The Pros And Cons Of Subliminal Advertising

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As defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, subliminal advertising is the “advertising that uses images and sounds that the conscious mind is not aware of, in order to influence people and make them attracted to a product”.
In 1957, James Vicary, a market researcher, claimed that he succeeded to increase Coke’s and popcorn’s sales, and therefore to influence consumers’ choices by using subliminal advertising. He announced that he placed the messages “Drink Coca Cola” and “Eat popcorn” in a movie. It was so fast (1/3000 second), like flashes, that the audience did not have the time to notice it consciously (BROYLES, 2006). However, instead of being acclaimed and praised, the statement raised outrage and concern. It was seen as psychological manipulation
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Today the message is not hidden in movie frames anymore. Companies still use subliminal advertising by exposing their brand openly and, most of all, repeatedly. And in fact, by seeing repetitively the logo of a brand, the eyes are used to it and the consumer does not notice it anymore, but the brain saves it unconsciously.
Although subliminal advertising can be questionable on the legal and ethical aspects, studies do not agree on whether it has actual effects on the consumer or not. What can be the potential effects on consumers and what are the counter arguments of other researchers?
Subliminal messages can be used not only in movies, like Vicary did, but also on other supports like music, pictures, texts, self-help audiotapes, and for several purposes like elections, propaganda, marketing, religions, etc. Over the years researchers have disagreed regarding the effects of subliminal advertising on consumers. Some of them stated that there is no effect on consumers, some of them claimed there are indeed consequences on the audience exposed to subliminal advertising. Some researchers stated initially that it has no impact on consumers, but nowadays we can find an increasing number of studies that claim the
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However, this threshold differs from an individual and another, and can also vary every minute for a single individual. It is thus important to determine every subject’s threshold to see if the subliminal message is effective or not. The stimulus has to be weak enough in order for the subjects with a higher threshold not to notice it. According to Moore, the stimuli are usually too weak not only for the subject to notice it, but also to have a potential effect on him if there is another stimulation at the same time or if the attention is focused on something else. Also, the human brain is composed by unreliable elements which make it unlikely to have an automatic response (Moore,

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