Subliminal pErsuaXion

Darth Raymunnn, an ad/marketing fellow himself, explores the wonderful world of sumbliminal sexual persuasion in advertising in his latest blog.

Scooter Nation—

Subliminal messaging or subliminal persuasion has been used in advertising for a long time. No matter what the product, even the slightest subliminal suggestion can have a huge effect on the consumer according to some. Here is a sample of a classic Yellow Pages ad:

A simple ad but once turned upside down, it appearS to be morE than you’d eXpect. It even has the word “laid” right there in the headline! This ad ran for a while until it was brought to the attentionS of the EXecutive powers that be at Yellow Pages, who promptly brought the ban hammer down on the “offensive” imagery.

Subliminal messaging has long been used within advertising, but it wasn’t until 1974 that the FCC adopted guidelines stating that although subliminal advertising might not be effective, they still felt it was a deceptive practice. If any broadcaster of TV or radio signals uses a subliminal message, they can be subject to fines from the FCC. But that doesn’t seem to have stopped a lot of them from using it intentionally or unintentionally, with hilarious results! Here are some more interesting SEXamples:


"Grab a Heine" literally in this Heineken ad.


Though small and housed within an ice cube, there's another oral pleasure besides feeling the curves and enjoying your Coke®


Some of these don't even need to be pointed out, I mean seriously how could you not see the tongue in this hot dog ad.


Bread may or may not be life but you'd be hard pressed not to see what's in this photo!


The ad that launched the saying "double clicking her mouse"


Why do men love Dodge trucks? Is it because they're "ram" tough?



Not only sex but a sexplosion.




Governments are not above slipping SEX into their paper money! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!



Sugar Ray should be so lucky.


This one is very disturbing, especially now that there have been high-profile child sex abuse cases in the media lately. But there's definitely a fetish website in there somewhere.


*Tell me* that you don’t see SEXual acts on these labels. Tell me!

Until next time!

4 thoughts on “Subliminal pErsuaXion

  1. The 1974 “guidelines”you mention on subliminal advertising is actually a formal “policy statement” issued by the FCC in response to numerous complaints and growing social concerns over the use of such deceptive marketing tactics.  This public outcry was largely due to a 1973 NY Times Best Selling publication, “Subliminal Seduction” by Wilson Bryan Key.  

    Its important to emphasize that policy statements like this are not the same as enforceable rules.  Furthermore, the FCC has no authority over advertisers. Just the broadcasters who carry their messages. As a result, the only thing the FCC can do if an aired commercial is thought to contain subliminal stimuli is to ask the broadcaster to stop running it.  Only if the broadcaster fails to comply can the FCC issue them a fine, which has never happened to my knowledge.

    The reason I point this out is because there’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation out there about subliminal programming, the effectiveness of such techniques, and a lack of regulations and prohibitions that many people think exist.  For more info on the topic, check out the recent documentary on the subject, PROGRAMMING THE NATION?

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