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Examples of subliminal adverts


What are subliminal adverts? They are covertly embedded images or ‘messages’ that ‘speak’ to the subconscious and not to the conscious mind. Subliminal adverts are used as tools of persuasion by our media manipulators. They are embedded in advertising material for a variety of reasons, usually to stimulate consumption, alter our moods, and enhance negative associations and lots of other stuff we are not even aware of. Before I launch into this however, I would also like to point out that we ‘react’ to images and symbols in a powerful way and our media persuaders know how to use this fact to their advantage. In other words, depending on the intended effect, specific words or images can trigger unconscious thought which may lead to subsequent action. My intention here is to help make you aware of what is placed before you and that you ask yourself why? I present some examples of subliminal adverts for you to chew over, show you how to look for these things, give some links to a few excellent sites on the techniques of ‘embeds’ and best of all, once you are aware of the game being played, you can see ‘it’ and hence, see through it.

I also welcome any examples of subliminal adverts you find so that I can expose this to a wider audience and if you want to write your own piece to accompany your examples, feel free to send them in, so that I can update this section of the website on a frequent basis.

If you can accept the idea that we have a subconscious and conscious mind and that the subconscious mind misses nothing, it is at this level that our media persuaders target their advertising materials.

The subconscious mind sees all and interprets everything it ‘sees’ as it happens. We do not ‘see’ through our eyes and ultimately, the brain processes streams of energy or wave patterns prior to us making sense of what we think we are ‘seeing’ i.e. our ‘reality’. As the brain is the site of image-processing or reality vision based on how we perceive the world from a cultural basis, it is not too illogical to assume that subliminal adverts can also be made to target specific groups and classes of people within society. In other words, we interpret the world according to what we think we know and what we have experienced, i.e. we respond to embedded stimuli as we do to other societal messages as socialised beings. By this I mean that depending on our social class, age or ‘race’ (which is a big misnomer) we respond to images or words in predictable ways. Some embedded words are almost universal e.g. ‘sex’ but others can only be triggered if they have specific cultural meaning to particular groups. These words and images are usually taboo, e.g. fuck, die, nigger or whatever social descriptor is chosen. Other embeds may imprint the word, consume, work hard, etc. etc. A fuller description of this process can be found in David Icke’s excellent new book ‘Tales from the Time Loop’ (2003), Bridge of Love Publications.

How to look for subliminal advertising and other manipulations:

First off, get hold of a glossy magazine, make yourself comfortable and 'skim' adverts. Do this quickly e.g. spend no more than 1 - 2 seconds per page and do not purposely look for anything other than what you can see. Think about what you have just seen and go back to one advert that caught your eye and look again. What caught your attention? Was it how your eyes were led from one part of the page to the other? Did you wonder about all the dark shadowy stuff that is peripheral to the products being advertised, was your attention drawn to the face or bodies of the models? Did you spot unusual grammar that particularly caught your attention? Was the advert slightly suggestive, hinting of societal taboos? Did you notice something about how the model was standing/sitting? Did you notice that something was not quite 'right' but you had problems identifying it? These are just some of the techniques that are used by our media manipulators to get the message across at a number of different levels and in a number of different ways. Some of these adverts are extremely sophisticated, polished and subtle.

Secondly, arm yourself with a big magnifying glass, put the magazine on a flat surface, relax your eyes, ease your expectations and re-examine those adverts which particlarly caught your attention. This is not an easy exercise to do and it does take some time to get going but you must remember that much of the advertising material that is put before is meant to engage at the level of the subconscious mind. Enough waffle, check out the stuff below. I include a few images on the use of skulls and demons for those hard drinkers of scotch whiskey plus more. If you find something interesting, particularly recent stuff, send it in (email) so that I can expose the tricks of the media manipulators more widely.

The image below was scanned from a copy of Vogue magazine, January (2004) and was bought in London. I highlight (inside rings) just a couple from the many images of skulls. The trick here is to look at any surface capable of a reflection and it is clear that these are subliminal embeds. Why skulls? Are they taboo? Are they put there as something we would rather not see at a conscious level? By the way, skulls and demons seem to be flavour of the decade by our media manipulators.



Click here for close ups of skull images embedded within the above photo

The next example was scanned from the British edition of Marie-Claire magazine (January 2004). Can you see the multitude of demons on the image? Click below for a close-up. The other strange thing I think is worth noting on this advert is that the (rather androgynous) woman's head has been digitally moved for some reason. Can you see that it is in front of her collar bone? I'm not sure why. A rough guess is that it might be to provoke a subconscious questioning: if we subconsciously see something that is not quite right, there are more chances of us remembering it better the next time we are exposed to the product or something that reminds us of its advert...


Image 5 - Highland spring mineral water



The next set of images are quite old now yet they underline the fact that our media manipulators have been using subliminal embeds for more than 50 years or so.


This classic is from Pepsi. The embed can only reveal itself when you have one can stacked on top of another can e.g. a typical supermarket type environment. The word spells....have a good look first - if you see it once, the spell is broken.........


Start from the top of the can with the black background and work your way down the can. The word revealsl itself as....... SEX.



This example is very subtle, works on two different leves of awareness and cleverly crafted. If you are aware of the power of embeds you will see the camel in the smoke straightaway.

However, if you have not come across this form of covert advertising, the association between smoking and Camels will be firmly impanted into your subconscious. If you have no brand in mind, I wonder what make of cigarette will instantly spring into your conscious awareness!!

Joe Camel's advert from back in the day with the nose and bottom half of the face subliminally reminding us of a big dick entering a vagina. You cannot see it too clearly, but the figure in the background is a woman standing feet apart with her hand fairly close to her................  
. . The image on the far left is another advert for Camel cigarettes. The grey image details the subliminal male form with a certain appendage sticking out, yet another dick thing
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