A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 07, 2014
Subvertising (subvert/subversive + advertising); Subvertisement

"Subvertising” (subvert/subversive + advertising) makes spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements. “Such forms of ‘subvertising,’ as jammer ally Mark Dery tags them” was cited in print in 1992.

“WE will uncool their billion-dollar images with uncommercials on TV, subvertisements in magazines and anti-ads right next to theirs in the urban landscape” was cited in print in 1993.


Wikipedia: Subvertising
Subvertising is a portmanteau of subvert and advertising. It refers to the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements. Subvertisements may take the form of a new image or an alteration to an existing image or icon, often in a satirical manner. A subvertisement can also be referred to as a meme hack and can be a part of social hacking or culture jamming. According to AdBusters, a Canadian magazine and a proponent of counter-culture and subvertising, “A well produced ‘subvert’ mimics the look and feel of the targeted ad, promoting the classic ‘double-take’ as viewers suddenly realize they have been duped. Subverts create cognitive dissonance. It cuts through the hype and glitz of our mediated reality and, momentarily, reveals a deeper truth within.”

Los Angeles (CA) Times
PERSPECTIVE ON THE MEDIA : Waging War on Culture Pollution : ‘Jamming,’ a new breed of dissent, parodies popular ad images in a campaign to cleanse our mental environment.
November 22, 1992|RONALD K. L. COLLINS | Ronald K.L. Collins teaches law at George Washington University and is one of the co-founders of the Center for the Study of Commercialism in Washington
Culture jamming. A new dance fad? No, the new dissent in America.

How does it work? Simple. Take a commercial message and turn it against itself. Sabotage advertising, sabotage television.
(...)
Such forms of “subvertising,” as jammer ally Mark Dery tags them, have surfaced in numerous cities, from Los Angeles to Portland, Me.; they are even more prevalent in Canada, and have been adopted by the French health ministry in an anti-smoking TV campaign.

Evolution Zone
To:
From: (FringeWare List)
List-Server:
Errors-To:
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 93 00:22 PST
Subject: MEDIA - MFO Premiere Issue
Reply-To: (Terry Palfrey)

Sent from the cyberdeck of: (Terry Palfrey)

/ --=<*>=--
CULTURE JAMMER’S MANIFESTO --=<*>=--
\
WE will take on the archetypal mind polluters - Marlboro, Budweiser, Benetton, McDonald’s, Coke, Calvin Klein, Whittle - and beat them at their own game.

WE will uncool their billion-dollar images with uncommercials on TV, subvertisements in magazines and anti-ads right next to theirs in the urban landscape.

Frieze magazine
Issue 28 May 1996 RSS
Anand Zenz
MILCH GALLERY, LONDON, UK
(...)
‘Subvertising’, Zenz’ own term, addresses perception in general, recalling Situationist tactics. And, like a classic Situationist, Zenz works hard to avoid ‘art’ and its accoutrements, risking charges of redundancy to create an area of soporific blankness in order to oppose it.

OCLC WorldCat record
Subvertising: Adbusters magazine is challenging the advertising culture
Author: P Ghazi
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: RESURGENCE -LONDON- NAVERN ROAD- no. 194, (1999): 46-47
Database: British Library Serials

Mother Jones
Does It Pay to Subvertise?
The critics of corporate propaganda co-opt its best weapon

—By G. Beato | May/June 1999 Issue
(...)
“It’s like martial arts,” explains Jhally, who is also the executive director of the Media Education Foundation. “The only language that operates in the modern world is the language of advertising culture. And if you want to fight, you’ve got to use that language. You’ve got to turn the power of your opponent back on itself.”

The virtues of this approach—called variously “anti-advertising,” “culture jamming,” and “subvertising”—are obvious.

OCLC WorldCat record
Subvertising: Battle of the image - Silvio Berlusconi’s big head gets the better of him
Author: Alexander Barley
Publisher: London : New Statesman Ltd., 1996-
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: New statesman. (May 21, 2001): 45
Database: ArticleFirst

Urban Dictionary
subvertisement
Subvertising refers to the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements in order to make a statement. This can take the form of a new image, or an alteration to an existing image. A subvertisement can also be referred to as meme hack and can be a part of social hacking or culture jamming.
(...)
by J pee December 10, 2006

Business Pundit
Filed in archive ADVERTISING by JULIAN on APRIL 11, 2011
10 Greatest Works of Billboard Subvertising
Advertisements are a pervasive part of life, visible everywhere. Yet commercial breaks, paid reviews, product placement in movies and television, and sponsorship in magazines can all be avoided by simply switching off. The only inescapable advertisements, for anyone who isn’t a hermit, are the billboards and posters that fill your vision wherever you walk or drive in the Western world. With this in mind, a small band of vigilantes have been tackling the phenomenon with subvertising, which, according to Wikipedia, is “the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements in order to make a statement.” Here are ten of the greatest examples of this guerrilla form applied to advertising posters.

Ragan’s PR Daily
10 words that only a marketer could have made up
By Lianne Domenic | Posted: March 6, 2014
(...)
9. “Subvertising” (subversive + advertising)
Subvertising refers to political statements masked as ads that are often satirical in nature. Also known as a “meme hack,” the best subvertisements look at first glance like a normal ad, but the caption or image makes viewers do a double-take.

This type of cognitive dissonance is an effective way of getting a strong message across, so it’s not surprising that subvertisements tend to convey a powerful, controversial idea, often satirizing the same company they’re mimicking.

A good example of subvertising can be found in the work of an anonymous street artist in Hamburg, Germany, who pasted images of Photoshop toolbars onto several (heavily Photoshopped) billboards for H&M.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Friday, March 07, 2014 • Permalink