Two for Tuesday: Subliminal Messages

Is there a fine line in advertising between suggesting and manipulating? Let’s just say, for now, it’s legal, albeit controversial.  Today’s Two for Tuesday, we bring you two brands sending hidden messages (with the power to manipulate)– intentional or not, you decide.

Wendy’s New Logo

Our Space Wendy'sOver the years, many brands and businesses have released new logos. Since Wendy’s, the popular fast food chain, nationally rolled out its new logo last year, many people have expressed seeing what they believe to be a “hidden message” that reads “mom” in Wendy’s ruffled collar. However, yesterday Wendy’s denied rumors–stating that the word “mom” was unintentional. Many speculations have surfaced as to what the “hidden message” may refer to. What we do know is that the girl, according to Wendy’s, is founder Dave Thomas’s daughter, Wendy, at age eight. The new logo (which appears to be an older and more mature Wendy) was released 29 years later. Is the food chain trying to target moms? I mean, seriously, what’s the big deal anyway? If women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, I think using creativity to reach this target audience is clever. Personally, “mom” reminds me of home, and if home is where the heart is, then take me to Wendy’s for a frosty and fries immediately!


Wendy's "Mom"-- intentional or accidental?

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Tostitos Party

Our Space TostitosWendy’s surely isn’t the first nor is it the last to have people stirring up chatter about subliminal messaging. Tostitos, a tortilla chips brand produced by Frito-Lay, knows how to party, and it seems to be claimed in the most valuable piece of their product…their logo. The two “t”s in Tostitos are eating dip out of the “I”. Do you see it? I sure do. Even their TV commercials showcase it. Intentional? It only makes sense. After all, isn’t that the point of hiring creatives? Looking at that logo makes me want to share a bag of Tostitos and salsa with all my friends! Who’s joining me? I’ll bring the Tostito’s if you bring the dip.

Hungry Tostitos "T"s--intentional or accidental?

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Want to see more brands with hidden messaging? Check out this list. Let us know your take on subliminal messaging in the comments.

Cover Photo Source: By Wendy’s, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Source 1: By Derek Purd Via Flickr
Photo Source 2: By theimpulsivebuy via Flickr

Nicole Hernandez is the social media manager at SJG. She’s a Chicagoan who graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Public Relations & Advertising and minor in Journalism. Nicole is known to her peers as being online all the time –  while on her spare time you can find her taking footage on her phone while she’s rocking out at music festivals. She’s also training to be the new water girl at Chicago Bulls games (in her dreams).