GRSJ 300 – Culture Jam

Original Ad


This ad from Sony compares the “PlayStation Vita” (PS Vita) game console to a woman with four breasts as a marketing ploy for the machine’s new dual touch sensitivity feature. The four breasts – two in the front and two in the back – are made to be analogous to the PS Vita’s front and back touch sensitive surfaces, and the ad’s explicit slogan to “touch both sides for added enjoyment” can be interpreted to being applied to either the woman’s front and back breasts or the two surfaces of the game console.

As a woman – and as a human being – I take offence to this ad greatly as it perpetuates the sexualization and objectification of women. The ad treats the female breasts as comparative to a mere piece of hardware for (in the  ad’s terms) “enjoyment” of anyone willing to pay. Not only is a woman’s body used as a tool for profit, her body is altered into a flawless version of something entirely unreal and absurd. Further more, by cutting out the woman’s head and making her breasts (x 4) the prominent focal point of the image, the woman is effectively being silenced and her body turned into nothing more than a ‘thing’.

The slogan’s suggestive tone paired with the fantastical image of a mutant female form sparks ideas of sexual acts to be done on the woman’s body. When combined with the fact that this is an ad for a game console it incites suggestion that women, and the female body, is something that can be toyed with like a plaything one can buy.

Sadly, the use of women as commercialized entities is wide-spread in the mass entertainment business. Take, for example, the three-breasted mutant hooker character from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1990 (and the 2012 Len Wiseman remake) Sci-Fi film “Total Recall”. Sony’s ad is likely following the traditions of gaming culture to overtly sexualize and objectify women in order to appeal to the male gaze.

Regardless of whether the target audience of a product is male or not, the practice of including women only as gorgeous, scantily clad, and sexually provocative items to be attained needs to stop.

Jammed Ad


In my attempt to subvert the original ad’s meaning I’ve taken up the position of bold opposition in the form of a large message placed right beside the original ad’s focal point (the four-breasted woman). The aim is that my statement can detract from the insulting image upon the audience’s initial viewing of the ad, and inspire a more insightful train of thought once the audience’s eyes make their way down to the original ad’s slogan and the item being promoted in the bottom corner.

The new text added to the ad brings to the forefront the problem with the objectifying metaphor of the original ad. By explicitly saying that “a woman’s body is not an object to sell”, the jammed ad brings attention to the original ad’s treatment of a woman’s body as a commodity to generate attention and bring profit.

In addition, the message’s clear use of the term “body” and “object” in relation to the woman’s image juxtaposes the two ideals. With both terms in mind, it encourage the audience to see how absurd it is to take a woman’s body and bastardize it into some mutant sexualized form in order to be relatable to some modern fancy new piece of machinery.

Likewise, the purposeful mirroring of the original ad’s style when including the new message is done in hopes that the audience will mistake the new message to actually be part of the original ad. So, when the audience tries to link the meanings behind the two statements it will raise awareness about how ridiculous it is to take someone’s body and treat it like a thing.

The goal is to really bring to light how negatively this ad portrays women as sexualized objects of desire, and to promote any form of conscious thought against this sustained imagery.