Subliminal Messaging in Advertising

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On the subject of subliminal messaging and its effects on consumer behavior, I do not believe that messages just below or above the threshold of recognition can influence someone’s buying habits. The power of suggestion has long been a tool of advertisers, but the influential use of suggestion is lost at the subliminal level. Also, after further research I have found that there is no scientific evidence to support some companies’ claims of increased sales. But, the leak of implanted subliminal messages can create a media buzz as a product marketing strategy.

Since advertisers cannot force consumers to buy their products they rely heavily on the power of suggestion to increase sales. Stretching suggestive power to its limits subliminal messages have been employed as a means of control over the uncontrollable. In essence it is a kind of secret weapon or “miracle pill” to guarantee results. The problem with this method is that appeals to the subconscious lose their ability to influence, because people don’t recognize what the message is really saying. So, subliminal messaging ends up becoming a paradox or an inside joke without punch line.

To further my opinion that subliminal messages do not affect consumer behavior I have researched some scientific studies of the pseudoscience. These studies have concluded that there is no concrete proof to support the claims of some companies. One particular claim by a New Jersey movie theater says that because of subliminal messages, implanted in the films, their customers bought more popcorn and soda. This drew so much media attention that even congress began an investigation regarding the matter. Many studies have been done in the wake of the previous example, but with much different results.

All science aside subliminal messaging or the convenient leak of the messaging is a great strategy to get people interested in a product. Plus, besides the message there is more product exposure, which is what...
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