Nice advertising, isn't it? This image campaign started in 1999 in Europe. I remember the day I saw it for the first time at a subway station. "Strange", I thought. "A cigarette box in an ice cube?" Wandering about this absurd composition I remembered of what I had learned about subliminal techniques hidden inside advertisement crap. Ice cubes! There had been a famous story about female bodies hidden in the structures of ice cubes... on purpose of course, in order to give men a concealed sexual stimulus... pavlovnianly linked to the product.
So I started rambling my look across this image. After a while I recognized that my look was fixed again and again to some certain places in this advertisement, but I have not been able to tell what was the glue that fixed my eyes.
Playing this game again and again I have found a lot of hidden traps
now for optical associations. In this essay I will show you some of them.
There are a lot more! You will find them easily when you play the same
game with this advertising for yourself.
Hint: Do not try to analyze the structures systematically! You will find more traps when you pause and look again at this image as if you know nothing about it.
|Now, what the first shapes were I found myself? Let's
start at the upper left corner!
Here you will find a figure that reminds of an angel or a woman.
Well that is nice. Though this seems not to be a very sexual symbol it
can get a more sexual content when you are a bit more stimulated by the
other anchors I will show you later. Once thinking or associating in sexual
contexts you might fantasize about a woman (or an angel ;-) ) that is doing
something pleasant with her hands to someone, maybe you?
The caressing angel
|Directly under the caressing angel you will recognize a
pair of people, standing face to face. The left one (may be a woman?) is
putting her hand to the genital region of the right person. (Well, they
might be holding each others hand as well.) I have not done any editing
to this part of the image - so you may need some time of looking at this
scene before you recognize the shape of the arms, legs, the tight of the
woman and so on...
Once you have this scene in your mind you should have a look again at the original image. Then you will see the pair in the original scan even better than in this cutted part. Please try this, it is worth investing some time.
The pair, doing something with their hands.
|Now we're rambling to the right side of the image. The biggest
shape that first fixed my look was this structure.
For a long time I have not been able to tell, what exactly sucked my eyes to this place. Then I found that the structure in the middle remembered me to the center part of a nice slender female body. I saw the navel, the middle line going up to the rips and a triangle of black pubic hair. After that I found the whole length of legs down to the basis of the ice cube. The upper parts of the body are not described distinctly. In the version at the right I have made some attempts to mark arms and head where I suppose them to be. In fact when you look a bit longer at this picture you even will be able to recognize a very pretty female face!
This has been very amusing so far, but in the next we will go to have some anchors to oral sex and finally a couple having sexual intercourse!
"Supergirl" and moaning women
|Going to the right we will find another very interesting
Composition of sexual attributes. Look at the image on the left. This part
is located in the lower corner right next to the cigarette box.
We find a female body that I have called "the Supergirl". The "Supergirl" is directly feeding men's lolita fantasies. With a far to big head she has the figure of a little girl, but her sexual attributes are those of a super woman. We find a wide opened mouth, very large breasts and a very small waist like a wasp. Her look is demonic. Is she yelling "Stick something into my wide opened mouth"? Let's hope that all the painter had in mind, was to stick a cigarette there!
To the right we have a series of slightly distorted female faces with open mounds that are superimposed by the edge structures of the ice cube. But once you know about them you will find them easily in the original scan.
Look at the second version of this image now with slightly enhanced contrast. The only editing I have done to the original piece is adding the small black lines for the outlines of face and arm. I think the erotic content is obvious.
and lines added
Having gone so far we might expect to finally find an image of clear
sexual intercourse, because that is what all the thoughts before are
pointing to. Now, where you would put this final signal in an advertising
campaign for a western customer?
Well, the solution is easy: Looking at an image, a painting, a movie scene is heavily influenced by our normal cultural use. In fact an European or American man always will start looking at the upper left corner. Than, finally, he will end at the lower right. So let's have a look at the lower right!
Damn. We cannot see much, because they have cut out the image to place a nice slogan there. But look a while at the scene above to word "test"! Yes, there is something, but it is not clear. No problem, there has been an earlier version of this campaign where they had not cutted out this part. I have a scan of this earlier version too. So here you can see what they wanted to hide now: we find a picture of two peaople having sexual intercourse!
pair having sex
|This is slightly edited version of the scan above.
Outline masked and contrast enhanced
|the same image|
I have shown the upper advertising to some girl friends too. They did
not have the same effect, and even when I explained them the
secret patterns they were not so easily able to see it. So this advertising seems
to have been composed for targeting men with a load of subliminal messages.