Monday, November 12, 2012

The Effects of Subliminal Messages in Advertising

The Effects of Subliminal Messages in Advertising thumbnail

Advertisers may deny that subliminal messages are embedded in commercials and ads, but scientists have found otherwise. According to University College London researchers, subliminal messages can remain in the brain and effect the subconscious. The practice of putting these messages in ads is not illegal in the United States and is in practice today, however it has been made illegal in the United Kingdom.

Purchasing Decisions

  • Subliminal advertising can affect the things we buy. One way that advertisers do this is through product placement. You may not notice what brand of soda a movie character is drinking in a movie you saw, but you may buy that brand without realizing it simply because you did see it. Produce placement is a strong motivator of purchase-making decisions.


  • It has long been speculated that movie theaters embed messages and use certain colors in the advertisements you see when sitting in your seat waiting for the movie to begin. These messages, it's theorized, are intended to make you think you are hungry or thirsty and must go visit the concession stand. Messages in commercial or print advertisements may make you think you need to buy a certain product to be sexy or happy. Sometimes words flashing during a commercial advertisement may stick in your brain and encourage you to purchase a particular product.


  • Advertisers show us what we want to see. There was some controversy in the 1970s about scary images on a liquor ad. Since alcoholics dream in frightening images, some said, they were attracted to the liquor in the advertisement and purchased it. Strategically placed dollar bills in ads make us think of money (and therefore spend more) and slogans like "Just Do It" encourage our brains to do whatever may be on our mind, bad or good. The intent behind such subliminal messages is for the information to embed itself in our brains and alter the way we think.

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