I recently viewed a television commercial for Kraken Black Spiced Rum. The ad depicts a male figure on a wooden ship sailing on a sea of rum within a glass bottle. A large squid—the famed Kraken sea monster—climbs up the side of the bottle, reaches a long tentacle into the bottle, then pulls out and devours the man and ship in its sharp-toothed maw. The imagery of the ad is interesting and worthy of a closer look.
The sailing vessel is a symbol of consciousness. The ego is sometimes compared to a boat moving across the waters of the unconscious. The squid, on the other hand, represents a devouring and engulfing force within the unconscious. It is, therefore, a symbol of regression, of going backwards and being less conscious. Putting the two images together as the commercial does, the message is clear: drink Kraken Black Spiced Rum and give in to your desire to be unconscious. We can surmise that if you drink enough of it you might even feel like you’ve returned to the watery depths of the womb.
The commercial gives a surprisingly accurate representation of the psychology of alcohol abuse. I guess there still is truth in advertising. You’ve just got to know where to look for it.