In 1973, after seeing the word SEX spelled out on a ritz cracker in a magazine advertisement, nut job Wilson Bryan Key published the landmark study "Subliminal Seduction." Secret, intentionally placed sexual signals were being used by marketers to trick us into loading up on products we didn't need.
Preposterous! What kind of marketer would use sex to sell a product?
Umm...well. It might be more overt today then subliminal, but I don't think one would have much quibble about his basic concept. Subliminal or not, I think it fair to say today that sex IS advertising and vice versa. If you hid your face during the mushy stuff today, you would miss the whole show.
Or is it just me that wants to peer up the billowy Summer skirt of the Verizon woman every time I see her on the screen? I am getting darn tired of rushing up to the box to try.
The vodka gimlet on his book cover doesn't give me a chubby, but maybe I'm not concentrating. Or maybe the gag reflex from that night in high school I vomited for two days after slugging down a pint in a teenage rite of passage is still blinding my perception. WAIT! Did that ice cube just shift and turn into Scarlet Johansson's hacked cellphone picture?
It Pays to Advertise is some 75 pages of stock pin up models from the Silver Studios with hundreds of circa 1955 advertising slogans superimposed over them. Why? No idea. I suspect some Madison Avenue suit, anticipating the day when a television program about his profession would bring back secretaries wearing garters thought it up. The only statement he makes (assuming it is a he...there is no "author" credited, nor is the intern who clipped the slogans from the agency files for him) anticipated a best-seller. All he got was one of the most sexist uses of pin up girls ever. Isn't it odd that the prevailing business culture was even more sexist than the very smut moral defenders were trying to stamp out?
Wilson Bryan Key went on to testify against heavy metal band Judas Priest for subliminally causing a troubled youth to kill himself as a paid witness.
Dull Tool Dim Bulb / Vintage Sleaze Book and Ebook catalog HERE