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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.