Examples of Subliminal Messages

Sexual subliminal messages can appear in advertisements in a few different ways. In many of the following examples, the word “sex” or other sexual profanities are hidden in the image. In the other following examples, sexual imagery or phallic objects appear in the visuals of the advertisement to allude to sexual themes.

Here, you can see the word sex hidden in the image of this couple on a boat.


This Gucci ad depicts a pretty obvious use of phallic images with the way the hand grips the belt and how it is positioned in relation to where his penis would be. 

media analysis

In this interactive banner from Subway’s official website, the animated sandwich steam rises from the sub, spelling out the word “sex”.

phelpsThis one is an example of how the Sunny Delight logo is strategically formed in a phallic shape.SunnyD

In this advertisement, not only the words used (“try our hard pack”) imply sexual themes, but the hidden phallic images do as well.the-original-ad-is-on-the-left-subliminal-parts-are-highlighted-on-the-right

In this shocking Coca Cola ad, there is an image of oral sex hidden in the ice.subliminal-advertising_160276-e1374787420143

Similarly, Coke hid the implication of sex into their soda machine by modifying the ice on top of the can into the form of a woman’s curvy body. Screen shot 2010-07-19 at 3.33.57 PM

Pepsi follows suit by imbedding the word “sex” into the boy’s shorts in this advertisement. pep

In this advertisement, the ketchup is being poured onto the hot dog in a way that is meant to appear similar to the image of a tongue on a penis.ketchup

Likewise, this beer ad, which uses subtle placement of beer bottles to illustrate a woman’s behind and legs when turned upside-down. Heineken-Subliminal-Message

This advertisement is similar in that it uses common objects to reference the sexual imagery of a woman’s breasts.ddeedbb071319e6d91771c83c390b543

This image uses the phallicy of the rocket on the computer screen headed in the direction of the woman’s genitalia to imply sex in the advertisement.


This advertisement is a little more obvious in that it implies oral sex with the way the sandwich is shaped and placed directly in front of the woman’s open mouth.

burger king adtimes

Similar to the use of Heineken bottles to shape a woman’s behind, this ice cream advertisement places the chocolate bars in the shape of a woman’s back, behind, and legs. 


Going back to the theme of advertisements that use hidden letters to spell out “sex”, this Gin advertisement imbed the letters into the ice to associate the product with sex. 


This one is more a phallic example again, where the seat and emergency break in the car indicate a man’s erection.boner

This advertisement from the British yellowpages pictures a woman touching her genitalia when turned upside-down, exemplifying explicit sexual imagery in the advertisement.adtimes (24)

In this Calvin Klein advertisement, the producers used the table in the background to form an “F”, the neckline of the woman’s top to form a “U”, and the CK for their brand all in conjunction to spell out a sexual word, hidden in the image. adtimes (29)

Again, very similar to the Heineken and Magnum advertisements, this foot cream ad uses feet in order to allude to a woman’s behind.a079f0f444aadb9ed1b5a188ed2c6a59

This is a pretty clear use of inanimate objects to create phallicy in the advertisement.80715434

In this example, oranges are purposely placed in this way to create the shape of a woman’s behind in thong underwear to go along with the stereotype of Brazil to have lots of women with big assets and help to sell their brand.


Similarly, the fruit in these ads are meant to mimic sexual body forms including breasts, buttocks, rectums and vaginas. 


This advertisement is extremely comparable to the last in that the object to be sold is used to allude to the sexuality of a woman’s breast. 


This image again uses objects to mimic sexual forms, and in this case it uses certain body parts to allude to other body parts. The two fingers are meant to imply legs and the hair between them to imply pubic hair, providing another example of sexual image imbeds. 


Pepsi uses “sex” in their product again with the design on these soda cans spelling out the word when stacked one on top of the other. 


This advertisement uses phallicy once again to portray the building in the background as male genitalia, associating the company with sexual innuendos. 

1glengarry-26490100015_xlargeThis video describes how an ice cream company uses the allusion of a woman’s body in their commercial to connect their product with sex subliminally. 

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