Thursday 25 December 2008

Sexual Subliminal in Station Poster

This was on a rotating billboard on Oxford railway station.

Can you see the sexual subliminal in this? It shows the swimmer’s shoulder and armpit, but if you glance at it briefly it could be interpreted as a perspective shot of his bottom! Of course this is an ad aimed at men, not women, so the image is homoerotic. But that’s how they get into our subconscious because for most of us any homosexual urges we might have are suppressed in our subconscious, so by accessing them an advertiser has a short cut to our subconscious! Diet Coke is marketed more towards women than men so this is why the old bottles had a subliminal that looked like women’s breasts on the label.

Advertisers use sexual subliminals all the time to draw attention and therefore success. A subliminal is anything that causes sensory stimuli that we experience below the threshold of our awareness. A lot of psychological research has shown that engineering subliminal messages in another medium works. In 1959 an experiment was done at a number of American cinemas when the film Ben Hur was released. The experimenters took a number of reels and put subliminal flash-frames in half them showing a Coca-Cola advert. As far as the conscious visual perception goes these flash-frames were invisible; if you were watching one of these reels there would be no way you’d be able to tell, even if you were warned to look out in advance, whether the subliminal frames were present or not. But the experiment showed that Coca-Cola sales were higher in the cinemas showing the flash-framed reels than the control group (Can’t remember the source).

The psychological illusionist Derren Brown has carried out a similar experiment on TV. I differ from Derren’s Skeptical views on Spiritualism and other things, but he’s bang on the money here:

In my view subliminals are highly dangerous psychological weapons. Manipulating us to part with our money in exchange for worthless consumer-durables is their most benign function. They can, and are, also used by politicians to influence the people. For example when the West was trying to demonize the Libyan president Colonel Qaddafi they used embedded subliminals on the cover of Time magazine (David Icke live 2006). Experiments have also shown that subliminals, like more obvious forms of propaganda, have a much reduced effect if the subject is aware that they are being targeted; so this is why I’m writing this article, to make you aware!

(By the way, here’s a seasonal message to all HPANWO Readers: . And just for a treat, I’ve posted two new articles. Scroll down here for the second one.

And here's yet another on the Christmas Truce:


Devin said...

Ben-I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season-I have spent most of the day curled up in bed-but I am very thankful for what I DO have and am not complaining-I am glad folks I link to do not seem to be putting up much new stuff-I am already so behind on reading everyone's work! I could not agree with your thoughts in this post more completely-I have seen this in so many adds both aimed at repressed urges hetero and homosexual and also-I have seen ads where I think a child is 'posed' entirely inappropriately for their age-this has happened far too many times to be accidental. Best to you as always-I hope you and yours had a splendid holiday and are getting ready to have a wonderful 2009!

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Hi Devin, I had a nice Christmas; Thanks. I had to go to work, but at a hospital someone's got to do it! I know what you mean about being behind with my reading.
There's so much info out there and only so many hours in da day, Bwana! It's like trying to drink out of a firehose! Glad you had a good day curled up in bed. We're not encouraged mto be kind to ourselves and we're made to feel guilty if we do, so good on ya!

There's a brilliant website somewhere with subliminals on, but I can't find it. I'll have to check through my David Icke books because it's in there somewhere.

Alex Robinson said...

Hi Ben
Well spotted.
Seem to be noticing more & more these days myself - shapes just jump out at me. I think once you are aware they are there your mind keeps on the look out & they're easier to see, I do try & point them out but often get strange looks!!
There was one a couple of weeks ago, it was all in the layout of the words, like one of those magic eye pics, they rearranged themselves before my eyes & turned into a skull - wish I'd had my camera.

All the best to you

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Hi WW, myes I remember that icecream poster you saw! They use bizarre and frightening images as well as sexy ones.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Someone on the David Icke forum spotted more subliminals on this poster. Do you see the word "SEX" written on his shoulder/ right bum cheek? It's made out of water drops and the X is the most prominent bit.

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