Benefiber: The Old Man in the Bottle


I was looking at this ad for Benefiber, trying to figure out the relationship of the liquids to the bars. I figured it’s supposed to be the juice that went into the flavors of the bar.

Then something hit me.

I used to be interested in subliminal advertising—hidden pictures that are supposed to influence your perception of the product. I’ve seen enough examples of the use of subliminals to believe that it’s real but for the purpose of this blog, I don’t look for them or discuss the subject. Someone can do an entire blog on subliminals, but that’s outside the scope of this blog.

Having said that, this jumped out at me, so I have to comment on it.

Take a look at the faces in the liquid. They’re profiles that look like old bearded Asian men. Here’s a detail:


Here’s the same image converted to black and white with the extraneous detail removed:


Now click on the complete ad at the top of the page to open an enlarged version in a new window. Since each bottle is essentially a duplicate of the others, you’ll see four faces, two looking to the left and two looking to the right. It’s like there are two pairs of faces looking at each other.

There’s another strange image in the mix here. If you look at the color detail image above, you’ll see something above the face image that looks like a thumb. It’s where the brim of the cap would be, at the upper left.

I don’t know why these images appear in this ad. It could be a joke on the part of the graphics people. It could be a subliminal that’s supposed to influence the consumer in some way.

What do you think?

By Marc Librescu


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