Subliminal Advertising in Well-Known Consumer Brands

Subliminal Advertising in Well-Known Consumer Brands

Subliminal advertising is not technically illegal in the United States, but it’s generally frowned upon by the public, regulators and most major advertisers. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped some of America’s business companies from incorporating visual subliminal advertising into their logo that aren’t always readily seen by the casual observer.

Here are 10 of our favorites:

  1. Wendy’s
    Take a close look at the lines forming Wendy’s collar and you’ll see “Mom.” Perhaps this is designed to unconsciously trigger warm memories of mom’s home cooking.
  1. Amazon
    Amazon’s logo is pretty direct in using an arrow to indicate that everything from “A to Z” is available, but that arrow also doubles as the smile—with a dimple—of a satisfied customer.
  1. Gillette Razors
    This razor company’s logo design appears straightforward. Take another look, though, at the “G” and the “dot” over the “i”. Note the sharp, clean lines. You think they’re communicating the razor-sharp cut of their signature product?
  1. FedEx
    Check out the negative space in between the “E” and the “x.” Notice how it takes the form of an arrow, suggesting the speed and efficiency at which the carrier moves packages.
  1. Toblerone
    This wonderful chocolate from Switzerland has a logo of a mountain—no surprise there; however, examine the side of the mountain. It’s an outline of a bear, which is a nod to the city where chocolate was first made, Bern, otherwise known as “The City of the Bears.”
  1. Goodwill Industries
    Goodwill seeks to help those less advantaged in our society. If you look at their logo and the “g” in their name, it shows a smiling face.
  1. Tostitos
    The two lower case “t”s double as people and the “i” represents a table with a bowl of dip they’re enjoying. The yellow triangle represents a tortilla chip for that dip.
  1. Cisco
    We’re all familiar with the logo of this high-tech company. But did you know that the lines represent electromagnetic waves and the San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, which is just miles from their San Jose, Calif., headquarters?
  1. Baskin Robbins
    Famous for their 31 flavors of ice cream, the Baskin Robbins logo reinforces that branding in its logo using the curve of the letter “B” and the straight line of the letter “R” to read “31.”
  1. Pinterest
    Note the shape of the “P” in this social network’s logo. It’s not just the first letter of their company name; the “P” takes the shape of a map pin, reinforcing the idea of using a pinboard to save and discover everything from recipes to ideas for Halloween costumes.

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