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Delightful Concerns


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Ads for Delight  Delight thumbnail  Delight thumbnail  Delight thumbnail  Delight humpty dumpty thumbnail  Delight Santa Claus thumbnail   Delight russian dolls thumbnail  Delight spacehopper thumbnail  Outline Old outline ad thumbnail


Adult Fare

Click for a larger, floating, image. One of three Delight ads featuring individuals in strange poses.Click for a larger, floating, image. One of three Delight ads featuring individuals in strange poses. < These two ads, differing only in their use of the caption are for Delight. The captions state 'I love discovering new Delights' and 'I've just discovered a new Delight'. These captions are obviously intended to be references to the product. However, they are also loaded with sexual innuendo. This is likely to be one impression gained from these two ads although perhaps it is not immediately apparent. The viewer is certainly not encouraged to explore the ads in detail. Whilst it might be deemed sufficient to display the models in a semi-clothed and intimate situation to convey sensuality the artists who created the ad have gone further.

It would have been rather embarrassing if this ad had included an obvious phallic shape. Click for a larger, floating, image. One of three Delight ads featuring individuals in strange poses. But if such a shape is introduced covertly then the same meaning can be conveyed in a manner less likely to be consciously attended to. And this is precisely what one finds in the two ads above and also more readily in the ad on the right.

In the ad on the right, consider the 'choreography'. Try, if you can, to position your arms to hold a tray in the manner depicted. You will have severe muscular problems. The fact is the ad has been doctored to present a set of cues that are unrelated to margarine. The aim, of course, is to associate Delight with sensuality if not sexuality.

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 Delight's Humpty DumptyWhen one finds one major brand in a field making use of some form of unethical advertising it almost seems inevitable that the other(s) get in on the act. At the time Delight was offering its subtle innuendoes, its competitor Flora was also 'doing its thing'. Delight did not stick with its choreographed figures for long. Their ads moved into the cartoon type characters depicted in this section. Santa Claus, Humpty Dumpty, Russian Dolls and other characters, all capable of appealing to children and their parents, took up the campaign. You might think, since these are simply drawings of familiar characters they could not convey any form of message akin to the sensual message noted above. You would be wrong.

Where the first ads relied upon shapes, choreography and double entendre to convey  Delight's Santa Claustheir 'sexy' message the children's cartoon and toys made use of more subliminal elements. Embedded in each of these figures (you will have to find copies of the original to verify this) would seem to be the same type of message. Santa, Humpty and the Russian Doll would all seem to have lost weight. But when they convey this message to their viewers they also draw attention to their biological attributes. Note that whilst Humpty Dumpty and Santa hold out their trousers (show me yours and I'll show you mine) the Delight's Russian DollsFace of the largest Russian Doll, now in bikine rather than traditional dress.Russian Doll has to change her dress and put on a much more revealing outfit. Such poses, in themselves, could be simply interpreted as an indication of losing weight. So, in order to ensure that the association between Delight and sex is continued you will find, with some difficulty, the key letters of the word Sex in at least some of these ads. Spacehopper (actual size)

Delight's spacehopperThe bouncy ball has the letters embedded in the area above its shadow. Look in between the shadow ears and you will note SEX. The lower half of the S is circular, the upright stroke of the E is darker than the other strokes and, similarly, the right hand portion of the X is darker than the lower left stroke. The lettering will also be found relatively easily in the rosy cheeks of the smiling doll in the original ad. 


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Naughty but Nice ?

Click for a larger, floating, image.  Old photocopy of an ad for Outline.Another UK Margarine. brand is Outline. Regrettably, I only have one of their ads in my collection and it is a photocopy (possibly of a coloured original). The original seems to have become mislaid and the author would appreciate it if anyone who still has a copy of the original could arrange to let him view it.

Despite, its condition, this photocopy is still of interest but it would be more Link to author's wanted page.interesting still if other Outline ads from the same period were analysed and found to have similar characteristics. The contents bear some similarity to an ad discussed in The Clam Plate Orgy, one of Wilson Keys books (out of print). Key claimed that a display of clams on the placemats in a well known chain of restaurants was actually a representation of an orgy. This Outline ad does not go as far as that. It shares rather more of the characteristics of a Ryvita ad commented upon by a writer in Esquire magazine.

It it quite probably that whoever arranged the mushrooms in this ad was familiar with Key's writing as it would seem to have been influenced by The Clam Plate Orgy. The contents of the plate have been 'choreographed' so that the mushrooms are placed in a configuration such that some of them can also be interpreted as a naked woman. Other figures can also be discerned in the larger image.

Look at the shapes in the bowl. And take into account the caption and the portion about being good all week and naughty at the weekend. The naked 'young lady' found to the left of the plate of the mushrooms seemingly throws caution to the winds after eating a meal with Outline. If there were other Outline ads in this series they would leave Delight and Flora dead in the water when it comes to semi-subliminal and manipulative artwork.

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To the best of the author's knowledge none of the illustrations, in the format used on this site, are subject to copyright. If copyright has been inadvertently breached please contact the author in order to rectify the matter. All brands and logos referred to or illustrated on this site are the property of the relevant companies and copyright holders. However, commentary and other information produced by the author can be freely copied and distributed. Similarly, illustrations of ads, so long as they are accompanied by commentary or are presented in the form of parody, can also be copied and distributed but please acknowledge as the source. Translation of tobacco company ads and relevant commentary into languages other than English will be particularly welcomed.

Last Revised: 3rd January, 2003


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