Even before Instagram, marketers have based their units of speech on a visual economy. A product's experience or service can be told through clever taglines and accompanying logos.
Hidden logos, especially, convey underlying messages about the company. Take FedEx as an example: the arrow hiding between the "E" and "X" advertises speed and delivery accuracy. Or Amazon's "A" to "Z" logo, which illustrates the seemingly endless products available at the online store.
This holiday season, Coca-Cola released a subliminal message of their own on the new polar bear cans. Can you spot the Coca-Cola bottles and caps?
The eyes on the Coca-Cola bears are bottle caps, and the shine on the nose is a bottle. from mildlyinteresting
If you look closely, you'll notice upside-down bottle caps in the polar bears' eyes and the silhouette of "retrofied" Coke bottles within the bears' noses.
Now you've got a talking point for holiday parties!
Other clever hidden images can be seen in logos such as Sony VAIO's logo (the "VA" looks like an analog signal, the "IO" represents the numbers 1 and 0 for digital. Clever, huh?) And Baskin Robbins ice cream chain offers 31 varieties of flavors and incorporates the number between the "B" and "R" initials in pink.
Coca-Cola's polar bear mascot debuted in 1922 in a French print ad as a jolly bear squirting soda into the mouth of a thirsty sun. Over several decades, the beloved mascot turned into a trio -- a mother polar bear with her two cubs to kick off the holiday season, which was quickly written into a TV spot showing the family drinking Coke while watching the aurora borealis. The mascots changed very little since the company's first animated bear commercial in 1993.
When it comes to industry mascots, the vast majority of them take on anthropomorphic qualities, like Tony the Tiger (Frosted Flakes), Toucan Sam (Froot Loops), Aflac's duck, the Energizer Bunny, and many, many, more. These characters are iconic brand mascots and help consumers identify with a company's persona; it's akin to putting a face to a name. Coca-Cola, one of the leaders in soft drinks, boasts a clever design "easter egg" and a lovable mascot, offering a marketing gimmick both subliminal and sublime.