What Is Subliminal Advertising Examples? Have you heard of subliminal advertising ? Surely yes, and perhaps not always with positive connotations. From people who think that it is a way to control consumers to others who believe that it is one of the most creative methods of Marketing.

Regardless of what opinion it is, what cannot be denied is that this type of strategy can have very interesting results for your Brand and, carried out in a professional manner, could lead to successful sales.

But are we really clear about what subliminal advertising is? To clarify this topic so debated around certain offline and online sales techniques, I am going to explain its more concrete definition and what are its advantages. In addition, I will give you some excellent examples to understand this way of doing Marketing and what you can achieve for your business.

What Is Subliminal Advertising And What Is It For?

The subliminal advertising is that which Using an audiovisual message (video, image and / or sound) emitted behind the threshold of conscious perception, seeks to encourage the consumption of a product or service.

This is a Marketing technique somewhat more complex than the most direct methods, which not only tries to give the good points of a product so that the target audience ends up buying it, but also seeks to influence us subconsciously to create the “need” to acquire something, and as you can imagine, doing this is not easy.

It is necessary to take into account many factors to influence people’s subconscious, and unlike more classical or direct methods, it uses much more subtle and, in a way, imperceptible aspects, and this is what makes it quite special. and surprising at the same time.

To be more clear, it is a type of advertising technique that seeks to exert a positive influence on the subconscious of people, so that they carry out a certain action.

And to achieve this, as we have already said, specialists use images, texts, audios and / or videos , which are characterized by going unnoticed, that is, they are not used or mentioned directly. This allows the subconscious to detect them and the person to be influenced.

Why Is There Usually So Much Controversy With Subliminal Advertising?

As you can see, this way of inadvertently influencing people’s behavior, as you can imagine, has always generated a certain debate between brands and end consumers.

The first thing you should know about it is that there are those who consider this type of advertising as invasive ; after all, their goal is to “put some pressure” on people, without them noticing.

However, this is a topic of debate that I am not going to delve into, although people are being ” encouraged ” to perform certain actions, it does not happen to such an extent that the person would do something totally out of their normal behavior, that is: you are not forcing them .

In addition, the objective of any Marketing strategy is to make people buy something, so there is not much difference (except the specific method) that is used to achieve it.

On the other hand, another controversial aspect is its effectiveness. Yes, it is effective in many circumstances, and many large companies such as the famous Coca-Cola have used this methodology with excellent results.

But there are experts who consider that it has many requirements and needs many uncontrollable factors and variables to be effective.

What I mean by this? Well, there are professionals who consider subliminal advertising to be very risky and an unsafe method of getting sales. The truth, of course, is that there are indeed success stories from many companies, so I leave it to your discretion whether this method really works or not.

Having clarified this, let’s see a little what the benefits are for your company:

What Are The Advantages Of Using Subliminal Advertising In Your Business?

woman feels like a superhero

Compared to others, we must highlight that it is positive and adds value to the Brand that puts it into practice for the following reasons:

1. Used Correctly, It Is Very Effective

One of the main advantages is that, when used correctly, it is quite effective .

And is that, because its objective is to influence the subconscious of consumers, it can have a great effect to achieve sales, creating the need to acquire a certain product in those who see this type of advertising actions.

2. Versatile, With Many Alternatives When Implementing It

We can comment on it that it is quite versatile, being able to use various audiovisual formats to function, from sound and videos to text and images .

This means that there is a wide variety of alternatives when planning and creating subliminal advertising. Then I will show you some success stories with examples that will help you see the different possibilities.

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3. Can Be Used In Virtually Any Setting

Another great advantage it has is that you can use subliminal advertising almost anywhere, be it in a normal commercial, a publication on any of the main social networks, or even within a movie.

Even in the presentation of the product it is possible to add this type of message, which increases the possibilities of sale on the spot.

This is another example of how versatile they can be. In addition, you can put different subliminal messages in one place , as long as they are as unnoticed as possible and, of course, do not incite deception.

4. It can help you reflect the positive aspects of your Brand

Used creatively, it can also help you enhance the positive or most important aspects of your brand .

This will help you enormously when you want to improve the positioning of your Brand and that people remember it and have it in their “top of mind”.

8 Examples Of Subliminal Advertising That Will Surprise You

Now that you know what subliminal advertising is and some of its advantages in the corporate sphere, I will show you some examples in which this type of Marketing has been implemented and that, without a doubt, will surprise you:

1. Ferrari and Marlboro

Let’s start with a fairly well-known and controversial case, this is the famous case of Marlboro subliminal advertising in the Scuderia Ferrari body color scheme .

The background of the story is that, after the ban on advertising tobacco products by the National Committee for the Prevention of Tobacco (CNPT), in conjunction with the Association of Communication Users (ASC), Scuderia Ferrari was accused of using subliminal advertising, hinting at the famous tobacco brand.

Ferrari and Marlboro

As you can see, it consists of a barcode; a normal code at a glance,… but that, if you pay special attention, you can see that said coding has the colors of the Marlboro cigar pack .

In fact, this relationship can be seen more closely if the image is blurred.

Despite the efforts of Ferrari to deny the attempt to Marketing this other brand, many people consider that the relationship, once detected, is very obvious, and that it alludes perfectly to Marlboro.

The most striking thing about the case is that at first glance you do not notice this similarity, and it seems like just another barcode.

2. Pepsi and Coca Cola, The Never Ending War

Another case that was quite shocking was that of the Pepsi Halloween advertisement, in which a can has a layer with the name of Coca Cola with a text that says: ” We wish you a chilling Halloween .” A direct attack on his nemesis.

So far, everything was going normal, a classic brand competition; But everything escalated when Coca Cola struck back, and in what way did it!

It turns out that, using the same Pepsi image, and changing only the message, Coca Cola managed to strike back at its competitor. The message? ” Everyone wants to be a hero .”

Pepsi and Coca Cola, the never ending war

As you can see, the same image can serve to give two totally different messages; But we are not here because of that, but because of the subliminal message that this advertisement has.

In the case of Pepsi, it is a can disguised as Coca Cola, hinting that this other brand is ” terrifying “ (in the negative, obvious sense).

On the other hand, the Coca Cola one uses the same image to take a hero posture, making people feel that this drink is heroic or that it makes you a hero.

Despite not being the most discreet example of all, it is quite fun, and, above all, a proof that the meaning of an image can make a 180 ° turn with the correct words.

3. The Simpsons and Their “Join the Navy” Campaign

This case is quite curious, and it is something that does not seek to sell you a product, but seeks to incite you to join the Navy .

It turns out that during season 12, a chapter aired in which Bart forms a band with three of his companions, which is promoted by a new character, LT Smash.

Now, the subliminal begins here, the first thing to note is that ” LT ” are the acronyms used to abbreviate the Anglo-Saxon word ” Lieutenant “ which in Spanish would become a lieutenant, a military post.

As if this were not enough, it is later discovered that the character is, in effect, a member of the US Navy.

Interesting, right? But it doesn’t end here.

In addition to the name and profession of this character, it should be added that one of the songs has a curious message that says ” Yvan eht nioj “ , which, if we turn it over, means ” Join the Navy “, which translates into ” Join the Navy . “

A rather curious example that demonstrates one of the various ways of using these messages to promote a product, service or activity .

4. Amazon’s Smile

Another case is the Amazon logo. There are two things to keep in mind at this point, so pay attention.

Amazon's smile

The first aspect is undoubtedly the ” arrow “, an arrow that is specifically designed so that you unconsciously see it as a smile. This smile in turn denotes happiness and satisfaction , two key feelings that we look for when buying a product, ingenious, right?

Now, the second aspect is the beginning and end of the arrow, which begins at A and ends with Z .

It may seem that it has no general purpose, but you must remember that the motto of this corporation is “From A to Z” or “From A to Z”; without a doubt, a creative way to use your logo indicating that they have everything you are looking for, from A to Z.

5. FedEx, Delivery Speed

FedEx is a well-known shipping brand; Similar to Amazon and its logo keeps a simple, but effective “hidden” message, which helps the brand deliver a message to its customers.

FedEx delivery speed

Perhaps at first glance it is not appreciated, but if you look between the letter ” E ” and the ” X “, you can see a small arrow .

By itself this arrow hardly represents anything, but if you associate it with the corporation and what it does, you will realize that it is a creative and inadvertent way of saying ” we are the fastest in shipping “ , a beneficial message for any company in shipments.

6. Sex Sells, and SFX Knows It

” Sex sells “, this famous phrase is well known, and reasons are not lacking, but it is not the protagonist at this point, but SFX, the science fiction magazine, which has a peculiar way of using this phrase.

Sex sells, and SFX knows it

As you can see, the magazine has the peculiar tradition of slightly covering the bottom of the letter F in its magazine, which means that, when reading it, the first thing that comes to mind is the word ” SEX “, and not ” SFX “ as it really is.

As a curious fact, you should know that it is much more likely to happen if the character on the cover is a woman . In fact, in the 4 editions of the ” Defenders ” series , only the Jessica Jones edition showed this message.

7. Hope For African Children Initiative

Hope For African Children , which was launched in 2000, is an initiative that seeks to make visible the problems of children in Africa, as well as help them and give them hope for a better life. From this initiative, what I want to highlight is the way to create a logo so that it can be freely interpreted by those who see it:

Hope For African Children Initiative

As you can see, it has two perspectives, the first one is the African continent, while the second perspective is that of an adult and a child.

Both perspectives give a message, the first is obvious, the place; while the second shows the close relationship between adults and children , which seeks to solve the problems that the latter suffer in Africa.

A pretty nice subliminal message, and an advertisement promoting a good cause.

8. Pirates of the Caribbean and Mickey Mouse

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most famous movie sagas of the “house of the mouse”, and therefore, there is no reason not to associate them.

Pirates of the Caribbean and Mickey Mouse

Do you notice anything in the skull? No? Well, maybe you want to take a closer look, because if you look at the skull and the two torches, you can notice the classic Disney symbol , the head of Mickey Mouse, of course not so obvious.

While the two fires form the ears, the skull forms the mouse’s head. Sure, consciously it is difficult to perceive, but subconsciously?

A unique way to stamp your movies.


As you have found, behind each ad or Marketing campaign, there may be one or more additional messages that cause us positive connotations towards the Brand that issues it.

Likewise, they can also use it to subtly launch an order to other companies in their competition, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Source: josefacchin.com