Many times ads contain WORDS or IMAGES that are intended to be understood differently by different groups. As you see it here, even greatly reduced in size, this ad does not seem subtle, let alone subliminal.

But to many women in America, the word "kiss" in the partial sentence above is most likely to be a euphemism meaning: "perform oral sex." The woman's position re- inforces this sexual meaning. If this is a freeze-frame from a movie, a fantasy of beautiful people, what happened before? What happens next? What does the look on her face and the touch of his hand tell you. Is this is a 'before' or an 'after' fantasy.

The picture sets limits on what the words "When I kiss my man" can mean. They are limited to being about hetero-sexual contact. The words-- without the picture--could apply also to homo-sexual contact. The big question is: Why would anyone use such a blatantly sexual picture to sell non-sexual products? The answer seems strange.

As far back as 30 years ago, some research studies were reported to show that strong sexual content REDUCES conscious recall of an ad and its product. In other words, after being exposed to the ad you are not likely to be able to tell yourself (of anyone else) that you remember the ad or what product it was for. BUT, that doesn't mean it wasn't effective. Studies also show that remembering was enhanced. Although you don't consciously recall it, you do have the ad & product stored in mind for later use--such as an impulsive (unplanned) purchase of the product, "just to give it a try."

Corporate researchers may or may not actually know if obvious or subtle sexual content in ads has had significantly different impacts on individuals and on society at various stages of the sexual revolution. Do they have answers to the question: would subliminal details in ads be more or less effective in selling products during a sexually repressed era than during a sexually open era? For commercial reasons, researchers probably would be constrained from saying much, especially if they knew for sure.

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