Friday, August 21, 2009

Subliminal Messages

I have always been intrigued by subliminal messages. I have wondered how effective it really is to flash a split second message on a movie screen or hide an image in a picture. I've also wondered if backwards masking in the music industry really effects people. Did the sneaky backwards messages from Queen, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles, really register with their audience's subconscious minds or was it just a publicity stunt?

Some advertisers are not very subtle. Examples of this are the commercials for cheap devices that make your life easier which are sold for 3 installments of only $19.99. They usually start by showing black and white footage of a frustrated person trying to open a can the old fashioned way with a grumpy look on their face as they nearly kill themselves trying to perform the simple task. Then they show a cleaned up happy version of the person in color smiling as they effortlessly do the same task with the help of the product being sold. That blatant approach may work but I prefer the subtlety of subliminals.

First off I'd like to share a few ideas about subliminal advertising.
Only some people are receptive to the messages. Others will not be affected.
Listening to records backwards brought a lot of attention to this topic.
Limiting ads to your conscious mind is not in an advertiser's best interest.
Obviously they are trying to reach people's subconscious mind too.
With enough effort, a marketer can influence purchasing decisions.

My first encounter with subliminals was when I heard about Coca Cola ads.
Years of advertising gives the advantage to those who create ads.

Before long, using subliminal messages was a common marketing practice.
Lots of companies use these messages in their advertisements today.
Only a small percentage of people can even recognize submliminals.
Great efforts go into trying to influence what we buy, eat, drive, or read.

I was hoping to share a clip from a Saturday Night Live perfermormance featuring Kevin Nealon's Mr. Subliminal character, but I gave up after searching the Internet for several days in vain.


Kristina P. said...

The clip isn't showing up for some reason.

I thought it became illegal to use subliminal messages, but I'm not sure.

Tom said...

If you think this is a lame post you should have seen the extremely rough draft version I accidentally posted earlier today without realizing it. Why do I keep publishing posts by accident?

x said...

You should have seen my four eyes 2 inches from the monitor going .... woooorrrshhhhhip mmmmme....

Massage MAN said...

not quite sure I understand. I do have a strange sensation to sign up and see if I can get your post on a regular basis though...where do I sign?

Raine said...

excellent post!

Kelly said...

Yeah, I saw the first one and was confused. I am still a bit confused thinking there is some kind of hidden message I am not finding in here. Maybe subliminal messages don't work on me.

Nice skittles photo though : )


Joanna Jenkins said...

Messaging is EVERYWHERE :-( Product Placement has taken over the media. "Stuff" is pushed on us all day everyday. From Time Square to James Bond movies, there's no escape. Times have changed.


Eric said...

This is the greatest post ever, and I can't really say exactly why.
Maybe the font?