Triptych

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I came across this cigarette print ad in a December, 1963 NY Giants program.

There’s the mirror which is part of the central theme of being a role model. Smoking is equated with masculinity. A role model serves as a reflection of manhood. Also interesting is the placement of the image of the standing ash tray in the mirror over the electric outlet. Advertising is all you need to travel through the looking glass.

BMW Diesel TV Commercial — “Do that again.”

Do note the curious call to action: “It’s time to come clean.”

This current ad uses the dynamic (Freudian) unconscious to associate the word “diesel” with “dildo.” Here’s the yang to the Svedka robot’s yin.

In Marshall McLuhan’s 1951 collection of essays, The Mechanical Bride, he discussed the conjunction of the sexual and the mechanical in the shared mind. Here’s just a bit from McLuhan’s preface:
“Ours is the first age in which many thousands of the best-trained individual minds have made it a full-time business to get inside the collective public mind. To get inside in order to manipulate, exploit, control is the object now. And to generate heat not light is the intention. To keep everybody in the helpless state engendered by prolonged mental rutting is the effect of many ads and much entertainment alike.
. . .
“But amid the diversity of our inventions and abstract techniques of production and distribution there will be found a great degree of cohesion and unity. This consistency is not conscious in origin or effect and seems to arise from a sort of collective dream.”
. . .

From the essay Love-Goddess Assembly Line:
“. . . one of the most peculiar features of our world — the interfusion of sex and technology. It is not a feature created by the ad men, but it seems rather to be born of a hungry curiosity to explore and enlarge the domain of sex by mechanical technique, on one hand, and, on the other, to possess machines in a sexually gratifying way.”
. . .

From the essay The Mechanical Bride:
. . .
“It would be a mistake, therefore, to equate the intensity of the current glamour campaigns and techniques with any corresponding new heights of man-woman madness. Sex weariness and sex sluggishness are, in measure at least, both the cause and increasingly the outcome of these campaigns. No sensitivity of response could long survive such a barrage. What does survive is the view of the human body as a sort of love-machine capable merely of specific thrills. This extremely behavioristic view of sex, which reduces sex experience to a problem in mechanics and hygiene, is exactly what is implied and expressed on all sides. It makes inevitable both the divorce between physical pleasure and reproduction and also the case for homosexuality. In the era of thinking machines, it would be surprising, indeed, if the love-machine were not thought of as well.
. . .
“. . . is a popular dream art which works trance-like inside a situation that is never grasped or seen, And this trance seems to be what perpetuates the widely occurring cluster image of sex, technology, and death which constitutes the mystery of the mechanical bride.”

From the essay The Tough as Narcissus
. . .
“The terror inspired by wild beasts, which led tribal societies to get psychologically inside the tribal totem animal, is being repeated today to the degree that those who are confused or overwhelmed by a machine world are encouraged to become psychologically hard, brittle, and smoothly metallic. The slick-chick and the corporation executive, as they now register on the popular imagination, are already inside the totem machine.”

More horticultuture

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Here’s another print ad from over fifty years ago, November 11, 1961. It appeared in the program of a New York City area pro football game.

The shade of red — and even the sheen — of the woman’s lips matches both the Coke cup and the logo.

The chrysanthemum actually has been cut (as with an exacto knife) from a photo and then physically pasted in the painting. The supraliminal stimulus of the flower has the subliminal effect of making an accomplice of the unconscious of the viewer in the product’s promotion. There’s also a similarity to the more current use of hypnotic spirals.

Say it with flowers?

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Like it was yesterday, I can remember the professor’s remark in Psych 101 when we started on Psychoanalysis: “After you’ve studied Freud, when someone says it with flowers, you’ll know exactly what it is that they’re trying to say.”

Do note on what the man has his hands. Since the woman is blushing, his viewing the orchid has engendered embarrassment. For him, seeing the flower is very exciting; he’s staring and his jaw’s dropped.

This advertising image uses a supraliminal stimulus with a subliminal response. The orchid and the box are clearly accessible to the conscious mind. The unconscious equates the flower and case with sexual anatomy. The next step progresses from Psychoanalysis to Pavlovian conditioning. The unconscious’s charged understanding of the setting — essentially getting to third base — is associated with the brand’s tobacco concoction.

This ad appeared on the back cover of the 1942 Sporting News Official Baseball Record Book.