12 Examples Of Subliminal Advertising and Hidden Messages Messing With Your Head

Consumer culture drives and directs global society. Annual holidays revolve around it, children are reared on the dogma of corporate product, those in developing nations spend disposable income on products made by those in developing nations. Jobs disappear from wealthy nations only to reappear in poor ones, so those who own companies can drive down cost and increase profit. The desire of the consumer changes the make up of society, not always for the better, as conscious consumerism is an unwelcome value. And coded messages in advertisements keep dutiful, unwoke consumers coming back to the trough for more slop every time a fresh batch is whipped up. 

Popular brands use subliminal advertising to ensure consumer loyalty, hopefully across multiple generations. What better way is there to celebrate Christmas, for instance, than to share a coke with someone you love? Wait, does Coke have anything to do with Jesus? Why would you drink cold soda when it's freezing outside? What are those polar bears doing? Are they going to eat Santa? This is a trick of association, not mind-control, but real examples of subliminal advertising are more prevalent than you might think. 

Of course, being a slave to corporations and banks isn't as nefarious as it sounds, but that doesn't mean capitalist subliminal messages embedded in public spaces aren't ethically questionable. There aren't laws against ads with hidden messages, so it's perfectly acceptable for advertising executives to put subliminal advertising in action. You've probably fallen for these coded messages without even realizing it.

  • A Nice Fat BK Seven-Incher For Your Mouth Hole #FaceRape

    All hyperbole aside, the following things appear in this ad:

    • An attractive young women with her mouth and eyes wide open
    • The phallic tip of a sandwich filled thick with meat (pointed at her mouth)
    • The word "blow" right under the phallic sandwich
    • The word "it" right under the woman
    • The term "seven-incher"
    • The phrase "it just tastes better"

    In fact, the ad is so obscene, the model who appears in it (who didn't know she was in the ad), called for a boycott of the company and stated, “I believe in sexual expression in art and the media; it's beautiful and necessary for a healthy society, but IT MUST BE CONSENSUAL otherwise it's RAPE. Nice family restaurant you're running there Burger King. #boycottbk #facerape #SuckOnYourOwnSlimySevenIncher.”

  • You Can Think Of Skittles As Skeetles If You Prefer

    You Can Think Of Skittles As Skeetles If You Prefer
    Photo: Mars, Inc

    Skittles Berry Explosion? More like rainbow-colored sexplosion, given the convenient positioning of the Skittle just to the left of the flavor line name. 

  • It's Not Just Your Floors That Get Laid By The Best

    The tagline on this DR Flooring ad let's you know straight away what's being sold: "Laid By The Best." Don't we all want to be? Here's where it gets run: flip the ad upside down, cover the woman's head and champagne glass, and you'll see a woman double clicking her mouse, presumably lubricating herself in preparation for being laid by the best. 

  • A Palmolive Print Might Ad Gets You All Hot And Nasty For Shower Sex

    A Palmolive Print Might Ad Gets You All Hot And Nasty For Shower Sex
    Photo: Palmolive

    What's strange about this shampoo and body wash ad? It's your standard thin, large-breasted, naked-but-tastefully-covered woman-in-the-shower piece. Or is it? Take a look at the hand on her leg. That's a man's hand. The ad isn't selling the tantalizing  image of a naked woman, but the fantasy of you screwing that woman, which will undoubtedly happen if you load up on Palmolive. Or the notion you'll get lucky in the shower with whomever is your life and willing to sleep with you if you have the right shower and body wash.

    A similar Palmolive ad, with less nudity, ran around the same time as this one, driving home the man-hand theme. 

  • The Bush Campaign Called Gore A Rat In An Attack Ad

    The Bush Campaign Called Gore A Rat In An Attack Ad
    Video: YouTube

    Long before Donald Trump gaslighted America with a deceptively complex method of poisoning the well, the people running George W. Bush's presidential campaign used subliminal messages to turn the tide of the election against Al Gore.

    In an ad designed to poke holes in Gore’s healthcare proposals, the Bush campaign released an attack ad in which the word “rats” appeared on the screen for no more than a thirtieth of a second. The message was discovered almost instantly, leaving the Bush campaign to deny the attack from top to bottom, no matter how much the evidence was stacked against it.

  • Disney Hides Mickey Ears Everywhere To Sear Its Logo Onto Your Brain

    Disney Hides Mickey Ears Everywhere To Sear Its Logo Onto Your Brain
    Video: YouTube

    Even when it was nothing but a creepy animatronic ride, Disney was seriously proud of Pirates of the Caribbean. When the intellectual property made the leap to the big screen, the company wanted to make damn sure people knew who had dominion over the high seas.

    You can make Mickey yourself from the Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl poster. Take a pen and make two circles around the hilt of the blades (or torches, as the case may be) behind the skull at the center of the poster. Blacken the whole thing and, voila, you have the recognizable silhouette of a very famous mouse.

    This shouldn't be at all surprising for those familiar with the way Disney repeatedly advertises itself in all its product. Take a look at this clip of hidden mouse ears in the first Pirates movie, or see Rogue One: A Disney Cash Cow Star Wars Story for the silhouette of a mouse head in an explosion during the Battle of Scarif. And check out this massive list of hidden Mickeys in Disney animated films.