Subliminal Messages

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Deliberately Calculated:
An Introspective look into Subliminal Advertising

Subliminal advertising first came to the public's attention in 1957, when Jim Vicary conducted a subliminal advertising strategy of interspersing "drink Coca-Cola" and "eat popcorn" messages on a movie screen so quickly that they could not be seen consciously by the audience. His research initially reported increases in the sales of both Coca-Cola and popcorn as a result of subliminal messages. Later, however, when he was challenged and could not replicate or even produce the results, Vicary admitted that the results of the initial study had been fabricated. However, the study was the focus of much public attention. Consumers were concerned that advertisers could now "trick" them into buying products with out their knowledge and/or conscious opposition since the advertising was being conducted at a "subconscious" level.

Definition-The word "subliminal" comes from two Latin words: "sub" and "limen." "Sub" meaning "lower than," "beneath," or "under", and "limen" meaning "threshold". Therefore, subliminal advertising is advertising beneath the threshold of conscious perception. We cannot see it, hear it, or perceive it in any fashion. Thus, it is believed that one can influence behavior by secretly appealing to the subconscious mind with words, images, or sounds.

The PEPSI cool can "In 1990, Pepsi actually withdrew one of its "Cool Can" designs after someone protested that Pepsi was subliminally manipulating people by designing the cans such that when six-packs were stacked at grocery stores, the word SEX would emerge from the seemingly random design. Critics alleged that the red and blue lines on the "Cool Can" design were far from random." The Camel "Tobacco companies have also been the target of accusations of visual embeds. One common alleged embed of sexually suggestive imagery is on the standard pack of Camel cigarettes. Apparently, if you look closely...
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