Culture Jamming

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“Brand wars” critically consider the political efficacy of culture jamming, with reference to a particular case.

Since the 1980s, large corporations released their success lies in generating brands, rather than manufacturing products. Large corporations use global markets to move manufacturing from rich countries to poor countries, where labour is low and there are no regulations. Large corporations use globalization to build their own brands, but failed to release that globalisation can be used to harm the brand. A brand is away of life, an attitude, set of values, and ideas. Corporations use branding as marketing strategy to sell products and services.

The Nike brand is one of the most successful brands in the world, and it depicts the power of large corporations. Some of the practices done by Nike encouraged people to launch anti-Nike campaign: working condition, using child labour, and moving manufacturing to low wage countries.

Culture jamming is the practice of using the media to alter the meaning of one message into another. The aim of culture jamming is to uncover the deeper truth behind the techniques that are used by corporations to dominate people’s way of life. Many jammers believe that corporations’ dominance of the media has devalued the right to free speech. Rodriguse de Gerada argues that the ability of corporations to dominate the media has allowed corporations to occupy all public spaces and spread their messages. De Gerada argues that culture jamming is the only way people can use to counter these messages.

Culture jamming techniques and practices can be understood within three aspects: semiotic terrorism; branding; and recuperation. Semiotic terrorism refers to individual culture jamming such as pictures on billboards. Branding refers to the ability to attack a brand in order to undermine corporations’ influence in the public sphere. Recuperation is the ability of corporations to utilize culture jamming practices for their...
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