Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Pepsi "Cool" Can

Today I am going to talk about the Pepsi "Cool" can released in the 1990s. First, I want to just give you the link to the picture of the soda cans so that you can try and find the subliminal message on your own. Look closely, it really is not that hard to spot. I will give you a hint: it is a word.

If you didn't figure it out for yourself, when placed on top of each other the cans spell out "sex." So was this intentional of Pepsi for the cans to spell this? Well, according to a PowerPoint called "The Subliminal Messages in Print Advertising" by Ligia Hernandez and Andrea Larson, Pepsi subliminally manipulated people by designing the cans in such a way so that when the six packs were stacked at grocery stores, it would spell the word "sex."

Again, this goes back to the picture of the naked woman in the Disney movie that I talked about in one of my previous blogs. Sex sells. In my opinion, when Pepsi put the word, "sex" in their six packs it attracted customers because it aroused them and made them subconsciously want to buy Pepsi.

Another example of advertisers trying to boost sales is of an ad put out by Gilbey's gin. Below is a link to a picture of this ad, and like the Pepsi ad, spells out the word "sex." However, this picture does it through the ice cubes in the glass.

Now, to back up these claims that subliminal messaging really does work for these companies, let's look at Pepsi's sales around before and after the Pepsi "cool" can came out. In 1989, the year before the "Cool" can came out, Pepsi's made $15 billion dollars. Now in 1990, the year the "Cool" can came out Pepsi's sales increased by $2.8 billion. Although these figures aren't directly tied to each other, you can definitely draw conclusions based on Pepsi's increase in sales after the "Cool" can came out.

Although the use of subliminal advertising in these two ads cannot be proven to be intentional, it does give you something to think about considering Pepsi's increase in sales after the "Cool" can came out. Next time, I will continue to analyze certain ads and make inferences about them based on what I know. Next time I am going to talk about ads that try and promote something besides sex.

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