Oppressed Majority

This is a short film directed and produced by French filmmaker Eleonore Pourriat. The film features a matriarchal world, turning society on its head with women being presented as the dominant gender. It was originally produced in 2009 and entered into … Continue reading

Miss Swisse was a miss

Isn’t that wonderful!?  Nicole Kidman looking beautiful because she’s “on Swisse”, although she forgets to mention that with all her joyous displays of health and wellbeing.

Appearing on the ABC’s The Checkout, this advertisement – usually associated with health, wellbeing and happiness – has been completely changed from its original meaning.  It is a great example of remix, subvertising and culture jamming.

Nicole Kidman appears in the Swisse marketing campaign jumping, dancing and having a lovely time, because (although she doesn’t say it) we can all assume she’s “on Swisse”.  In direct contrast to this, Craig Reucassel appears as Nicole Kidman jumping, dancing and having a lovely time talking about the untruths this “health” company has fed to the public.  Although The Checkout’s version keeps much of the same look as the Swisse ad (Craig doesn’t really resemble Nicole…), it changes the meaning from the “reliable, scientifically proven results and healthy” view of this product to dodgy, false and unnecessary crap that has not been entirely honest with its consumers.

I really love the idea of remixing, subvertising and culture jamming.  They expose the falsities big corporations, companies and even governments cover up with fancy, expensive advertising.  A recent culture jamming movement in London, Brandalism,  involved “hijacking” 35 billboards in 5 cities throughout the UK to fight back against the constant bombardment of “spend more”, “consume everything” advertising we get on a daily basis.

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Artist: Paul Insect, Brandalism participant

This week has opened my eyes to the broad terms under which this concept of changing the meaning of something we all know from its original meaning can be used.

Adbusters campaign

Culture jamming allows everyone to get involved in remix, subvertising and culture jamming.  Memes are probably the simplest way, we see them every day and I doubt there is any way to avoid them.  These concepts are also the simplest way to bring about change.  The Checkout’s Swisse ad has driven Swisse to sue for defamation.  Maybe not the best outcome, but Swisse obviously didn’t like their dirty laundry being aired.

What changes have you seen caused by culture jamming and subvertising?