Subliminal Advertising: its Effects & 5 Ways to do Subliminal Advertising
What is Subliminal Advertising?
Subliminal advertising is defined as creating a message through an image, video, audio, or a text, that will completely be ignored by your conscious mind and be processed by your subconscious which will then pitch the idea of doing some action as in purchase a product.
Subliminal advertising is something that is not advertised to hit your conscious mind but rather to surpass that feeling to the subconscious domain. It plays with your mind and affects your actions without you even noticing it.
For example, some companies will use subliminal advertising to get you thinking about their product without you realizing what’s going on. These may include some hidden messages, music playing at low volume or something flashing on the screen for a few seconds.
Some may be inaudible to your conscious mind but audible to your subconscious mind.
Many advertising companies, political parties, or broadcasters use subliminal advertising to attract people or engage them in particular actions they want them to perform.
Marketers, who use subliminal advertising, use it very sharply and people subconsciously go for their product without giving it a second thought.
Ways of Subliminal Advertising
- Hidden Message
Hidden messages are a part of the advertising strategy in which some messages may seem normal to you but they are made for the subconscious, hence, they’ll attract you to do what they want. These messages are flashed on your screen for a few seconds.
In 2007, The Food Network got in trouble when someone noticed a bright red screen flashing for a fraction of a second during Iron Chef. Here “I’m lovin’ it” is producing an instant effect on the audience.
This type of subliminal advertising is not restricted to businesses but can also be used for other purposes. This concept can easily be understood by a clip in the next type that uses both for recruitment.
Music has a major impact on human psychology. Low volume music playing in the background may make you feel calm and relaxed but that’s how they can trigger your subconscious and hence befalling you to the subliminal messages.
In this way, slow music in an advertisement, or in the background in some malls can urge you to shop more.
Sometimes sub-audible tracks are mixed in underneath the much louder tracks.
These sub-audible tracks are heard by the subconscious mind but are ignored by the conscious mind. As we’ll see in the example below, sometimes these messages are audible but are backward which is called back-masking.
The example below is from the famous cartoon series, The Simpson’s, which uses both the hidden message and the music techniques of subliminal advertising.
Colors of products or screens appearing in front of you have can be subliminal too. It may seem normal to you as it should be but it’s affecting you subconsciously.
The contrasting elements and the colorful layout of bright and dull colors can affect your psychology and may want you to buy it only based on colors.
An example of this is a famous ice-cream company named Baskin-Robbins which is famous for having 31 ice-cream flavors – you can understand the reference below:
- Shape of Products
Manufacturers using subliminal messages know how to make people buy their products. For example, for women, they use a curved shape for products and elegance which attracts them. On the other hand, they use straight shapes for men.
Symbols used in the brands and advertisements also affects the audience subconsciously.
One of the best examples would be a corporate logo of the Spartan Golf club which hides double subliminal messages behind it. The face of a Spartan warrior can be seen by the black silhouette of a golfer’s backswing, while the trail pattern of his swing also makes up the shape of a classic Trojan helmet.
The Tostitos logo is fairly well-known but there is one detail that you may have missed — two friends sharing chips and salsa.
Effects of Subliminal Advertising:
Subliminal advertising and messages control your emotions through psychology; creating positive or negative effects on you depending upon the message. Such messages touch the soft-corners thus enabling the marketers to manage the emotions of the audience and make it go anywhere they’d like.
Depending upon the subliminal advertisement you may want to buy something, eat something, or do something. This is all because of the hidden message or music you heard in the subconscious domain of your brain.
For example, if you are in a dance club and fast music is playing you will want to dance more. Another good example will be seeing an advertisement for popcorn before going to watch a movie, which will make you urge you to buy it.
- Longer Brand Remembrance
Some out-of-the-box and brand-specific logo designs trigger your subconscious domain and make you remember them for a longer time. People love innovations which are the key aspect of this type of advertising – taking a residence inside your brain – giving marketers a golden opportunity to sell anything they’d like to the audience.