The ad starts off as a fairly typical alcoholic beverage piece. A relaxing Mexican beach appears to be pouring out of a bottle of Corona Extra. Shore scenes are often used to equate the product with memories or fantasies of romantic vacation adventures.
And then we follow Alice through the looking glass.
Alongside the Corona label is an image that looks like a cross section of a female breast similar to an illustration in a human anatomy text. To the right of the pouring beverage (in the picture immediately above that’s on the back of the truck, left for the side shown at the top of the post) is another breast with a prominent nipple. Looking at the last picture in this post (close-up of the bottle top), in the blue water above that breast there are two pairs of small splashes that look like bosoms. This representation is reminiscent of the familiar images of pouring milk. At the top and bottom of the picture is beer foam appearing like waves breaking on the shore. This ties in with the overt tropical paradise message of the ad. Looking closely, especially in the top set, we find a number of pairs of bosoms, each with a white spot for an areola.
The repetition of breast images certainly serves as a sexual spice. But, particularly in conjunction with the white beer “head” rising to the top like cream and the milk splashes, this landscape of bosoms also introduces the idea of breast-feeding and infantile regression. In addition, froth conjures up the unconscious thought of ejaculation, as does the liquid issuing from the bottle.
To the right of the pouring bottle, there’s a series of concentric circles that evoke a graphic device used to induce a hypnotic trance through eye fixation. As the delivery trucks drive through traffic, one needs to wonder about the ethics of displaying an image that’s intended to divert attention and to captivate by reducing awareness.
The collar of the bottle has been modified to increase the resemblance to a phallus. A mushroom cap (the fleshy head of a fungus) may have been incorporated into the picture and /or the shading enhanced. Here the drops of condensation form a row that brings to mind penile papules. What looks like the stem of the mushroom is an infant’s pacifier either superimposed or actually inserted into the bottle. The outline of the pacifier can be seen extending into the bore of the bottle. Within the stream of beer appear cavorting inkblot figures.
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Has anyone seen this Corona ad anywhere other than on a vehicle? I wonder if the vehicle installation was chosen to amplify, to relay, and to preserve the subliminal messages? In motion, the ad can assume an animated character and is amplified. Not fixed, but being in many places each day, the ad gets a wide audience and is relayed. A moving target, it’s unlikely that a viewer will have the opportunity to concentrate and interpret, and so the subliminal veil is maintained.