man by their side. Midol reinforces this idea by selling to women that the main reason they want to feel good and relieve their menstrual cramping pain is because of men. The issue here is that women believe they must take Midol in order for men to accept and want to be around them, which creates an unhealthy habit of women seeking male approval.

Jammed Ad

My jamming philosophy aspires to show the hidden message that men are superior to women, and therefore so are their needs. I replaced the lower part of the advertisement with “No man wants to be around a crazy woman. Your needs are less important. Think of your man’s needs first. Keep your man by using Midol”. I wanted to invoke a sarcastic message that shows how blatantly ridiculous Midol’s real message is. This change in the text helps show the true message behind Midol’s words. Originally, the meaning is said in a way that seems innocent and logical. The ad states “When you feel food, you’re good to be around. So use Midol. You’ve got a beautiful reason”. Personally, I do not think Midol’s reason is beautiful at all. It suggests that women choose to relieve their pain because they want to be good company around men. This way, men won’t dislike them for having a bad temper. This assumes that women prioritize the men in their lives over their own needs. Somehow, menstruation became about men, and not about women and their experiences. I hoped that by changing the flowery words Midol used, I could show how sad and sexist the brand’s selling point is. I decided to keep the original ad instead of creating a new one because I believed that the ad’s straight forward sexist wording helped to effectively show the unjust message and social issue I was trying to highlight.