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25 August 2013 Culture Jamming Boybands – One Direction

Moving on for the ‘love it or hate it’ blog post, although possibly not that much. the next topic of the blog is boy bands, particularly the talent contest manufactured ‘One Direction’.
This bus stop advertisement made its way in to the pile of culture jamming images currently being compiled. Normally it would be dismissed as it is 1. not graffiti and 2. not local to Stoke on Trent, so I cant go and photograph it myself. However, it demonstrates culture jamming perfectly. Voila!

one direction culture jam

This bus stop is apparently located in Cardiff, you can find the reddit here

Five points that demonstrate this as an excellent culture jam:

1. It is a complete parody of the original advertising, if you didn’t pay it too much attention, you could walk right past. 

2. It well and truly spells out the ‘truth’ behind the making of the brand and the consumption that the brand has been created to produce. 

3. Although it produces a scathing review of the boys themselves, it does not forget who put them there and after all who is the person making majority of the money. Yes Mr Cowell, were looking at you!

4. I love that it really demonstrates the hidden labour that goes in to the production of the One Direction brand. Although not quite a sweatshop, much effort by many people occurs during the production and maintenance of this image for One Direction. However, as with any brand the rewards will be disproportionately shared in a hierarchy (Cowell at the top, boys in the middle, make up artists, stylists, etc at the bottom). 

5. If this is a real life culture jam (obviously it could be something electronically produced to float around social media, it does happen). Somebody had the guts to stand by their work and put it there, under the glass, possibly in broad daylight posing as any other worker!

All in all this is an excellent example the way a culture jam can work. The message, albeit crude and possibly offensive to some, is loud and clear. Agree or disagree about One Directions talent this piece of culture jamming, sat in a bus stop somewhere, offers a larger critique of the state of British music and teen consumption. For that it must be applauded.

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