The original of this ad was forty percent larger,
making the details, especially those in the glass, much easier to
see. But don't let that slow you down. What kind of face do you see
most obviously--in the glass below, for instance?
It's the kind of face that suggests death. It's very
common in alcohol ads.
Most people can consciously notice it--the skull
shape--near the bottom of the glass even before it's pointed out to
them, once they realize they should pay attention instead of just
half noticing. But remember, in advertising, you're supposed to
half-notice. Otherwise, everything would be liminal, not
Notice the work of the designer. The lines converging
at the very bottom of the glass actually point up to the skull shape,
like a volcano, drawing your attention to it. In most people's minds,
volcanos are also associated with death and dying.
If you still can't see it, here's a closer view. If
nothing else the closeup reveals that this glass and everything in it
is a painting, not a photo. That allows almost anything to be put
Why skulls, death, dying in alcohol ads??? That's what
alcoholism is about: slow-motion suicide. "If you don't stop
drinking, it's going to kill you." people say. That boozer always
says: "I know." And he or she always does know. That's what the ads
are speaking to.
| Back | Topics