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Floral Delight

Flora Margerine Ads

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Veggies for Growth

At the same time as Delight was offering its semi-subliminal wares to the unsuspecting public Flora was delighted to offer to the public various phallic offerings. Probably the Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora's pepper  manikin. most interesting was the ad featuring this manikin. As noted elsewhere, he actually became a pinup in one of the offices associated with the author.

The intriguing element about the manikin is his genital region. The Pepper penispepper that is evident in this spot has a remarkable penis shaped area. The 'penis' is not correctly positioned anatomically but since, given its shape, it could not reflect light in such a manner the only conclusion one can draw it that this aspect of the figure was intentionally created.

Confirmation that the manikins notable feature was not accidental is obtained byDouble erection. observing the next few ads in the same series. On the right is a Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora's basket full of trouble.'testicular' alignment of vegetables in a shopping basket. And an additional ad in the series claimed that 'We've produced something harder'. Each in themselves seems pretty innocuous. Put together there seems to be a clear intention to influence the attitudes and purchasing behaviour of consumers. Click for a larger, floating, image.  The 'harder' Flora ad.

Caption from the harder Flora ad.




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Arousing Works of Art

Just as Delight ads moved from making use of models and moved towards the use of cartoon figures so Flora moved into artistic drawings. Each ad, taken in isolation, again seems rather innocuous. And I doubt that many people noticed that a sexual element still managed to permeate what seems like simple pieces of artwork. Take the ad with the Click for a larger, floating, image. Flora toast ad. caption The Flora for everybody.toast is to lower cholesterol. This would seem to comprise no more than a wine glass, a few pieces of toast and a packet of Flora.

However, if you take a closer look at the wine glass you will see a rather nubile female figure with a 'punkish' hairdo and a figure rather reminiscent of many pagan goddesses. The rollover helps identify the figure by adding in an 'eye'

Similarly, the Healthier in the long run ad does more than present a basic Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora runner ad.running figure. Look more carefully at the genital region and it becomes clear that what is being represented is not simply the runners shorts. Although no more anatomically correct than the nubile womanRunner's genital area. in the wine glass, the figure is suggestive enough to trigger off thoughts unrelated to running or margarine - but undoubtedly related to health and well-being in the long run.


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Flora's manipulative content did not fade away when it began to make use of models Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora heart advert no. 1.such as those depicted here wearing their hearts on their chest. Embedded in the heart is the word, or at least shapes indicative of the lettering in the word, sex. Due to the resolution of the screen these cannot be clearly depicted. Additionally, even in print the imagery is on the borderline of visual perception and one cannot be sure that what is 'recognised' actually exists. It may be no more than the outcome of projection. However, when manipulative intent is evident in other ads for the same products, as in the ads illustrated above and those in the subsequent section, the author would tend to err in favour of 'recognition' rather than projection as the source of his judgement. Only in cases where other forms of evidence were absent would there be a tendency to give the benefit of the doubt to the ad producer.   Flora heart

The same ploy is evident in the other ad depicted below. The quality of the imagery is once again such that even in the original ad it is difficult to perceive the lettering. And one could quite reasonably argue that perceiving them is a matter of projection. That may well be the case, however, it seems on the weight of Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora heart advert no. 2.the evidence from the other ads above that this is unlikely Sorry, your browser doesn't support Java(tm). Animated love heart. unless the leopard has changed its spots and decided to give up a technique that either seemed to be paying commercial dividends or was being used as a counterweight against the actions of their competitors.




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This takes the biscuit

Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora's gingerbread family ad.Gingerbread having sex? It doesn't make sense. Well, on second thoughts it does. Howe could you get gingerbread children without sex in the absence of test-tube baking?

Here Flora reverts to the traditional incorporation of sex in the background, or rather the foreground of this ad, with 'lettering' that is clearer than in the hearts in the previous section. Liberally sprinkled along the foot of this ad are the letters s Extract from foot of Flora gingerbread ad.e and x. These are clearest on screen in the topmost excerpt towards the right hand side of the excerpt. Rollovers give an indication of where these 'letters' can be found.

Extract from gingerbread ad.



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Family Values?

So where do we go next. Once upon a time the Tory party emphasized family values, more recently it has been New Labour. With such a deep current of public trends to underpin their promotion it seemed appropriate for Flora to follow suit and emphasise the virtues of family members. In a series of ads Flora depicted the members of the average family. All appeared to have developed normally despite having been associated with Flora. However it is noticeable that embedded in amongst the body hair of the male members of the family there are once again shapes indicative of the letters s e and x. One wonders why.

Ad for flora Even prepubescent youngsters are roped into the presentation. The E and a smaller x alongside the B of Body are still relatively clear in the extract on the right of your screen. Check out the rollover if you are in doubt. The letter S is not all that evident but overlaps with the letter E. There is also seems to be another very faint SX under the armpit. The X of this pair of 'letters' is just apparent on screen.

On the hair swinging adolescent one can detect 'lettering' embedded in his hair. The rollover indicates where to look. The S shaped piece of hair and other 'letter' components in this area of the extract do not even seem to be attached to his head. His 'elder brother' bares his armpit and a few 'letters'. His 'father' has his arm wrapped around his 'wife', demonstrating his physical charms on his arm.

Note once again that the aspects identified on the illustrations below are debatable and can only be judged in the light of the other more obvious examples at manipulation demonstrated above. Any judgement of elements that are ambiguous and on the borderline of perceptual ability are problematic. However, in the context of the more obvious manipulative ads above, would you be willing to give the ad agency the benefit of the doubt? Additionally, bear in mind that there are other aspects of these ads, not discussed here, that add 'sexual' emphasis to at least two of these ads. Can you identify them?

Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora boy.
Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora young man.
Click for a larger, floating, image.  Flora couple.
sex in hair
sex under arm
sex on arm.


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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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