Covert Advertising

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Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction1
2.0 Subliminal Advertising2
2.1 Flashed Messages2
2.2 Accelerated Speech2
2.3 Sexual Imagery2
3.0 Covert Advertising3
3.1 Whisper Marketing3
3.2 Product Placement4
4.0 Using Covert Advertising6
4.1 Advantages of Covert Advertising6
4.2 Disadvantages of covert advertising7
5.0 Future of Covert Advertising8
6.0 Conclusion9
7.0 References10

1.0 Introduction
The media today is constantly being cluttered by millions of marketing messages and the consumer ‘mindspace’ is also increasingly being cluttered by these messages causing consumer responses toward marketing efforts to be at record lows. In addition, consumers have been increasing their efforts to avoid being exposed to marketing messages. As a result, companies have turned to an alternative method of marketing, particularly hybrid forms of communications, such as subliminal advertising and covert advertising (Ashley & Leonard, 2009). Such advertising methods utilise deception where subjects are unaware of the advertised messages but their unconscious mind detects the message in spite of that and influences their future behaviours. The purpose of this report is to explain subliminal advertising along with the different types of subliminal advertising, which are flashed messages, accelerated speech and sexual imagery, subsequently providing an in-depth explanation of covert advertising as well as the types of covert advertising, including whisper marketing and product placement, followed by the advantages and disadvantages of using covert advertising.

2.0 Subliminal Advertising
Taken exactly, subliminal means ‘below threshold’ (Moore, 1982). Subliminal perception, which refers to exposing individuals to stimuli of which they are not aware of consciously and the exploration of the outcomes of those stimuli, has perplexed and attracted researchers over 100 years. Advertisers and marketers rely on motivational research methods and depth psychology that probes the unconscious desires and needs to manipulate the unsuspecting public into purchasing products (Zanot, Pincus & Lamp, 1983). The messages used in subliminal advertising possess some supernormal stimulative effects on consumers (Kelly, 1979). There are three types of subliminal advertising, which are flashed messages, accelerated speech and sexual imagery.

2.1 Flashed Messages
Flashed messages refer to very briefly presented visual stimuli. Such presentation is conducted by means of tachistoscope, which is a device for carefully controlling the duration of exposure of a visual stimulus. In this case, instructions or directions are flashed so rapidly that the subject is consciously unaware of their presence. Although the messages are not noticed by the subject, such stimulation still registers in the subject’s mind subconsciously and affects his or her subsequent behaviour (Moore, 1982).

2.2 Accelerated Speech
Another method is by means of controlling behaviour through the use of accelerated speech that is used in the form of low volume auditory messages. Similar to flashed messages, the message is unnoticed and unintelligible at a conscious level but is nevertheless picked up subconsciously and still imparts direction towards the subject’s behaviour (Moore, 1982).

2.3 Sexual Imagery
The third and final procedure of subliminal advertising involves embedding or concealing sexual imagery or words in pictorial advertisements. These elements are hidden in such a way that they are not recognized through conscious perusal. However, a subconscious effect is still resulted after coming in contact with such a subliminal advertising message. Such sexual imagery may include the letters S-E-X hidden in ice cubes and seductive nude bodies in shadows (Kelly, 1979). 3.0 Covert Advertising

Covert advertising is similar to subliminal advertising and is defined as a marketing practice that consumers do not consciously recognize...
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