Culture Jam

Original Advertisement:

image from: (Originally created by Fluid Hair Salon- Edmonton)

The media industry has a large impact on our societal values and beliefs, a position that one would hope they would take seriously and execute with respect for their potential audience members. In the advertisement that consideration was not taken, as the ad uses the image of a female victim of domestic abuse, in order to sell salon services. This advertisement was quite striking, as the majority of sexist ads currently on the market are geared at selling products to men. However, this advertisement aims to sell a certain hair salon’s styling services to women, attempting to demonstrate to their audience that as long as you have done up hair, it doesn’t matter what else is going on in your life, you will still look good to everyone else.

This ad makes light of domestic abuse, claiming that it can be fixed by a good haircut, and a diamond necklace gifted by the abuser. It portrays the message that domestic violence is not a serious offence, nor does it have serious consequences for the offender. The assumed guilty party, is a well-dressed white man, as the advertisement aims to make you think that if your hair is pretty you will have a handsome man bringing you diamonds. This advertisement aims to hide the fact that this is the same man that committed a violent assault only moments ago, as he is illuminated in light as some sort of heroic figure. This message is harmful to real life victims of domestic violence as well as the general public. It teaches men that domestic violence is socially acceptable and women that there is no need to stand up against domestic violence, only fill the hurt with material goods. Not only does this ad trivialize domestic violence, it also degrades and undermines a woman’s intellect. This ad portrays a woman, who wants nothing more than materialistic things, a hairdo and jewelry, to make up for the pain she has felt. It tells women to be accepting of haircuts and jewelry paid for by men, because women could never get these things by themselves.

Jammed Advertisement:

In my deconstructed version of the hair salon’s ad, I aimed to emphasize the fact that the picture is depicting a scene of domestic abuse. To display this hidden meaning, I’ve used a satirical statement, demonstrating that the hair styling is making the women look good after being beaten. The aim of the statement is to provoke thought in the audience, that the message of looking good after being physically assaulted is outrageous. To have “look good” and “assault” in the same sentence draws the viewer’s attention to the real problem in this ad, the domestic abuse and the company’s abuse of a sensitive situation to sell a service.

I have also chosen to blur out the mans face and clearly label him as the abuser. Previously, he was depicted as nothing more than a handsome man buying gifts for the woman. However, by labelling him as the abuser, it becomes clear to the audience that he abuses women and attempts to buy them back with expensive gifts. Blurring his face shows that it does not matter who the man is or what he looks like, the fact that he is white and handsome should not lead the audience members to ignore his actions or idolize him as a person. By blurring is face, he is only defined by his actions, actions of abuse.  The background surrounding the man was previously lightened, depicting a radiance that these actions do not deserve. In my jammed version I have chosen to darken the background around the man, as my ad aims to highlight the mans actions instead of his good looks. The man is no longer in the light, an idealized figure, but rather a villain.

Fluid Hair Salon put a lot of thought and time into the minute details of their advertisement and how to draw female audiences to their salon. Unfortunately, they did not put thought into the message that this would send to their audience, a message that abuse is acceptable and can be fixed by a good haircut.