You must log in or register to comment.

MissionViejo92692 t1_j292phe wrote

In the 1980s we all thought this was being done on purpose as a means of "subliminal advertising".


54_actual OP t1_j293flg wrote

yup. i read a book back then called 'subliminal seduction". fascinating.


MissionViejo92692 t1_j2942df wrote

I remember that book! Ice cubes in ads were one of the things it talked about. But the example pictures provided were sort of a Rorschach test. Even when someone tells you what you're looking for, you're not sure if you see it. I wonder if the guy who did the Coke ad took inspiration from the book and thought, I can do better. Life imitates conspiracy theory.


SubstantialPressure3 t1_j29qrss wrote

Not just ice cubes, water reflections, condensation, and shadows of artwork. It was actually fairly prevalent for a while.


54_actual OP t1_j294trl wrote

i read that he put it in the ad, early in the process, as a joke for his co-workers. as the process of approval climbed the chain, the insert was forgotten about and went unnoticed.


Dukie6 t1_j2arpqu wrote

I mean, at what point of approval can you take it back?

“Hey Brian, can you send that back to me for final approval?”

“I already sent it to the head of marketing”

I’d just start praying that I don’t get fired when they see it! I’m definitely not asking for it back!


BrendanSchaubsMom t1_j2a8xhx wrote

What do you remember was mentioned about ice cubes?


MissionViejo92692 t1_j2adl30 wrote

Images of penises, I think, were airbrushed in. The book had some color pictures in the center. I remember sort of having to take the guy's word for it regarding what the pictures were.


PSiggS t1_j2axyel wrote

One time I found dollar bill in the lettuce of a kfc sandwich in one of their commercials


Crafty_Tangerine5511 t1_j29oral wrote

I had an English prof in college that was OBSESSED with this book and required us to read it and THE CLAM PLATE ORGY. He even had his own slide collection of dirty subliminals he had found on his own. We had to go along with it, of course but honestly I didn’t see all the things he and the author claimed to be seeing.


SubstantialPressure3 t1_j29quaq wrote

Never heard of the clam plate orgy.


Crafty_Tangerine5511 t1_j29unt9 wrote

Same author. Refers to a Howard Johnson motel restaurant placemat showing a photo of a plate of fried clams. Allegedly, the clams were manipulated to resemble hundreds of humans in an orgy… !


JillingJacks t1_j2a9fc2 wrote

I mean, a massive orgy will look like a pile of people, so piles of creatures technically look like orgies?

In that same fashion though, literally everything would look like sex, so maybe it was written by a sex addicted nutjob.


koshergoy t1_j29abp9 wrote

Hundreds of similar instances explained in the 1974 book "Subliminal Seduction", by Wilson Bryan Key, followed by "Media Sexploitation" in 1977.

The most famous book of this ilk was from late 1950's, "Hidden Persuaders" by Vance Packard. All 3 make for interesting reads on the subject.

One of the first widespread implementations being used in movie theaters where a single image or two in the preview reel exhorting viewers to purchase drinks and popcorn led to measurable increased traffic to concession stands.


44problems t1_j29gn6p wrote

Wilson Bryan Key also thought Nabisco stamped the word "sex" on Ritz crackers.


Depression_spice t1_j29b38c wrote

Explains the little mermaid cover thing. That and boys love laughing at dick drawings.


Guilty-Web7334 t1_j29h36e wrote

I feel like they could have gotten away with it if the receiving end of the peen wasn’t present. Because accidental penis happens all the time. (Nature, kids building a wooden train track, etc.)


MissionViejo92692 t1_j2c067u wrote

I think they could have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids!


arajay t1_j2blj0k wrote

Disney movies have tons of these easter eggs if my junior high education is accurate


dromni t1_j298wrx wrote

Wasn't it? Maybe the problem was that this subliminal message in particular was uncovered, and then the company had to make a theatrical act in public of clutching their pearls. =)

I mean, it's not as if many adds weren't heavily sexualized back then. The Coca-Cola sign in question even says "feel the curves", which is another obvious sexual innuendo...


Catinthemirror t1_j2cvl2f wrote

We studied that in my cultural anthropology class a gazillion years ago (I'm old). I remember them showing us hidden skulls in ice cubes for whisky magazine ads... supposedly the implied danger would increase sales.


arajay t1_j2blffq wrote

My advertising professor in college (2001) showed a stunning litany of modern (at the time lol) advertisements that imho proved any claims this was *not* on purpose are just PR hand washing.


Poltibolsa t1_j2c4q35 wrote

He was fired and sued for not making it subliminal enough.


a-horse-has-no-name t1_j29oc41 wrote

>The president of the Australian marketing arm, Coca-Cola South Pacific, Mr Mike Bascle, said the action of the artist was "quite irresponsible and not amusing"

Sir, I disagree.


xX609s-hartXx t1_j2ag6et wrote

I can just see them sitting in the office, laughing their ass off at the hidden dick, then abruptly stopping to fire that guy.


farrenkm t1_j2bfccs wrote

I had something similar happen. I didn't get fired, but I worked at a small business, early 90's, first job out of high school. Someone acted like a Karen before the term was common. I told a co-worker the person had acted like a bitch. My first real job, co-worker thought they should talk to owner/boss about it. Got a stern talking-to about how we can't be referring to our customers as bitches or other such derogatory names. Yeah, okay, point taken, went back to my desk duly chastised.

Co-worker and I spoke later. She admitted why she'd told boss, but said boss busted a gut when she heard because, yeah, the customer was a bitch. But boss had to put up the appearance to teach me a lesson.


Getdeded t1_j2b6mbq wrote

Doing gods work with that subliminal messaging


ShortysTRM t1_j2blklf wrote

The Musical episode of South Park (looked it up, called Broadway Bro Down)


EmbarrassedHelp t1_j2bs065 wrote

I guess that's what passed for a "graphic sexual image" back in the 1980s lol


SayNoToStim t1_j2bt0e3 wrote

So no one else is gonna mention the Donald Trump ice cube on the left?


martusfine t1_j292ujb wrote

I wonder what the artist did after his firing?


freakytone t1_j297t1y wrote

They did the vhs cover art for the little mermaid


lexxatron84 t1_j2a54s6 wrote

I have the VHS cover somewhere and there are most certainly wieners hidden amongst the towers. And say what you will but that is definitely not the priests knee either.


dohwhere t1_j2bat6d wrote

I know you’re joking, but the guy that did the Little Mermaid VHS cover, Bill Morrison, has gone on to have a pretty decent career. In addition to having his own studio, he headed a comics group for twenty years or so, was the editor in chief of the rebooted Max Magazine, and has made some graphic novel adaptations of films.


bazinga3604 t1_j2ame01 wrote

They probably called a press conference…When a company screws up, best thing to do is call a press conference. Alert the media, and then you control the story. Wait for them to find out, and the story controls you. That’s what happened to O.J.


satirical_whit t1_j29hybf wrote

They say if you drink one of those Cokes while listening to Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon, it lines up perfectly.


freshandminty t1_j29sq6a wrote

I can see how this happened. It was spotted by someone driving behind a coke truck. I bet it was less obvious in smaller sized posters but when it was blown up to giant size and put on the back of a coke truck, suddenly you clearly see it. And once you see it, you’d easily spot it on smaller renditions of the artwork. I bet the artist hadn’t taken the sizing up into account. Wouldn’t have been an issue if the artist hadn’t snuck the image in in the first place but I can see how a whole campaign launched before it was caught.


Serious_Guy_ t1_j29boc1 wrote

In New Zealand too. I have one that they missed when they recalled them.


osktox t1_j2apc9a wrote

That's gotta be considered a collector's item.


SubstantialPressure3 t1_j29qig0 wrote

Only because they were caught. If you look in old magazine ads (and probably some newer ones) look at the ads with ice cubes, water reflections, and even the shadows, you can see images and words, very subtle, but definitely not paredolia, it's intentional.


Dawnawaken92 t1_j28zw1m wrote

I hate it when they don't provide the image in question lmfao...


MissionViejo92692 t1_j292ttt wrote

It's in the linked article. It's just not the top image, which is the one that got attached to this post.


sendmeyourcactuspics t1_j296i42 wrote

I hate it when people literally don't open up the article in question and then make dumb comments lmfao...


Captain__Spiff t1_j291gj1 wrote

This is low resolution but apparently the picture in question


dchallenge t1_j29djy1 wrote

could've gotten away with it if they'd done it upside down.


default82781 t1_j2a6290 wrote

Or not at all if they used the same link as you posted lol.


54_actual OP t1_j291rna wrote

yeah, i found a pic of it, including a closeup of the "offensive" image.


mqudsi t1_j2bl5o8 wrote

Dude, it’s in the link you submitted.


t3hmau5 t1_j298hlm wrote

But...they do? It is in the article...


schwelvis t1_j29ofms wrote

Almost as annoying as people who post without actually reading the article....


BrandoCalrissian1995 t1_j29vgg6 wrote

I hate when people can't move their finger to scroll down a little bit and see the image in question lmfao...


54_actual OP t1_j290z0k wrote

i'm pretty sure it's out there somewhere.


SteelMarch t1_j29g993 wrote

Seems like a bit too much but eh.


Slashtrap t1_j2a10ek wrote

had to look for 5 minutes before noticing what could be a woman sucking on a crystal penis. it's almost like it wasn't that big a deal.


Zandrick t1_j2c8pix wrote

I don’t see it.


Slashtrap t1_j2c90rt wrote

look closely on the zoomed-in image. there's something very vaguely resembling a black woman's nose and mouth, being near what could be interpreted as a minecraft blue dick. just being near, not even sucking on it. the layers of stretches you have to make to say this poster is innapropriate.


Bigred2989- t1_j2abd3v wrote

Not lewd, but German weapon manufacturer Heckler and Koch had a bunch of catalogs made for a convention and the photographer who took the shots of one of their pistols must not have ever shot a gun ever because they loaded the magazine backwards.


hatersaurusrex t1_j2avvn9 wrote

The real obscenity here was New Coke. Man that shit was nasty.


Crafty_Tangerine5511 t1_j29pe9f wrote

My dad worked in a big high school in the 70’s and a kid on the annual staff hid a lot of penises, f***s etc. in his artwork (scrolling around photos mainly) and suffice it to say no one got an annual that year. Teachers who got theirs early had to return them, but my dad got away with his. Might be the only one in existence.


p_nut268 t1_j2aab88 wrote

I've been working in advertising for 13 years. Every ad I've worked on has a penis in it. Whether it is in the wallpaper pattern that is in the shot, a skillfully placed shadow, big dick Barry squatting behind a tree or my personal favourite, the first letter of the first five words in the ad spells penis.


Kalikhead t1_j29olp4 wrote

I went to a Catholic HS in the 80s and in our Theology class we actually were given magazines and told to find the subliminal advertising stuff.


alittlejolly t1_j294u2v wrote

Pepsi had something similar. I remember my Aunt having some of the cans:


ArenSteele t1_j2a5bc2 wrote

What was that you said about your Aunt’s Cans?


alittlejolly t1_j2a5hv0 wrote

Click the link and you can see the Pepsi cans that she had. :)


Mrdrewit t1_j2abg9n wrote

Damn she had sex all over her cans. Hot.


FatherUncleDad t1_j2ccix6 wrote

The one year the quality assurance guy decided to not work.


Ihavenousefora t1_j29v8sg wrote

This kind of stuff is still going on, it's just more 'blatant' than subliminal. Sex sells. Death sells. Advertising is an art and a science. If you think it's possibly a funny happy accident, it's more than likely not.


BDELUX3 t1_j2ay6s3 wrote

There are no accidents on this planet. All earthly beings are connected to each other. All paths lead to the Center. All paths lead home.


Jamekk t1_j2b5dwj wrote

there should be a subreddit of these


Blutarg t1_j2bhk2j wrote

How awful of someone to sneak a sexual message into a "feel the curves" advertising campaign!


Kurotan t1_j2avuhg wrote

I had to read the article and then still look a bit before I could see it. Not sure how people knew without knowing what to look for.


helraizr13 t1_j2bpxas wrote

The VHS clamshell version of Disney's The Little Mermaid had a dick drawn as one of the spires in the background. Once you saw it, you couldn't unsee it, it was pretty obvious when you looked for it.. The artist was fired and the tapes were supposed to be destroyed. I had a copy though, wish I still had it now.


losernameismine t1_j2bttbf wrote

I remember this - one of the ice cubes had a shadow that looked like a silhouette of a woman about to suck a dick. The artwork had been used in press adverts for a while and no one noticed, but once Coke blew the advert up and put it on the back of delivery trucks someone in a car travelling behind saw it and complained.


abo1313 t1_j2cbw2v wrote

Nice post, I managed to get a door sticker and poster off a coke rep at the time and still have them. Framed and hung one on my ‘wall of dicks’ along side of the little mermaid vhs cover


HailToTheKingslayer t1_j2dlh3z wrote

I just wish Debbie Brown was in that day. Maybe they could have caught this.


Halfsquaretriangle t1_j2a7zk3 wrote

Irresponsible,and not amusing that the head of marketing didn't catch that before it went to the printers. He's just as much to blame. Imo.


GreatNoodleLord t1_j2aaone wrote

Well Starbucks has got away from it isnt a mermaid its a greek goddess, flashing her fanny at us lol


ElectriCole t1_j2abf7s wrote

This reminds me of a debacle in the late 90s where some disgruntled and fired Glade employee left a parting gift in the form of a dick pic hidden among the flowers on the can design. They shipped for weeks before anyone noticed


4t0micpunk t1_j2aiouf wrote

I remember reading a book about subliminal messaging in advertising back in high school, Im betting they just got caught.

Edit: I should read the comments before posting, everyone read the same book !


CasaFlata t1_j2akdvq wrote

Ridicurous prudes want to take the fun out of everything. What happened to “Have a Coke and a smile”?


pixelburger t1_j2aogci wrote

While officially telling customers to “Feel the curves,” lol


NOT000 t1_j2aozol wrote

kinda looks like shes singing into a microphone


bazinga3604 t1_j2aqavq wrote

Everybody in here. STAT. No time to lose. Cri-Man-Squa. F and C, doubletime.


PermaDerpFace t1_j2aqeak wrote

Successfully sued? Why not just say it was an accidental coincidence


scoop_booty t1_j2auall wrote

I don't recall the exact client or ad campaign...I think it was Suzuki... but in the 80s I worked at an ad agency and we slipped the fbomb into the mice type at the bottom of the page. It was a prank intended for the legal team upstairs who's job it was too proofread. But somehow it slipped past them and got out the door. Oops. We were all expecting to get fired over that one. Thankfully, no one ever caught it. Learned my lesson. Now I only do that on headlines.


Thisisnow1984 t1_j2azlrr wrote

Doesn't compare to the cock on the dog in the ikea catalogue. It was gold


Tijai t1_j2bbw9y wrote

>The president of the Australian marketing arm, Coca-Cola South Pacific, Mr Mike Bascle, said the action of the artist was "quite irresponsible and not amusing"

I actually fount it quite amusing.


Trell3k t1_j2bqkas wrote

That took me way too long to figure out.


SlashThingy t1_j2c5t3q wrote

Oh, South Australia. Of course it's the South Australians.


Nasty9999 t1_j2cbntj wrote

My dad worked for Coca Cola New Zealand in the 80's to the mid 90's. He has this poster framed and hanging on the wall in his garage.


flexisexymaxi t1_j2csuhi wrote

When I was a young designer in school subliminal messaging like this was a fad and we all thought that hiding this type of image in our work was a way to manipulate consumers.


bkoly t1_j2cwl7w wrote

I edited in an obscene image into one of our wedding photos (of us, obviously). Nobody has ever noticed despite it being hung in our hallway for years.


Fast_Polaris22 t1_j2dfdgn wrote

It was quite common at one time to manipulate sexy images (decades before photoshop) subliminally into ad photography


Opposite_Law1844 t1_j2aysu3 wrote

In the early '90s, cans of Libby's Spaghetti-Os or similar kids' pasta had drawings of jungle animals on the labels. There were four or five clear pictures of genitalia blended into the innocent-looking drawings. Once you noticed them, there was no mistaking them for "accidental similarities." This was in Canada ... idk if it happened elsewhere. But it made the news in Nova Scotia, and we found the same labels in British Columbia, so it was nationwide.


Amorphia1618 t1_j2cqlcg wrote

Please provide an image. Thank you


LarYungmann t1_j29jx0k wrote

The Thumb Nail Pic used is FAKE. This type of vending machine did not exist in the 1980's.


Who_DaFuc_Asked t1_j29jkqb wrote

On another episode of "people massively overreact to something that isn't a big deal, because it's the 20th century and people are still scared of showing bare shoulders on TV"...


a-horse-has-no-name t1_j29okbn wrote

No... no, I think it's ok to be angry at someone to paid if they snuck art of a person giving a blowjob into a picture you paid for.


Pornstar_Jesus_ t1_j29obcb wrote


HaikuBotStalksMe t1_j29qx15 wrote

Looking at that picture, I can tell it's subliminal messaging that is designed to trick you to into doing what the company wants. Let's a go.


FourWordComment t1_j29r017 wrote

How did the edditor not see that before approving? It’s pretty obvious when you see it.


its-not-me_its-you_ t1_j29u0ep wrote

Because it's there on purpose and the artist was scapegoated after they got busted.