Uncovering and analysing subliminal messages in advertising can get quite controversial. As the name implies, these messages are for our subconscious to process and the conscious level to normally ignore. There are mixed reactions to the theory of subliminal messages and many advertisers and businesses will understandably deny they exist. Whether it is fact or fiction, some subliminal messages of product advertisement, or at least what people perceive to be as such, can sometimes be a good source of humour.
Pepsi Cans Get Nasty Gen-X people may have heard of the news in the 90’s about the Pepsi-in-can design spelling the S-word. It became a local controversy about subliminal messages in advertising and you would imagine how kids would sneak up after school to figure out where in the can will they find the letters "S-E-X."
The tale of the Starbucks siren It may be the global logo of this millennium, but there is another interesting tale to the two-tailed siren of the most prominent coffee retailer in the world. A group who tried to uncover subliminal messages in advertising claimed Starbucks is supporting the Israel Defense Forces by naming the lady in the logo to be Jewish Queen Esther. This created a negative impact on Israeli adversaries, which Starbucks had to straighten out.
Toblerone’s Dancing Bear A pro-bear subluminal campaign may make no sense to a lot of people, but Toblerone's mountain peak logo hides a standing bear in the middle. Some may find it a little weird to put a hidden bear on their logo, but if you take a look at Toblerone's roots, you will understand what it means. Toblerone is from Bern, Switzerland which supposedly means “City of Bears.” Spotting the bear in the box may be nothing more than Toblerone’s version of where’s Wally, but still a good advertising campaign.
Coca-Cola’s anti-Islamic blurb Talk about visual back masking! There were articles that said if you try to read the classic coke logo from a mirror, the subliminal message in advertising will be in Arabic letters which says “No Mohammad, No Mekka.” Obviously, the beverage giant laughed-off this claim and branded the campaign as nothing but speculation and baseless rumor.