Sex, Crackers and Subliminal Ads

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When considering creative concepts for Chivas Regal’s ad on the back cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2003 swimsuit issue, Brand Architecture International played with one of the greatest urban legends in advertising: subliminal messaging. In a magazine full of beautiful women in barely there bikinis, what better way to entice the male target than to invite readers to find a naked woman in a glass of scotch?

“We wanted to do something cool and unique, and we didn’t want it to get in the way of the product,” says James Gallo, business director of the Americas for Brand Architecture International in...



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