adbusters_feedme

Adbusters produced an advertisement featuring Kate Moss and the words “Feed Me” on either side of her head.  In the ad, Moss is extremely skinny with an almost sickly look on her face.  The ad, one could assume, is meant to parody the way advertising frequently presents women – skinny, curveless, and essentially starving.  The photograph of Moss looks like it is from many years ago and it brings to mind the infamous Calvin Klein ads she created in the 90’s.  Calvin Klein still produces similar ads, only replacing Moss is an equally skinny woman.  Adbusters takes the ads produced by popular companies and then uses them against the company itself by drawing consumers’ attention to the problems with consumerism and Americans’ supposed addiction to shopping.

The ad featuring Kate Moss not only draws attention to the way advertising frequently portrays women and encourages eating disorders, whether intentionally or not, but also brings to mind the way ads effect women psychologically.  Instead of capitalizing on the so-called “heroin-chic” trend popular in the 1990’s, Adbusters uses Moss’ appearance, along with the “feed me” term to remind women that normal, everyday women don’t look like that and if they did, they would be extremely eager for a meal.  Regarding Adbusters’ ads, Sommer (2012) notes, “They are discomfiting, especially if you’re a target.”  Perhaps another purpose of the parody ad is to make Calvin Klein rethink their advertising strategy and the way they portray women.  According to the founder of Adbusters himself, “Lasn says the ads are effective. ”I liken it to a sort of judo technique when you’ve got this huge enemy like Calvin Klein that’s telling you certain things about your body, and you use their momentum and throw them onto the mat.””

Overall, it seems fair to assert that the Kate Moss “Feed Me” advertisement parody is attempting to draw consumers’ attention towards the way women are portrayed in the advertising world.  Adbusters uses a pre-existing Calvin Klein ad to their advantage – and CK’s disadvantage – to show that companies shouldn’t glorify the ‘heroin-chic, anorexic’ look of models in their ads.

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