10 Facts about Subliminal Messages

iStock / SchulteProductions
iStock / SchulteProductions

Subliminal messages affect the subconscious mind. We're talking visual messages that can be flashed very quickly in a film or buried within a print image and audio messages that are masked by other sounds, played below audible levels or recorded backwards to hide the message. True, scientific research has yet to determine the actual effectiveness of this process, but it's still worth pointing out some interesting tidbits:

1. Both Coke and Pepsi have been caught up in the subliminal messaging fray:

a) Feel The Curves - Coca Cola advertised in Australia with this poster during the eighties. That is, until someone discovered what could be seen in the ice cube on the right. I've blurred it out, but that's not a bottle she's going to put in her mouth! The artist was fired and sued. All posters were recalled and a new campaign was launched.

b) In a promotional campaign by Pepsi in 1990, the company sold cans with a neon-design. If you stacked two of the cans and turned them just right, the word SEX became apparent.

2. All the way back in 1897, The New Psychology published an article about how subliminal messages work. By World War II, a tachistoscope (a machine that projects images extremely briefly and rapidly) was used to teach soldiers how to recognize enemy planes.

3. James Vicary, a market researcher, caused a stir when he reported that he was able to increase popcorn sales at a New Jersey movie theatre through subliminal messages built into the movie. This led to the modern practice of subliminal advertising, despite that he admitted in 1962 that he was lying. Many still debate whether the experiment even took place!

4. A 1973 Christmas advertising campaign for the game H?sker D?? included the subliminal message “Get it.” Complaints flooded in and the FCC ran an investigation. It deemed subliminal messages “Contrary to public interest.” They were never actually banned in the USA, however the same commercial led to a ban in Canada.

5. In an effort to catch the BTK Killer in 1978, TV station KAKE-TV in Wichita obtained permission to run subliminal messages in a report about the BTK killings. The report included the subliminal message “Now call the chief.” No increased volume of tips was reported. The attempt was deemed unsuccessful.

6. George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign included a television ad that featured words and parts of words scrolling across the screen. At one point, a single frame flashed the word “rats” (part of the word bureaucrats). After complaints, the FCC investigated but never assessed any penalties nor blame in the case.

7. On January 27, 2007, the McDonald’s logo appeared for a single frame during the Iron Chef America program on Food Network. This led to accusations of subliminal advertising. In a brilliant move, the Food Network said it was just “a glitch.”
8. Ferrari’s Formula One car and its drivers' jumpers have always been red and always carried the Marlboro logo—one of Ferrari racing’s largest corporate sponsor. However, a ban on tobacco advertising caused Ferrari and Marlboro to design a barcode style logo for the cars and jumpers in 2010. The design was quickly recognized as a subliminal advertisement for Marlboro cigarettes. Even after Ferrari removed the insignia, Marlboro pledged continued support for the team. However, without the benefit of advertising, the relationship between Ferrari racing and Marlboro started to erode.

9. The following movies are said to contain subliminal messages or subtle symbolism (most of the messages are of a sexual nature, so I won't go into detail, but if you Google the film and the word subliminal, you'll find much more):

  • The Exorcist (A detailed article in the July/August 1991 issue of Video Watchdog examined the phenomenon, providing still frames identifying several usages of subliminal "flashing" throughout the film)
  • Psycho 
  • The Rescuers (nudity)
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit ( Jessica Rabbit nudity)
  • JFK-Director’s Cut 
  • The Ring (According to IMDB: Subliminal frames from the Ring video are inserted in the film. For example, the 'Ring' image can be glimpsed for a fraction of a second in the transition between the ferry/horse sequence and Rachel's car drive to Anna Morgan's farm on Moesko Island.)
  • Fight Club (pornographic)
  • The Lion King (original VHS and LaserDisc releases,sexual in nature)
  • Little Mermaid (cover of the VHS box, sexual in nature)

10. There are a pantload of companies out there making money off subliminal messages. These are usually audio recordings that promise to help you with everything from getting a child to stop sucking his thumb to learning a foreign language while you sleep. There is even a program that boasts being able to program your body to use mental birth control—we don’t recommend trying this at home!

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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6 Too-Cool Facts About Henry Winkler for His 75th Birthday

Getty Images
Getty Images

Henry Winkler thumbs-upped his way into America’s hearts as the Fonz in Happy Days more than 40 years ago, and he hasn’t been out of the spotlight since—whether it’s playing himself in an Adam Sandler movie, a hospital administrator with a weird obsession with butterflies in Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital, the world's worst lawyer in Arrested Development, a pantomiming Captain Hook on the London stage, or the world's most lovable acting coach to a contract killer in Barry

1. Henry Winkler made up a Shakespeare monologue to get into the Yale School of Drama.

After graduating from Emerson College, Winkler applied to Yale University’s drama program. In his audition, he had to do two scenes, a modern and a classic comedy. However, when he arrived at his audition, he forgot the Shakespeare monologue he had planned to recite. So he made something up on the spot. He was still selected for one of 25 spots in the program. 

2. HENRY WINKLER’S FATHER INSPIRED “JUMPING THE SHARK.”

CBS

In the fifth season of Happy Days, the Fonz grabbed a pair of water skis and jumped over a shark. The phrase “jumping the shark” would become pop culture shorthand for the desperate gimmicks employed by TV writers to keep viewers hooked into a show that’s running out of storylines. But Winkler’s water skiing adventure was partially inspired by his father, who begged his son to tell his co-workers about his past as a water ski instructor. When he did, the writers wrote his skills into the show. Winkler would later reference the moment in his role as lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn on Arrested Development, hopping over a dead shark lying on a pier.  

3. Henry Winkler is an advocate for dyslexia awareness. 

Winkler struggled throughout high school due to undiagnosed dyslexia. “I didn't read a book until I was 31 years old when I was diagnosed with dyslexia,” he told The Guardian in 2014. He has co-written several chapter books for kids featuring Hank Zipper, a character who has dyslexia. In 2015, a Hank Zipper book is printed in Dyslexie, a special font designed to be easier for kids with dyslexia to read. 

4. Henry Winkler didn't get to ride Fonzie's motorcycle.

On one of his first days on the set of Happy Days, producers told Winkler that he just had to ride the Fonz’s motorcycle a few feet. Because of his dyslexia, he couldn’t figure out the vehicle’s controls, he told an interviewer with the Archive of American Television. “I gunned it and rammed into the sound truck, nearly killed the director of photography, put the bike down, and slid under the truck,” he recalled. For the next 10 years, whenever he appeared on the motorcycle, the bike was actually sitting on top of a wheeled platform. 

5. Henry Winkler has performed with MGMT. 

In addition to his roles on BarryArrested Development, Royal Pains, Parks and Recreation, and more, Winkler has popped up in a few unexpected places in recent years. He appeared for a brief second in the music video for MGMT’s “Your Life Is a Lie” in 2013. He later showed up at a Los Angeles music festival to play the cowbell with the band, too.

6. Henry Winkler won his first Emmy at the age of 72.

The seventh time was a charm for Henry Winkler. In 2018, at the age of 72—though just shy of his 73rd birthday—Winkler won an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as acting teacher Gene Cousineau on Barry. It was the seventh time Winkler had been nominated for an Emmy. His first nomination came in 1976 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Happy Days (he earned an Emmy nod in the same category for Happy Days in 1977 and 1978 as well.

This story has been updated for 2020.