Posted by: garispang | July 6, 2009

10 Subtle Ads Crave Your Attention (Spot the Weenie!)

No doubt about it: Sex sells.  And those zany marketing people know it.  A problem that they encounter is that phallic symbols cannot be utilized in ad campaigns in some countries.

This being the case, they attempt to sneak in the sex via shadows, abstract art and, in some cases, the extremely obvious use of other objects.

So come with me, dear readers, as we play “Spot the Weenie!”

1. BBC World

"This is my rifle, this is my gun..."

“This is my rifle, this is my gun…”

Possibly the item most associated as a phallic symbol is the gun, representing the aspects of male masculinity and testosterone.

I’d watch out if this guy has to pee.  He might blow your foot off.

2. Tide Detergent

Little Billy's been up to something...

Little Billy’s been up to something…

Okay, what we have here is a kid with a hotdog, right?  But we also have an ad that is stuck together with Post-It Glue on the ketchup-right where the hotdog appears in the ad.

As you peel the pages apart, you reveal a surprised, guilty looking kid and a mother with a disgusted look on her face.
Um… yuck.

3. Mentitas

The Mints That Kill You

The Mints That Kill You

This ad is just strange to me.  It implies that the mints are so strong that they a form of torture.  And while I applaud the craziness of the design, for some reason it makes me want to cover my nose… and another part of my body and run like hell.

4. Ford F-150

I understand the concept of this ad.  It is saying that driving the F-150 is an organic experience, sort of like a natural extension of your arm.

Looks like an unnatural extension of something else to me…

5. Hubba Bubba Tape Gum


Um… Yeah, yeah.  I get the picture.  It’s supposed to be a giant bubble blown with the entire roll of gum.  But… I mean, c’mon guys.

6. Lynx Shower Gel

Ya gotta admit: this ad is eye-catching.  In this case the phallus is quite small, appearing as the actual product itself in the bottom right corner.

For some reason I want to buy some of this stuff…

7. Coke

Be careful.  The ice is naughty today.

Be careful. The ice is naughty today.

This is an example of how tricky these marketing people can get.  In this case artwork was used to create a subliminal image in an ice cube.  And that image is somewhat unsavory in nature…

This is quite a sneaky tactic that allows the use of phallic symbols in some countries that would normally shout “pornography!”

8. East Street Full Body Piercing

In this case there is something of a phallic symbol-made up of the two streams of urine shooting out of the real phallus, which remains thankfully out-of-frame.

This is an ad for a body piercing company; think about it…


Did someone say, "Pass the butter?"

Did someone say, “Pass the butter?”

Okay, not so subtle.  But it is made of bread.

That’s one thick loaf.

10. McDonald’s

I saved my favorite for last.  And while I applaud McDonald’s attempts to curb littering, I can’t help but wonder why they chose to put a phallus in the ad.

Can you Spot the Weenie?


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