It is a free world and everybody is free to do whatever they want. We make decisions on a daily basis and we are happy that we are responsible for our own lives. But are we really making conscious decisions? Could it be that we are tricked into making certain decisions?
Warning: After reading this, you will start doubting every advertisement you come across. Also, some of the examples are NSFW.
Before we dive into the examples, allow us to introduce the hero of this blog, Mr. Subliminal Advert, who, besides manipulating, has the unique power of being invisible. Mr. Subliminal Advert was born in 1957. It was when a market researcher inserted the words “Eat popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola” as flashing images in a movie theatre. These words were flashed only long enough for the subconscious mind to pick it up and not the conscious mind. It resulted in an increase in the sales of popcorn and Coca-Cola by 57.5% and 18% respectively.
This may be a big shocker because right now, you’re thinking that your entire life is a lie, freedom of choice is a lie, so on and so forth.
If you think that the purpose of advertising is to make you buy the product, you are wrong. Its goal is to familiarise its consumers with the intended product. So much so, that when you enter a supermarket you will pick up the products that you ‘know’ even if you haven’t bought it before. Let us further illustrate some of the hidden messages that advertisers employ to manipulate the audience.
Many reportedly say that they can see a naked girl sleeping on top of the coke can. Do you also see her hair dropping down?
Palmolive’s Shower Time
It is hard for us to see unless someone points it out. For instance, something doesn’t seem right with her hand, does it?
We would definitely wonder what relevance the girl could have with flooring and why would the headline say “Laid by the Best”. Turn your mobile upside down to find out but it’s strictly NSFW. The idea of employing SEX subliminally is to arouse the audience. This makes their subconscious believe that they would have the same feeling when they buy the product.
When the advertisement of tobacco products were made illegal, Marlbro came up with its barcode idea. The barcode depicted the pattern and the colour of the logo and when the car moved fast, making it look like the logo itself.
The moment we think of homemade food, mom is the person that comes to mind. The fast food chain wanted its customers to see their food as homemade, and so they added the word ‘mom’ in their logo. Take a close look at the girl’s necklace.
KFC Hidden Dollar Bill
KFC launched their 99 cents snacker which translates to one dollar. On their commercial they hid a dollar bill in the lettuce of the burger. Don’t believe us? Zoom in and see for yourself.
This was done to make the consumer associate one-dollar bill with their snacker. So whenever someone sees a dollar bill, they will think of KFC subliminally.
From advertisements like this, one can only assume that sex sells but it also may not necessarily convert into a purchase. Brands use subliminal messaging for many reasons, but the main reason is for the association of their product. Sex as a subliminal message makes the consumer feel that they will feel the same pleasure when they consume the product.
Although claims of the market researcher for the sales of popcorn and coke using subliminal messaging turned out to be a hoax, recent studies show that if the audience already has a motive to get a product, subliminal ads could work wonders. Therefore, it’s safe to say that subliminal messaging will have no impact if you have no intention to buy something in the first place.