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 sub-liminal.

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 into it.

Skinless face

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.


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