The ad selected is quite a shocking one. The first time I was able to look at it I really thought there was some prank or satire being performed. At worst, I thought maybe this was some person’s odd example of a joke. But alas, this really was an ad. Is it surprising that such an ad exists? Not really. I recall many years ago a famous string of Carl Jr. Ads essential promoting the same thing but this time in video. The celebrity, it first was Paris Hilton, would be ‘’washing’’ a car while eating a burger. And, of course, all of this was accompanied by purely sexual acts.
I do feel there is something essentially political about this. The sheer exploitation of a women, apparently she had no idea the ad would turn out like this, to lure customers into eating that burger is quite blatant. A female is made to be nothing more than a sexual object—and her usefulness is only seen in connection with her ability to do sexual things.
I was at a bit of a crossroads as to how I would culture jam such an ad. I did not know whether I wanted to defend the individual, not that she needs me to, or do something else. Instead I chose to do something quite personal to me and that was attack what the ad was trying to sell and not mock what it was trying to exploit. I kept the model in the ad but tried to attack the ads core in another way. I also added another controversial message, but the controversy lays in the idea not so much anything else.
As difficult as it was deciding what to do with the ad photo, in the end I decided on keeping the image of the women but changing the core of the ad. Rather than replace her, a very tempting thing, I decided to make this a Peta ad. Her shocked face, the open mouth, was used to express horror at a photo of a dead cow. I removed the Burger King ad and instead replaced it with the Peta logo. Below the ad, where the price information was previously located, I put my own controversial message, one about the perils of eating meat.
What did my culture jam assignment hope to invoke? I tried to highlight a fact that most people usually never consider: that for every burger you eat, an animal suffered. So many fast food ads promote whether their meat is fresh, and other such issues. But they never actually tell you about their meat. They never tell you how they got their meat, they never tell you what tools have to be used to mass produce meat for the millions of burgers they sell. This is what I wanted to invoke. The original quote about how the burger will ‘’blow your mind’’ still remains, but now the meaning is much—much—different.
In terms of my own controversial message, in the end I do think it is a controversial message, I wanted to impose my own thoughts on meat. I fear that I may run the risk of promoting one message, about the dangers of eating too much eat, at the expense of the cruel ways many of them are killed, but hopefully readers of the ad will look at both and consider each message by itself. Not only is meat killed in horrible ways but it can also help lead to your own health problems.