Paper Cups are billboards, Paper cups are quarter page print advertisements, Paper cups are full back page advertisement space of a popular tabloid, Paper cups are more than what meets the eyes. So, it is obvious that paper cups and their designers would follow all the urban legends, all the cards hidden in their sleeves, all the psychological poking of the subconscious that all other media of advertisement have been doing for ages.
We have earlier mentioned that there are better ways of brand engagement than hidden messages, but there's no denying the fact that subliminal messaging has been there forever, and large agencies specifically train their designers to be able to pass on messages that invoke the subconscious and tell the conscious mind to evoke certain emotions without our conscious self requiring to delve into the detail of the messages.
The conscious mind carefully avoids any abrupt or instinctive arousal of affinity to pleasurable objects, this is known as psychological repression in scientific lingo.
Thus advertisements being viewed by the conscious mind, it often becomes difficult to pass the intended message in a two dimensional media like print where you can't arouse the mind's affinity to the subject through smell, temperature and other senses.
This is where the subliminal messages come to rescue the advertiser, subtle but hidden to the conscious mind, yet easily picked up by the subconscious and resulting in an emotion that the human brain unconsciously and without understanding any deeper, can associate with the product displayed.
For example, in advertisements targeting men, women have not always been directly objectified, since that often becomes derogatory and can have negative impact. But it is well known that a submissive woman figure with several other subliminal messages embedded in an advertisement could arouse the erogenous passions better that an offensively gender biased imagery would do. Since a socially conditioned man's mind is supposed to reject violence and extreme gender bias, the subconscious is invoked because it can still understand and react to extreme messages.
This subliminal messaging techniques are often controversial and debated, but like an urban legend, advertisers easily deny any allegations by coining those messages that has been decoded as coincidence, the viewers mind's projection on the advertisement, just as in seeing things in clouds, or if its too clear or easily visible, as the designer's whim.
To read more on this subject with examples... follow this link and come back when ready.
Fortunately paper cups are related majorly to non-alcoholic and non addictive products and thus erotic messaging might not be an absolute necessity. But what kind of messages work depends on the target and the product, and some products still require sensuous if not erotic messages embedded, in forms of objects of desire, shapes and colours that can quickly be interpreted by the subconscious.
In our paper cups industry we might not need something as embedded as in the Dodge Truck logo which has a very primal archetype embedded in it, as many hidden message hunters have suggested over and over again, but who knows what secret formula works? paper cups are otherwise innocuous but if used properly can indeed be turned into serious tools of subconscious brand embedding too. Some brands of ice creams even indulge in direct erotic messaging to engage the young audience too. To find wonderful examples of how such messages are embedded and can be embedded even on a paper cup of an ice cream brand, or on televised advertisements, google "subliminal messaging in ice cream" and you'd understand.
But, once again as mentioned earlier, its not always the carnal or erotic subconscious that is invoked, some products need the anima ,animus or mother archetypes to be invoked in the subconscious and the following is a wonderful example of that, and is of special importance to us since it works best when printed on their Styrofoam or paper cups. Check Wendy's new cup here.
Read this and feel free to get in touch with our design team for some detailed discussion on how to plan and design your logo, campaign etc. to invoke the subconscious and provoke people to act the way you want. Believe us, your brand can do better on the paper cups with a little bit of planning and become something more than just paper cups.
Add multiple products and sizes to your quote request
What was it that put you off?