Culture Jam Assignment (2)


This advertisement published by Natan Diamonds has many underlying issues. The left image shows a woman sitting with her legs crossed while a man holds out a jewellery box to her. The picture on the right shows him opening the box to reveal a diamond ring, and the woman has responded with her legs open. Not only is this not a good marketing strategy, as it does not even clearly show the product they are trying to sell, it objectifies both men and women.

The ad is misogynistic because it implies that one can buy a woman’s sex and body. There are some women who want to become intimate when they are in a more serious relationship, or feel comfortable committing to someone. They might think of sex as something as a step after they are devoted to one another. That is a personal choice some women make for themselves. However, it does not mean that a diamond ring is the differentiating factor between celibacy and sex. It suggests that her sexuality is controlled by materials, and she has no will of her own.

Conversely, it also objectifies men in the underlying context. The advertisement depicts a narrative of a couple who are serious – serious enough for a proposal. So, in this case, the man cannot get any intimacy unless he spends money to show his devotion, and only then will his partner have sex with him. He himself is not enough to base relationship decisions on, but its materials he can buy and provide. Since the diamond ring is shown as the only causal factor in sex, I don’t believe this ad is only sexist to women.


After advertising Natan Diamonds’ ad, I added the caption “Whoever said bribery doesn’t work, hasn’t seen our diamonds”. This highlights the adverse social message the image was sending to both women and men. It emphasizes that sexism to both sexes can make them feel like commodities, in which sex and money can be traded to influence decisions and feelings. The man is bribing the woman for her sex. She on the other hand is only interested in being intimate with her partner only after an expensive ring is gifted to her. Overall, this ad alteration tries to invoke the message original message even more – that women are mindless about their bodies unless bribed with materials, and the value of men and their relationships are based on what they can buy. It is far from the fact that there are people who love their partners, and symbolize their appreciation and devotion through gifts. Or the fact that there are women who choose to have intercourse later in the relationship when they feel it being more stable and serious. This just reaffirms the longstanding gender roles that women and men have been subjected to – men as material providers and women as submissive sexualized objects. From a marketing and advertising standpoint, not only does this ad not show the product big and clear enough for the consumer, but it also demeans what some people think of marriage and relationships. It is sexist, demeaning and makes the viewer be more uncomfortable associating themselves with the brand, than be interested in what they have to sell.

Culture Jam Assignment

This ad was published by a fashion brand called Sisley in 2007. It became a controversial image because it depicts two dazed off women snorting off clothing, placed in a way to look like cocaine lines. It does not play with subtlety as there is a small bag of cocaine on the side and the caption reads “fashion junkie”. What makes it more overt is that rarely do consumers see a brand marketing on the dark side of drugs and alcohol. They usuallymarket the happy and recreational side of it by showing people laughing, dancing, or partying while using the product. This image capitalizes on the population that are compulsively using addictive substances, and have seen its horrible consequences on their physical and mental health, daily lives, and relationship with loved ones. The stigma around addiction is still prevailing and the term junkie is an offensive word used to degrade those struggling with substance addiction. Addiction is actually termed as “substance use disorder” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM V). Therefore, it is important to treat it like a disorder, and not to glamorize it. The creator’s intention was to message that their clothing brand is so great that you will become addicted to it. Or that fashionistas are all “hooked” on their brand. This however, is not a new underlying concept used in advertisements. Many brands have played with the idea that their products can be addicting and enthralling for consumers because addiction is being dependent on something so pleasurable that you lose control. It can successfully draw the attention and interest of a consumer to see at least what the brand is trying to present. However, Sisley crossed the line by their usage of offensive language and overt marketing on a group of people who need professional and medical help.


This image is my jammed version of the advertisement. I aimed to embellish the sense of inappropriateness and ridiculousness of the picture. I continued the analogy and compared their clothing stores to a dealer locations because that is where you meet up to purchase drugs, and a store is where you purchase clothing. Instead of just writing “downtown”, I wrote “downtown east side” because in Vancouver, that region is notoriously known for its high levels of drug abuse. In 2011, crack cocaine was the most commonly used substance, which also resonates with the picture of these girls getting high of it. Another way of interpreting this picture is that these fashion models are supporting their cocaine addiction. The use of cocaine is very common between models in the fashion industry because it is highly addictive and it reduces their appetite. This helps them stay thin in a competitive world where looks and appearance is highly stressed. Since it is not a substance with hallucinating side effects, they can use it while on the job. It is expensive as well, so it has a glamourized appeal to the wealthy class. The jammed caption just turns that seductive and rich life of a model to an advertisement for illicit drugs. The viewer then sees the vacant eyes, the drooping mouth, the hunched over back, and the lack of alertness of the image instead of a beautiful carefree lifestyle of the models.