Culture Jam

Original Advertisement

Brief Analysis

SlimFast is an American company whose target market based on women who are looking to lose weight fast and easy. The original advertisement that I chose was one of their many print ads promoting meal replacement shakes, bars, snack and pre-packaged meals.

Through an in-depth analysis of this advertisement, it is evident that SlimFast is promoting a destructive and unrealistic representation of weight loss. The featured lady in the advertisement, Dailyn, reveals that she lost 8 pounds in two weeks, which is a dangerously high amount of weight to lose in such a short period of time. In order to disguise their unhealthy claims, SlimFast claims that their snacks have “more protein”, “less sugar” and an “amazing taste”. However, they do not advertise the fact that such dramatic weight loss not only can lead to physical risks through a lack of proper nutrients but can also result in psychological consequences.

Like many of SlimFast’s other print ads, the one above features a slim and fit woman used to target their group of consumers who are predominantly women. This print ad feeds on women’s insecurities and assumes that all women have an ideal body in mind, similar to the body advertised. The lady is curvy and slim in all the “right” places and looks very happy and cheerful.

Finally, SlimFast’s slogan is “It’s Your Thing”, which emphasizes that weight loss can be achieved by anyone and everyone. It creates a vision that any woman can reach their weight loss goal but fails to account for differences in body types and how if relied upon for too long, meal replacements and snacks often do not lead to healthy psychological consequences. All in all, instead of promoting a healthy balance between a healthy, satisfying diet and proper physical activity, SlimFast promotes an

Jammed Version of the Ad

Brief Explanation

Through my jammed version of the ad, I created a more brutal but accurate representation behind the SlimFast’s philosophy. I first renamed the brand into “SadFast” as a play on words. Instead of the initial concept that the original brand embraced through the idea of becoming slim in a short amount of time, “SadFast” refers to the miserable abstinence from real food.

Many aspects of this culture jammed version of the ad focus on the negative mental and psychological health effects of improper dieting. I changed their slogan from “It’s Your Thing” to “It’s Depressing” in order to showcase how unrealistic diets containing such small portions are detrimental to an individual’s mental health. Furthermore, I changed their positive claims of “more protein”, “less sugar” and “amazing taste” into “more misery”, “less nutrients” and a “nasty taste”. These claims highlight the fact that meal replacements and “healthy” snacks do not replace the proper nutrients that real and whole foods provide. Not only is it dangerous to lose an excessive amount of weight in a short period of time through limited eating, but it is also highly unsustainable. Through the culture of yo-yo dieting, consumers may begin to see short term benefits at first, but due to the lack of appropriate nutrients, an individual’s appetite can increase, which causes the body to hold onto more fat. Through these results, consumers may be unknowingly encouraged to reproduce destructive eating habits.

My alteration SlimFast’s original advertisement aspired to invoke to the public that there is no easy way out for weight loss. The fact that so many companies prey on the insecurities of consumers, especially women, is highly unethical and allows businesses to benefit through false pretences.