Gucci is Guilty

The advertisement that I have chosen to culture jam is a perfume ad for a Gucci perfume “Gucci Guilty.” The ad displays a woman and a man who both appear to be naked. The man is seductively close to her neck, while the woman grasps him tightly. At the bottom of the ad it says “The New Fragrance For Her.” The advertisement has the website in which you can get the fragrance as well. The ‘problem’ that I will be jamming, is the over-sexualization, male domination, and oppression behind the layers in this advertisement. The way in which the image does not seem to have a direct correlation with perfume at all is the first element of sexualization. The man is close to her neck, so one could conclude that he is smelling it, however the fact that his eyes are closed and he is grabbing her while naked leads me to believe this ad is actually about sex. In addition, the woman has her eyes open and is evidently looking at the camera. While analyzing this, I could come to the conclusion that she is feeling dominated and does not want to be in this situation with this man. He has his eyes closed seductively, however, her open eyes leads me to believe that she is not enjoying this sexual encounter. Finally, the perfume is called ‘guilty’ so it makes it seem that one of these people are guilty of something- this perpetuates the elements of either assault, cheating or another unethical and dominating element present in our society. This element further perpetuates oppression in our society. Gucci is not only reinforcing ideas and stereotypes about women and sex- but they are doing this through an advertisement that is supposed to be “selling” perfume- instead it seems to be saying that domination, and guiltiness is okay and that sex will be presented to you if you have this perfume.

While deciding what to change the advertisement to say, I came across many different possible answers, due to the fact that the ad has a lot of negative underlying messages. After contemplation, I decided to make the advertisement say: “No Means Yes,” and “don’t you want to be guilty too.” I chose both of these phrases, because I feel that they are a good representation of the inappropriate messages and ideas depicted in this Gucci ad. As I stated previously, the sexualization and sense of male domination in this ad makes it seem that the woman does not want to be engaging in sexual acts with the man. With that being said, I thought it is interesting to bring consent into the jammed ad. Consent is something that I find extremely important, however I also find that it is often not spoken about. In order to be participating in sexual activities, consent is necessary. With that being said, Gucci is essentially saying that consent is not necessary in this situation, and being “guilty” is something that should sell this perfume. I think it is rather disturbing that Gucci finds it acceptable to sell a product that glorifies being guilty and domination. That is why I added “don’t you want to be guilty too?” at the bottom of the ad. Prior to my ad jamming it read, “The New Fragrance for Her.” Both of these phrases attempt to address the consumer- specifically in attempt to make it seem that it is okay to be guilty. All in all, I think that this ad was a perfect representation of the negative messages, and overt oppression present in the media. It is essential that women be brought up, not sexualized, and seen as independent. Exploring this ad was very interesting and made me want to stand up against similar advertisements in the future.