Here at About-Face, we do an activity called subvertising in our groups and at events. That’s a mouthful, so we also call it “tweaking an ad”.

What is “subvertising”?

A made-up word combining “subvert” (to overturn or overthrow from the foundation) and “advertising”, subvertising means to take an ad or other media, and then change it up so it says what it really means to say. We love doing this because it feels like we’re taking control of the message of the ad.

Gallery of Tweaked Ads

  • ad with pens and tape all around it.

(Views expressed in tweaked ads sent in by site visitors do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of About-Face representatives.)

Need help? The Three Questions to Ask of ANY Piece of Media


What product is the media-maker selling?


How are they selling it? (What story is the image telling? What does the text say?)


What emotion does the advertiser or media-maker want you to feel so you’ll buy the product or idea?

To help with ad-tweaking, ask “What is this piece of media is REALLY saying?”

What To Do Next

Send us YOUR tweaked ad!
If it’s already digital, mark it up in a PDF program, Canva, or any other electronic method. Or with a paper copy, mark it up with glitter, pens, labels, etc.
We want to see it, and we may just include it on this page!