Georgi Vodka bus ad

Georgi Vodka bus ad

These images are — cleverly — frequently installed on the backside of a bus. The Georgi billboards, though extreme in the amount of skin shown, are conventional liquor advertising. An attention-grabbing woman is pictured next to a bottle of the brand. The association with the product is made complete with Georgi displayed on her derriere.

The dusting of sand on the model’s buns (obvious when the poster is seen in the street) brings in another stock alcoholic beverage ad theme: the beach and/or the tropics. Cleary, the average person does not think of sea and sun as part of the Russian scene. The purpose of the shore reference is to link the product with remembered, imagined, or even mythic vacation romps. The intended customer’s mind is made to follow Ponce de Leon in a search for the Fountain of Youth. It turns out that you now can buy it by the bottle.

Bacardi’s tug-of-war with Facebook

Bacardi Make a Status Update in Person billboard

Every Facebook user is one less customer for Bacardi is the raison d’etre of this ad.

The image encourages personal interaction and produces the suggestion that Bacardi is necessary for this. The two triggers are night (black bats and the amber — moon — bat) and the term “status update.” “Update” is colored amber like the moon. In addition to serving as a suggestion (to spark an urge to go to a bar or party after seeing the words “status update), an up-date is certainly suggestive. In addition to the usual sexual unconditioned stimulus there also is the additional dimension of status.

Majorska’s Silent (Sales)Woman

Majorska Premium Vodka bus ad

This piece starts off as a conventional alcoholic beverage ad in that a shapely — and for all practical purposes unclad — woman is displayed in close proximity to a liquor bottle. The similarity of the auburn hair of the model to the scarlet curtains framing the label further associates her with the product.

The red border of the entire poster suggests that this is a traditional Russian brand. The background includes orange and yellow and the letters give the appearance of black and white stripes. These are nature’s colors and patterns for demanding attention, often to warn that the bearer is poisonous as with the coral snake or the lion fish.

What’s particularly unnerving about the image is that the young lady’s head and legs are cut off, excising personality from sexuality. Is this just to focus attention on the charms barely contained by a bikini? In English pub signs similar “silent woman” images are not uncommon. At the very least, some simmering hatred of women is required to appreciate this motif.

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Hoboken PATH 2005 Michelob faceless woman ad

In 2005, Anheuser-Busch installed a similar “silent woman” image on the floor of the Hoboken NJ PATH subway station. Because of the nature of the graphic and that commuters were compelled to walk on the picture of the woman’s body, activists demanded the ad’s removal.

People walking on Hoboken PATH 2005 faceless woman ad

Remy Martin Things Are Getting Interesting billboard

Remy Martin Things Are Getting Interesting billboard

Liquor marketing often targets non-Caucasians. After all, starting as it did with the Indians, sales of alcoholic beverages to people of color is as American as apple pie. Certainly the makers of Remy Martin will not mind if this billboard attracts African-Americans to the brand. Be that as it may, this smart ad actually seeks a much wider, general audience. Here an African-American stereotype is what’s being promoted — specifically the idea of sexual superiority. Those struck down by feelings of inferiority along the lines of Robin William’s quip concerning condoms in the film Good Morning, Vietnam (available in three sizes: large, medium, Caucasian) now have hope: You can buy it in a bottle!

The African-American man in the image is obviously irresistible to women, who — quite literally — can’t keep their hands off of him. The Hispanic and Asiatic women are types that the average man will often see and perhaps work with, but not really know. These women are likely to be characters in fantasies, perhaps unconscious. The man is brown-skinned. This color actually seems to be reflected by the amber-toned women. In the background there also appears to be brown paneling, as might be expected in a tavern.

The Remy Martin Centaur logo is on the right. Quite clearly the ad’s crafters had no uncertainty about the existence of symbols operating subconsciously. The icon from the unconscious serves as an unconditioned stimulus. This representation of the mythic creature combines a number of phallic symbols. The centaur is a man who is a powerful beast below the waist. The position of the arms forms a straight line pointing up that is parallel to the about-to-be-thrown spear.

This Remy Martin billboard attempts to invoke an Imitative Magic spell as described by Frazer in the Golden Bough. The ancient mode of thought works this way: African-Americans possess sexual power. African-Americans have brown skin. Remy Martin cognac is brown, so drinking Remy Martin will transfer / confer sexual power to the imbiber.