Political and other 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 particularly 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.
EXAMPLE OF A POLITICAL SUBLIMINAL -- THE INFAMOUS BUSH-GORE 'RATS' VIDEO
The image below show the use of a subliminal used by Al Gore's detractors during the U.S. Presidential Elections held in 2000. What normally happens in these types of tricks is that a 'message' is flashed onto the screen so quickly that most people do not consciously see it, but, it is registered at a subconscious level. The 'subliminal' however, stayed on the screen a bit too long and was easily seen by many people at a conscious level. The word RATS is clearly picked up by our 'conscious' vision. This type of manipulation was used in the 1950's in places like cinemas or should I say 'picture houses' and words such as 'I am thirsty' or some other descriptor would be flashed onto the screen either during the film itself or in the interval to stimulate sales of drinks and popcorn etc. Normally, the subliminal has a 'flash' duration of between 20 - 40 milliseconds.
The image "Democrats' was flashed across the screen of a political 'debate' between boy bush & chum, al gore. In doing so, hey split the word to form RATS (see image below) on screen a little longer than normal and got caught out. Note that bush and gore are clearly on the same 'team' but to preserve a semblance of 'democracy' during political hustling, they appear to be opposing politicians with different agendas.
The subliminal frame from the film itself is shown below. This a 5 second clip which is very small and its even easier to see the subliminal message flash across your vision so that you do not have to suffer the indignity of watching all 25 seconds of the Bush and Gore political advert
If you are a sucker for punishment you can watch the context behind this particular episode (see below).
The full 2 minute political subliminal:
Incidentally, if you watch TV or movies at the cinema, keep an eye 'open' for subliminals which you can identify by a very quick flash of what I can only describe as light or a 'click' on a portion of the screen. At this stage, some people are able to see the subliminal content very easily but for us lesser mortals (myself included) well, we have to work a little bit harder. You can observe the same effect on TV screens and computer monitors. Whilst working as a civil servant, all our computers were networked and I clearly remember that for at least three weeks, we were subjected to some form of subliminal 'commands'. Its a very strange feeling. I also find it fascinating that with the advent of flat LCD screens that these babies are appearing all over the place from supermarkets to train stations to little shops to big shops and its getting to be very much like a scene from Bladerunner-
I wonder what the game plan is here? The point here is that these forms of subliminal social engineering adverts must be used quite a lot because the media manipulators became a bit complacent and got caught out. Obviously, these suggestive manipulations should be outlawed and /or their illegal use prosecuted. The people who produce these type of adverts should also be named and shamed and be shown the errors of their ways but I guess you would need to be a bit brave to take on the weight of the U.S. government! Time we woke up to this sort of stuff - big time.
The next image is for a liqueur drink and as is usual for alcoholic drink adverts, the ice cubes are always a good place to look for any embeds. Check out the advert below and then click on 'click here for an expanded image of that we seek. Another good place to look at is the base of the bottle and at the sides of the bottle.
This and the following images (image 6 below) were taken from http://www.poleshift.org which have quite a few examples of how the word SEX is embedded subliminally into adverts. Each of the symbols below spells the word SEX but each symbol has been embellished in particular ways e.g. each letter may be on top of each other, small s Big E, Big S small e etc. The E and X tend to form a single letter which is why it took me quite a while just seeing these things. Check out this site for some excellent examples of how our media manipulators spell the word SEX in unusual contexts such as 'worry' lines etched into the brow, on top of the eye lid, the glossy bits of the lips, arms, fingers, elbows and neck etc.
The image below is an excellent example of the way in which the word SEX can be embedded as a subliminal advert. The word SEX can be found in at least 3 places and a prominent one is between 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock. The other two can be found between 5 o'clock and 9 o'clock and 9 o'clock and 12 o'clock. The product is from Pierre Cardin.
The next image is one of numerous examples of symbols embedded into the photo in such a way as it to be suggestive of a dick or to be more politically correct, a phallic symbol. This one is quite blatant and easy to guess as to which stimulus it is trying to elicit. There is no need to 'point it out' as it is self evident (LOL). If you still cannot find it, check out just above the crotch area.
The next image is of a similar vein although it does not rely on the use a phallic symbol. The advert is clearly a shape of a nude woman holding something in her right hand, but everything else is left to our imagination. Eventually, however, we respond as sexual beings to those areas we like to look at and in small but easily seen writing is the message 'Have a very MERRY christmas'. Well, so what! If you look to the right of this message you will see that the Remington product that is being advertised is on the same line of vision as the writing and that the purpose of the message in the woman's crutch is to eventually lead your eyes to the product.
The next image is one of those perfectly normal looking photos but something is not quite right, so you stop to see what is it that has attracted your attention. Its a Calvin Klein advert so the advertising message works on a number of subtle levels. Have a look and and scroll to below this image to see what I mean, but please bear in mind that we may not see the same 'things'.
The first thing I saw was two people kissing but is it a boy and a girl or is it a girl and a girl? The gender makes no difference to me but if you are from say, 'Middle England' and almost every sort of social interaction has been mapped out for you e.g. you can act in this but not that way, it is possible that you get a subliminal image of a societal taboo e.g. girl kissing girl. The second 'implant' that was pointed out to me was the L from Klein is smack in the middle of the kissing 'couple'. Now, I guess you could say that the placement of the L from Klein looks like a phallic symbol but I think its inclusion is once again to lead our line of vision to what is being sold. Thus, from the centre of the image or the kissing couple, your eyes are led to the letter L and then from there, your eyeline slips along to the big K (as in Klein) to finally arrive at the product being sold.
There are numerous websites out there who have a vast wealth of images, information and background on embeds and other tricks of the trade. Check them out and have a good look before you say that there is or there is nothing to all the shadows we find in adverts. I am firmly of the opinion that if we look hard enough in almost any social adverting circumstances that we will find a vast number of images etc. that we can identify as representing this or that. However, there appear to be recurring themes within adverting material that keep cropping up time after time. These themes are societal taboos and I wish I really knew their significance, but significant they must be because advertising companies still use them, even though they are supposed to be outlawed. Part of the problem for regulators must be, is this image of a skull an artifact of the advert or is its inclusion intentional. To answer that we would need to speak to the people and organisations who embellish adverts in the first place.
One of the real problems we have when we first look at this stuff is to say that its effects on us amount to nothing and that we are not that stupid that we can do this or that based on subliminal embeds of whatever description. My view is that if you combine this one advertising technique to the amount and prominence of material that we are bombarded by on a daily basis, then clearly, the effects from the whole (e.g. everything to do with Society) are far greater than the effects from its individual parts when looked at in isolation. In other words, we need to think of these things in a more holistic way so that we can put the various pieces of the jigsaw together, ourselves, in order to see the much bigger picture. Clearly, we feature in the bigger picture because at the end of the day, almost every single advert that I have come across is still based on you, me and a product that needs to be bought, consumed, updated, bought, updated, again and again. Think of all the promises, mobile phone operators promise us and what they actually deliver in terms of a decent product or service!!
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