What is Subliminal Advertising?

By on December 17, 2011

In his 1957 book, The Hidden Persuaders (Longman Green, London), Vance Packard, suggest a theory that a particular advertising technique could persuade consumers to buy anything, without them even knowing that they were being influenced. This technique came to be known as subliminal advertising. It comprised of inserting a single still image frame, containing a promotional message into a film being used for cinema or television ads. The promotional message would apparently be harmless, but would actually contain a “hidden persuader” (generally, of sexual in nature) that would be picked up by our subconscious brain and would make us like the product and eventually buy it. And this whole time we would not even be aware of the real reason why we liked that particular brand or product.

Sounds subversive and unethical from customer’s point of view, but great if you are a ruthless marketer who can do anything to sell your product, isn’t it?

Only, it’s more like to be hogwash than true. After years of research and debate by psychologists, subliminal techniques have been proved not to work.

But if you consider the images below, they just might. Today technology has advanced to such an extent that graphics can be manipulated to any extent.

Conspiracy theorists would claim that they see hidden sexual messages in many of the modern ads. But more often than not these may be pure coincidences or “design freaks.” These may also be the brainchild of some creative talented artist bored with his daily grind of producing monotonous designs and who thought of having some “fun” with his graphics at the expense of the advertiser. Either way it is unlikely that some evil company is hypnotizing you with their subliminal messages.

Here are some images containing subliminal sexual imagery. Have “fun!”

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