Archive for Subvertising

Subvertising and Culture Jamming

Posted in Art, Life with tags , , , on November 18, 2008 by Writerful

Subvertising is a composition of the words ‘subvert’ and ‘advertising’. The main aim of subvertising, also referred to as culture jamming, is an attempt at sabotaging advertising / political campaigns, the encroachment of multi national corporations on everyday life, and attacking other high profile targets.

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As distinct from graffiti subvertising is the practice of lampooning or satirizing corporate and political advertisements in order to make a statement or to subvert its intended message. This can take the form of a completely new image being overlayed or an alteration to the existing image. Subvertisements are also referred to as meme hacks and can be aligned with the other social hacking or culture jamming sub cultures.

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Subvertisements by their nature incorporate certain elements of graffiti culture by use of a messages sprayed onto an advertisement or more complex paste ups which can change the advertisements meaning and elicit a completely different emotional response from that intended. The justification by those responsible for this type of culture hacking is that they do not give their permission to have their senses bombarded on a daily basis by corporate advertisements, so it is their way of reclaiming their personal power and public space.

Subvertising can be done in such a subtle way that it ‘flies under the radar’ and thus escapes the conscious filtering mechanism leading to unexpected epiphanies or the exposure of the subtle form of brainwashing and subliminal techniques very often used in adverts. Many people are not aware that many well known household brands are using ancient sacred symbolism in their logos which have a powerful effect on our sub conscious mind. Culture hacking or jamming by its very nature aims at addressing this deliberate form of exploitation and control by corporate and political powers.