Ad-versive

Here follows a short article because the upcoming quote made me think & remember:

According to … Advertising Age, the major publication of the advertising industry, “Only eight percent of an ad’s message is received by the conscious mind; …

… the rest is worked & reworked deep within the recesses of the brain, where a product’s positioning & repositioning takes shape”.”                                   Can’t Buy My Love ~Jean Kilbourne

Onz upona time this ice cream gave me a hell of a fright.

No, it had nothing to do with size.

It was because it vaulted out of a bus shelter & straight into my peripheral vision.

Had I not been such a lady or I might have said:

“Arghhh … what the fuck was that?”

If you’ve done those magic eye 3-D pictures …

… you’ll have had a similar kind of experience where the image suddenly jumps out at you from the page.

I was so shocked at being assaulted by an ice cream that I went back with my camera & took his picture.

It is a ‘him’.

It was not as easy as I thought it would be, to get people to see the monster – to blur their eyes enough to stop SEEING an ice-cream because that’s what they were being told it was.

And anyway who expects to find something demonic in an ice cream?

When my son got it, he told me that the face reminded him of the Gentlemen from the Buffy series:

The Gentlemen were …

… bald, pale humanoids that never spoke but were always grinning maliciously through metallic teeth …  They did not walk, but instead hovered about a foot above the ground, standing perfectly straight.

“Can’t even shout.
Can’t even cry.
The Gentlemen are coming by.
Looking in windows,
knocking on doors…
They need to take seven
and they might take yours…
Can’t call to mom.
Can’t say a word.
You’re gonna die screaming
but you won’t be heard.”       ―Girl in Buffy’s dream

The sound of a human voice was fatal to the Gentlemen, so upon arrival in a new town they stole the voices of every inhabitant through a …

magical box. This forced silence had the added benefit of none of their victims were able to scream for help as the Gentlemen cut their hearts from their still-living bodies

How wonderfully coincidentally strange that that poem should link the Gentlemen to ice-cream:

You’re gonna die screaming” 

Come on … lost your voice?  Sound it out!

You’re gonna d-ice creaming“.

Well really! If you’ve got no voice, you won’t be screaming.

That’s not the only place I’ve seen ice cream linked to horror & death.

Understanding that the English language is a tongue of supreme mind-fuckery, the twin sounds of ice cream & I scream, should really be leading to questions.

Here follows the other bus-stop reason I originally wrote about the demon ice cream.

A completely harmless, though highly coloured gelato-ensemble.

Nowt wrong with that surely?

Well you have a couple of choices.

  1. call me a looney & then bugger off
  2. blur your eyes & see for yourself

Cherchez la skull

Now ask why you would someone put a skull in an ice cream ad?

These are I /eye tricks –
so they’re stylised –
but they’re there –
quite clearly there.

Why are they there?

It’s all very well to look for subliminal sex tricks, but what if there’s a lot more going on.

A lot about trauma & a lot about death.

Only eight percent of an ad’s message is received by the conscious mind; the rest is worked & reworked deep within the recesses of the brain, where a product’s positioning & repositioning takes shape”.

This isn’t meant to be a scary monster article – rather just a suggestion to look more curiously at the shapes of mindfucks ads because once you’ve seen something, I think a lot of their dirty magic is broken.

Additional … One last thing I left out of first draft.  The first ‘monster’ ice cream is really, really big so that’s why there’s a whale, right?

Let the thesaurus double-speak:

… and even more.

Thanks to all commenters for inspiring extra thoughts:

Even as little children, we screamed for ice cream… I forgot about that. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” ~ Joanne

I can’t stop thinking about this “ice cream/ i scream” thing.  For starters, why is that always the go-to reward in TV shows or movies?” … “what is the deal with the creepy ice cream truck driver? I’m not sure if this is common in NZ, but here in the US, many neighborhoods an ice cream truck that goes around in the summer playing creepy music (usually nursery rhymes, I think) to lure the children over to buy ice cream. ” ~ Kathy

… plus a little something from Rebel Country:

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December 14, 2011. Uncategorized.

41 Comments

  1. GladGal replied:

    Thanks once again Alex

  2. Katherine replied:

    Amazing work as usual, Lady A.

    The last sentence reminded me of a quote from Brave New World, which I think fits quite well with this article, but also your work in general:

    “…there was always the risk of their reading something which might undesirably decondition one of their reflexes…”

    Who knows how long it will take us to decondition all of those reflexes that we have developed from a lifetime of programming, or if that is at all possible….but thank you so much, for helping those of us who are at least trying, along that long and difficult journey.

    You are doing great things and very much appreciated.

  3. Joanne replied:

    Brilliant! Can’t wait to see where this goes!

    Your ice cream notes made me think of a Tori Amos song, called Spark. “If the divine master plan is perfection, maybe next I’ll give Judas a try. Trusting my soul to the ice cream assassin…” Not recommending it like it’s a good thing Alex, talking about earworms & mindeffs again, just saying – sometimes your work reminds me of her songs.

    You’re really onto something with the I scream – isn’t that strange? Even as little children, we screamed for ice cream… I forgot about that. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Is that trusting our souls to the ice cream assassin or what?

    Looking forward to seeing where the imagery takes you :] Excellent work

  4. paulo replied:

    the whale is mister penis… those evil advertisers only think in deviant messages?

    • James B replied:

      Yeah that’s what i saw too Paulo…not exactly subtle is it?

  5. Biggi replied:

    Dear Alex,
    I like those magic eye 3-D pictures have always fun decoding them.
    Now it’s time to focus on the real world pictures and see them with your own magic eyes.
    Thank you for pointing this out. Great work.

  6. Katherine replied:

    Hello again, Lady A :)

    Sorry to flood your comment section, but I can’t stop thinking about this “ice cream/ i scream” thing.

    For starters, why is that always the go-to reward in TV shows or movies? If the children have been good the parents take them out for ice cream. I don’t know how often that happens in real life, probably not as much as we are led to believe, and I would guess that many people do it because it is the cliche reward now?

    Second, and I feel like this may be pretty significant, but what is the deal with the creepy ice cream truck driver? I’m not sure if this is common in NZ, but here in the US, many neighborhoods an ice cream truck that goes around in the summer playing creepy music (usually nursery rhymes, I think) to lure the children over to buy ice cream. I have always found this to be a bit odd and find it even more strange after reading your article and having some time to think about it. Also, the ice cream truck drivers are typically men and from my experience not exactly the type of people you would usually let near your children….and yet, there they are selling them sweets.

    Anyway, just been mulling over your article and these ideas crossed my mind. Thanks again for everything.

  7. alex robinson replied:

    My pleasure GladGal

    Hi Kathy,
    Thanks for your great thoughts, I love this:

    “…there was always the risk of their reading something which might undesirably decondition one of their reflexes…”

    … surely this is what we can all do for each other if we will speak the simple truth.

    You asked some great questions – why is ice-cream THE reward food for kids?
    Why are ice cream vans & their music so damn creepy … & why didn’t I notice this until you mentioned it??

    Hugs & thanks

    Hi Joanne
    Isn’t it wonderful how little questions can open out to such big understandings, when people start asking questions & speaking about what they know, but don’t realise they know.

    Not sure If I’m going far with this as I have so many things lined up – but you never know :]

    hope life is daring

    Hi Paulo
    Yes it does look a bit like that, or even worse :] – but yes the placement just helps underline the demon thoery – just try holding your hand like that – I made a cone shape with a piece of paper, you just can’t hold your hand like that – the little finger is all wrong – you wouldn’t be able to see it – instead it’s been used to create the ‘opening’ that becomes the mouth.

    Bastards!

    cheers

    Danke Biggi
    Hope you are living wild :]

    Hugs

  8. James B replied:

    This of course, ties in to this: http://vimeo.com/10370790, although I’m guessing many of you would have already seen this a while ago.

  9. James B replied:

    And where have i seen that Street’s ice cream logo before? Hmmm…. http://tuecaa.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/clsymbols.jpg

  10. Michael replied:

    An anagram for Lactose is “A Closet”, where do the boogie men usually come from? Is there something we SHOULD be fearing in these tasty treats? I mean, drinking cow milk isn’t the healthiest thing you can do, but why subconsciously scare us with it? Ice Cream tends to be used as a reward, to be good, or to do as we’re told. To do what we don’t want to, to console us. To make up for it. For the trauma we just endured. A subconscious warning label? This post and the train of thought reminded me of this episode of Moral Orel. http://vimeo.com/16115034

    Looking forward to your next post Alex.

  11. Mick replied:

    Sex and death again! And again, and again. This world is truly binary. Ice cream and clowns together – both make you scream with laughter and excitement when a kid. So funny I could die laughing. laugh/scream – sex/death? Lactose/ a closet reminded me of Mat Delooze’s assertion that milk is to do with Moloch – a killer clown lurking in the subconscious? When I was a young hippy teen our ice cream creepy van man ( he was a furry freak brother) always left a ‘gift’ at the bottom of the cone.
    There’s more, but it aint seeing daylight yet.
    Thanks Alex.

  12. Mick replied:

    Sorry, but those logos James linked. Hearts-vagina-anus: the sweet taste of some child’s defilement. Ice scream – sticky, white and cold on the skin – cum and get it. A man’s penis is a whale of a monster to a young child. This is a sick world (mind) we live in. Eat too much ice cream and you will be sick. Like those shadows flitting on the edge of vision, I’m skirting the point of this. All I can cum up with – we is the food.

  13. Ed replied:

    Buggers and milk are inseparable aren’t they. Speaking of, did ya know Mitt Romney can’t get enough chocolate milk. Michael you are right, those closet cases cant get enough lactose in their system.

    These freaks are soo gross!

  14. Max replied:

    As I belong to a generation whose members are heavily influenced by video games, this article brought up a cut scene of a video game (“GTA: Vice City”) in my mind which I played many years ago.

    I’ve searched it on YouTube and unsurprisingly found it:

    I also found this article on the German blog “autismuskritik.twoday.net”:

    http://autismuskritik.twoday.net/stories/2991830/

    Interesting here, is the paragraph in which the author mentions, how women are used in “GTA 3” and “Max Payne” for the roles of vicious mob leaders. The author points out that in “Max Payne” the criminal corporation’s boss resembles an “evil mother”. For example, she lets Max Payne’s wife and baby killed. The author theorizes that both, the wife and the baby, metaphorically represent daughter and grand child.
    At the end of the paragraph, the author throws up the question from where these images of women originate. He states, that he has difficulties to imagine that game developers delve into so-called “borderline mothers”.

    In the case of “Max Payne”, I’ve also found a fitting cut-scene:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK5mNvKM78E (jump to 2:15)

    Intriguingly enough, “Max Payne” and “Vice City” are both mentioned in one same sentence of this article on “autismuskritik”.

    I wish, I could post a whole translation of this article, but it would be a “too long, didn’t read”-post, I guess.

    Who knows how big the fuckery by the consumption of video games is, especially if you are starting at a young age?

  15. Fitzy replied:

    Seems we’re between Narcos and Hypnos.
    The dark thread running through the media, conditioning us to accept cruelty, humiliation and degradation as entertainment. Either by joining in, or falling victim to it.
    But Nature has a set of twins, the Destroying Angel, and Nature’s Champion. One purges the world and One Redeems it.
    The Bitch Boys and the Buggerers, dance dangerously close to ushering in the Destroyer, when fatigue and weariness invite an end to their evil into the world via their own malaise.
    They seem to defer their self loathing onto us, and because we Love life, like factory chickens, we end up on the wheel of fire, to return over and over again to be slaughtered for their entertainment and pleasure.
    The height of cruelty, using Nature against itself.
    Displacing natural justice, casting their Magnum Opus of Spells – the willing victim trance.
    Without it they perish.
    And perish they will, One Time for ALL Time.
    These mammalian sexual aggression/homosexual domination games will come to an end, and if they aren’t whimpering like their victims yet, the Bitch boys and Pedo-priests should be.
    We’ve been calling on the champion, ever since we first put hand to keyboard – if not longer, its name is across the Teleconciousness of the World Wide Web, its now embedded within – alongside their shitty tricks and it repels their dark magic minute by minute.
    Mankind is Natures Champion, it dwells in us, what will this Champion do next?

    That should cause endless turmoil, for our would be Gods.

  16. alex robinson replied:

    Thanks one & all for comments & great points – this seems to have touched a nerve!
    I’m off for a few days & have run out of time to reply, but am taking moderation off my blog so you can talk amongst yourselves if you wish.

    Remember to live dangerously & take risks :]

  17. Joanne replied:

    Forgot to mention this, found out a few years ago that’s not all they use I Scream trucks for… they’re also there to numb the pain of living… imagine that…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/drug-ring-sold-oxycodone-_n_837272.html?ir=Food

  18. the living tiki replied:

    The cream is mother’s milk, and the nursery rhymes evoke that infantile longing for comfort and joy. That’s why the top of the cone looks like a breast, and has to be ‘eaten’ like a breast (No I’m not reaching.)

    What they are offering you instead is the bottom of the cone – Madonna has donned her brassiere. Hey little boy, I have no Nice Dreams – would you like a rocket, a popper, or a push-up?

    The boys and girls follow the PIPer, leading them to a strange man in a strange van. For any that do not return, they will eventually be ‘put on ice’.

    Would parents allow this if the van had no brightly colored stickers? No hypnotic melodies? No clown at the wheel?

  19. aferrismoon replied:

    At my post SWEET HEART OF THE CORN are a collection of sickening cereal boxes [ u may remember them]

    aferrismoon.blogspot.com/2010/04/sweet-heart-of-corn.html

    Essentially corporate subliminals seem a bit like witchcraft , totems, fetishes , etc but hidden so that the ‘spell’ is ingested.

    Also if one buys the product then one consents to it and in ‘magic’ it allegedly more efficacious if the mark agree to let in the beastie even though it is disguised.

    Remember not to let Santa in!!! ; )

    cheers

  20. tom cuddy replied:

    Biting into the great novelty of pleasure; ice cream when bitten produces a variety of sensory results. Some are unpleasant. As the word bite (or bite me/fuck off) is used today. Bite was also used as acrid or bitter more
    commonly going back historically. Putting the ice cream in the cone is where the demons appear. The urban dictionary lists many strange sex references to ice cream (almost wrote cram). So biting into it may cause distress through brain freeze or cold affected teeth, but it could also wake you up to the moment if you discard the novelty at that point. In the states, frozen treats are referred to as novelties. Something can be novel as in new or fresh, while also being novel as in strangeness or unaccustomedness. Score another for the novel English language.

    nouther wright nor rong.

    Nicely presented.

  21. Mick replied:

    This film is doing the rounds at the moment:

    One psychologist equates youth marketers with paedophiles, and it also brings to mind the Bill Hicks skit on marketing employees.

    • Joanne replied:

      Watching this now, great find and excellent point. That certainly explains the nature of the marketing abuse. Anyways thought that was a very relevant video to share, so thanks Mick

      Hope the next one’s going well Alex, it’s been on my mind, particularly after Rebel’s last show. As horrifying as some of this is, it really is a comfort to see other people out there who have their eyes peeled, and are willing to share ways to see more clearly. Hope you have a great holiday too :] Best of luck with your next set of risks

  22. celticrebel replied:

    There’s deep psychological manipulation going on here, not just in the imagery, but as you point out, in the words themselves. May bring someone one who’s spent a lot of time studying the former, assuming I don’t scare yet another one away :evil:

    The ice cream truck has always been a bit creepy, for inexplicable [conscious] reasons. Why do so many dentists use clown motiffs, even though so many children are frightened by them? Good stuff here!

    • James B replied:

      Clowns on ice cream trucks – is there some link between ClOWns and cows? We’ve defiled the sacred cow with factory farming, is the death / dairy link another step in this process? Just a thought…

  23. alex robinson replied:

    Thanks James B – observant eyes & links. I remember Jeremy’s vid – really did a good job showing the milky-assassin connection – was reminded of this:

    very best to you

    Cheers Michael, Interesting word play – quite a few things are found in, or come out of, a closet, including skeletons, those things that have grinning skulls attached – the etymology of skull ties in quite well:

    “skull
    early 13c., probably from O.N. skalli “bald head, skull”

    I couldn’t handle much of Moral Orel – I’m losing the ability to watch televised things it seems, argh … now I’m never going to be able to fit in & be one of the crowd – dammit!

    very best to you

    Hi Mick – rereading your comment got me thinking of how well media-marketed the twins of clowns & ice-creams have been – we’re so used to seeing it, that we don’t question it, like all the pairings that were ‘given’ to us – this pairing of ‘clown’ & ‘cream’ sprang to mind:

    http://jinkies-scooby.tumblr.com/post/9300547681

    Looking at clowns now it’s easy to see that their faces are skulls, no wonder we were terrified & yet we did not see the skulls in ice-creams … the tricks of the treats!

    very best to you

    Cheers Ed – seems so – check out link I left for James – don’t know if you had the Milky Bar Kid where you were.

    all the best

  24. eugene replied:

    Lickety lick lick look at Frosty go!

    The knife of belief is a real bitch. We do it to ourselves since we wont manage our aur-ifices. Idols answer.

    Mark Ryden’s Ice Cream Truck.

    Snow ice cream is nice!

  25. eugene replied:

    Also Ryden’s “Sophia’s Bubbles” is most enlightening. Like fuller’s soap in the hand of the Siren’s washing at the stream .. it burns my eyes! Fat and lye. One the essence of fleshly leftovers; the other the essence of fire’s leftovers. A soap made in hell for hands and other dirty places.

    Keep up the flow of bubbles.

  26. effel replied:

    Makes me remember I was deemed a difficult child because I didn’t like ice cream (or what they called so)

  27. Max replied:

    Just to touch on the clowns, assassins and death issue, here are some connections:

    The killer clown Pennywise can be wounded by silver.
    Silver has the atomic number 47.
    The baldheaded contract killer Agent 47 is the protagonist of a very popular computer game series, called “Hitman”, in which the player has to assassinate certain persons.

    Here is a picture of Agent 47:

    Let us not forget the assault rifle AK-47, which is promoted in the Hollywood flick “Lord of War”. Nicolas Cage’s character is in one scene labeled as “Merchant of Death” on a news paper article’s headline, as far as I can remember.

    I find it also intriguing how a killer clown has been put in “Terminator: Salvation”, a movie in which the artificial intelligence Skynet also uses the skeleton-looking Terminators to fight mankind:

    (jump to 0:54 and take a look to the upper left)

    The depicted clown is serial killer John Wayne, by the way.

    “The Terminator”, the original movie, also again contains the assassin topic. The plot mainly deals with the atempted assassination of the will-be mother of John Connor who will lead the resistance in the future against Skynet, which attempts to exterminate mankind.
    So, we have skull resembling killer clowns, skull resembling assassins and skull resembling killer machines.
    Finally, the murdering of mothers, who are also milk givers, leads me back to dairy and ice cream.

  28. Max replied:

    EDIT: Of course I’m meaning John Wayne Gacy, NOT just John Wayne. ;-)

  29. alex robinson replied:

    Great comments one & all.

    I have not been well that last few days & atm am too tired to answer individually, just wanted to say the comments were very observant & I’m sure much appreciated by everyone who read them.

    very best to everyone & remember that Christmas is the world’s biggest joke, so don’t forget to laugh :]

  30. Ross replied:

    What we gonna do
    Cos things are really bad
    They’re messing with our minds
    And made the whole world sad.

    It shouldn’t be like this
    We shouldn’t be at war
    All this suffering inside
    Wasn’t what we’re here for.

    We have to hold on strong
    None of this is really real
    So look at those around you
    And show them how to feel

    You can call it love
    But it doesn’t need a name
    Just let you be you
    And let them be the same

    We can bring the light
    In this time of weeping blindness
    With just one single act
    Of simple human kindness.

    Happy holidays everyone!

  31. Joanne replied:

    Alex, I was reflecting today and I remembered a picture I took in 2009 at the Chicago Pride Parade – very relevant to this article and I forgot all about it, so I wanted to share it with you. Feel free to use it if you need, lol, you don’t have to though… it’s pretty bad. Can’t believe I forgot about this! Amnesia as usual.

    How’s that for your I scream? The crowd went absolutely batshit. I’m glad I took that picture, because your work has given it some context for me – other than it’s just, oh hey, I was there, and this was crazy. No expletive.

    Anyways this was the only year I went, my gay friend invited me :] Oooof course. I admit I did have fun, but along with the fun folks we met, we certainly ran into some creepers too. And it seemed to me that on that particular day, homosexuality is just a big excuse to run amok, and literally throw garbage in the streets. That’s the problem with the pride parades – taking pride seems to somehow translate as taking the dignity out of the equation.

    Will be replying to your newest piece soon, just wanted to let it marinate longer and this was on my mind. You were excellent on Rebel’s show last night by the way :] Will speak more on that later

    Joanne

  32. alex robinson replied:

    Argh Joanne, my eyes!! – now you’ve got we wondering about the title of the movie “The Colour Purple” … oh wait a minute …well done:

    “The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel

    That is just the most telling shot – everything the rebel talks about is right there – found one other pic from a different angle:

    I’ve been wondering about the use of the word ‘pride’ – it’s such a ‘manly’ word – but here is taken & turned upside down & inside out … if you took the ‘p’ out it might fit better.

    Hope you are thriving :]

    • effel replied:

      pride
      O.E. pryto, from prud (see proud). First applied to groups of lions late 15c., but not commonly so used until c.1930. The verb in the reflexive sense “congratulate (oneself)” is recorded from late 13c.

      Seems pretty masturbatory :P

  33. James B replied:

    I saw a billboard for the new Streets CORNetto. Haven’t been able to find an image of the billboard, but I think you’ll get the picture from the website:
    http://www.cornetto.com.au/
    If I drive past the billboard again I’ll stop to take a photo. It’s even worse than the website.

  34. alex robinson replied:

    Cheers effel – that is an interesting take on pride.

    Thanks James B – the site is damn disturbing – I would be very interested to see a photo if you can manage it.

    Last night I watched an episode of the series The Mentalist – there is a scene where he has taken a 12ish year old boy to a diner & he is talking to him while eating an ice-cream – I really cringed esp. as he went on to look over the table & towards the boys lap asking if he has a gun in there – supposedly referring to a bag that the boy has on his lap – the ice-cream licking was seriously creepy – wasn’t on youtube, but did find this:

    bery best to you

  35. pavman replied:

    seems its always been there. nice post

  36. James B replied:

    Couldn’t find that Cornetto billboard, but walked past the bustop version today, which is pretty much the same: http://www.mediafire.com/i/?w29lmm8tv3rr0h4
    Notice how the bear’s fur looks less like the fur you’d see on a child’s teddy bear, and more like the hair you’d find on a fat, hairy man? Combined with a gold chain with a love heart on it? That’s no teddy bear. And “Your soft side is irresistable. Try it.” The softest side of my body is my backside, and I won’t be letting anybody try it.
    Proudly bought to you by the company that bought you the Golden Gaytime. And the Magnum… http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/graphics/news3/MagnumPI_S8_menu1.jpg

  37. another satanic poster | too long in this place replied:

    […] of you may remember an article I wrote on ‘satanic advertising posters‘ a while […]

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