Subliminal Messaging in the Ad-World

The April 2006 issue of the magazine New Scientist says that research has shown results in favor of subliminal messages in advertisements. The results have shown that if circumstances are appropriate, subliminal advertising designed to popularize a brand can be successful.

Experiments conducted earlier were ignored. But in a recent development, scientists discovered that nearly 80 per cent of people who were subjected to subliminal advertising messages bought that product while only 20 per cent of controls did the same. These indeed are very dangerous trends.

The origins of “subliminal message” can be found during World War I. It was during this time that US army inserted subliminal messages into songs so as to inspire people to join the army.

The definition of subliminal message states that it is any signal which is below the thresholds of perception. There are various forms to convey these messages. It could be an image flashed for a time interval which is very short for the conscious mind to understand but sufficient enough to get registered in our unconscious minds.
Our conscious minds functions purely on reason and logic. It does not allow anything that is against what it is programmed to believe. The subconscious mind instead is not judgmental and accepts all information.

Children are most vulnerable to this powerful technique when used in advertisements. Research has shown that if children watch television one more hour than the usual timing, they ask for at least one more of the products that has been shown in the ads.

But all parents have known this fact beforehand. All parents have experienced their children pestering them to buy what they want.
Results of research also show that priming works only it is in alignment with our goals. Put simply, you will tend to buy a product only if you think it satisfies some of you needs or wants.

Hence, it is may be more beneficial to use priming when you want to target some section of consumers, instead of aiming to create a need among people for the product.

Ever wondered what would happen if politicians use it? In fact, they may be using it since long.

Do this mean that subliminal messages are unethical if used in ads? Should there be more stringent regulations in ads? What are methods available to detect subliminal messages?

And the most crucial issue is if its wrong that subliminal messaging works or are the advertisers wrong to use such methods to manipulate consumers.

Nevertheless, a number of beneficial uses of subliminal also do exist. On such instance is for bringing about a change in one’s habit or personality.