The Gallery of Subliminal Messages

As you read this, a sinister and secret organization is working night and day and spending untold millions to invade and control your mind.  Is it the world of the CIA?  The FBI?  The Republican Party?  No… this is the work of companies and their advertising departments.

Subliminal Advertisements have been around for years and use little tricks such as embedding images and words into pictures to grab your attention and subconsciously imprint their product into your mind.  In this gallery, we’re going to take a look at some of the more bold and – dare we say – unethical uses of this mode of mind control.

Companies have said for years that subliminal advertising doesn’t exist.  If that’s the case, we hope that you enjoy these nonexistent examples.

When you look at this old beer advertisement, you see a harmless glass filled with wood shavings, correct?

But look closer… there is a message hidden within!

Sure, you’re probably saying to yourself… but this is an isolated incident.   Surely, only the scummiest of companies are doing it.

Not so!   Disney has been doing it for years!   Observe this single from from the 1977 animated movie, The Rescuers!

It’s too late to avert your eyes and, let me assure you, what you are seeing is real.   For two single frames, a topless woman is shown in the windows in the background.   This little detail apparently went unnoticed until 1992 when it was caught and Disney recalled 3.4 million VHS cassettes.

But, surely this was an isolated incident.

Unless you count the VHS cover of The Little Mermaid with a very obvious dick hidden in the castle spires.

Unlike your mother, you may have difficulty finding a good dick.   Here’s a closeup.

That’s a dick.

Disney was also caught inserting the word “SEX” into The Lion King.   Now, to be fair, the makers of the film have said that the pollen kicked up by Simba actually says “SFX,” an abbreviation for special effects, but it was enough for Disney to alter the scene in subsequent re-releases.

You would think that this would deter Disney from any further funny business, but…

Apparently, they haven’t learned their lesson.

But, then again, they’re not the only ones involved in shenanigans

In 1954, following the death of George VI, currency bearing the likeness of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth, were printed up.  In Canada, as the story goes, the money there was designed by a French Canadian artist (or a member of the IRA according to the legend) who hated the royal family and so he put something a little extra into the bill.  Take a closer look.

Do you see the face of the devil himself in Queen Elizabeth’s hair?

Some say coincidence, some say sabotage… but the “Devil’s Head” series was altered a mere two years later to eliminated Lucifer from the royal portrait.  Today, these notes are collector’s items.

Classic example of old school subliminal messages.  Can you see it in the ice cubes?

In the 1990’s, Pepsi released four different new can designs called Cool Cans.  At first, they look innocent until you stacked two cans of the same design on top of each other revealing the word “SEX”.

“Sex” is a word that triggers an unconscious response in humans.  Other words that trigger a response are “kill” and “death”.  Some advertisers insert skulls or images of dead celebrities into ads to illicit the same response.

Take a close look at the woman’s finger behind the left lens of her glasses.

Looks like a harmless ad for a flooring company, right?  The picture is a little odd since it seems to have nothing to do with the company or their service.  Could this be a subliminal ad?


Ever wonder why the gaming industry has such a large male demographic?

This Coca Cola advertisement contains the clear image of a woman about to engage in fellatio with an erect penis.

Sometimes the hidden image isn’t hidden at all, but the meaning behind it may not be that obvious.  Take this ad for example…  Note the placement of the woman and the phallic image of the rocket blasting off between her legs.  Other images that may appear sexual in nature is the position of the man’s fingers and the fact that he appears aroused.

Can you spot the hidden naked man in this old Camel ad?

Take a closer look at the man’s left hand.  With a little airbrushing to the lady’s back, it now appears that her friend is holding a penis, doesn’t it?

One of the main thrusts of subliminal advertising is to appeal to base instinctual behavior such as sex.  As a result, phallic images are often inserted into ads.

This is probably one of my favorite examples of subliminal messages.  This looks like a harmless beach scene, right?  Sun and sand and fun… nothing sinister or underhanded about this, correct?

Take a closer look.  What at first glance was some harmless fun in the sun has suddenly turned into a full on spring break orgy.

It takes little imagination to see what this ad for Caprigcio is trying to make us think of.

Everyone has seen this movie poster for The Silence of the Lambs and I’m sure that everyone remembers it as if it’s been burned into your mind.  Ever wonder why?  Take a closer look.

That’s right, you’ve been looking at six naked women all these years without even noticing!


Take a closer look at the two figures dancing.



Honestly, I’m speechless.  I can’t tell if this was an actual product or a gag, but the intent was more than a little clear.

You have to wonder… was this on accident or on purpose?



Another method of surreptitiously getting a person’s attention is by adding an oddity to a print ad… In this case, do you notice a little something extra in the picture above?

One can argue that this oddity can also appeal sexually to people as a “third leg” is a slang term for a penis.  Can it drive a man to murder, though?  That’s the BIG question.

During the 2000 Presidential Campaign, the Bush Camp was caught using subliminal advertising in an Anti-Gore commercial where the word “RATS” was superimposed for a split second over the words “THE GORE PRESCRIPTION PLAN.”

Bush denied that this was meant to be a subliminal ad and, honestly, I think we can trust him on this.  I mean, it’s not like he’s the kind of guy who would created a shadow organization to defame the war record of a fellow opponent who had actually gone off to serve his country while Bush was AWOL and doing coke lines in a Texas Reserve base, right?

Did the redesigned Pepsi cans carry a threatening message to newly elected President Obama?


And finally…

If you’re worried about falling prey to subliminal advertising, don’t.   Researchers for the last several decades have made study after study and found that it doesn’t affect people in the slightest, save for the delight in finding them.



About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.