Recently I was on the subway and as I normally do when I am alone on the subway, I started reading the overhead advertisements. One ad that was particularly interesting was the advertisement for NYC Consumer Affairs. It has a picture of an older man named Sal in a somewhat industrial setting. However, what was interesting to me was not really the message or what was in the foreground of the ad, but instead, the
interesting aspect was in the background.
Behind Sal, there is a stack of bottles. Although the bottles are blurred out, they are still recognizable as Zico Coconut Water bottles and Vita CoCo bottles. I immediately was outraged that there was such blatant product placement. I was sold out and tricked by these subway ads; I thought I was just reading a harmless ad about Consumer Affairs
when in actuality, I was subliminally being exposed to coconut water brands. I personally have nothing against coconut water or any of the brands that produce it (and in fact, this past weekend, I tried the Chocolate Zico Coconut water and it was quite good), but when I see any brand using subliminal advertising, I can’t help but think that
the brand is somehow malicious and sinister.