Persuasive Speech: Don't Be Persuaded by Subliminal Advertising

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PURPOSE: To persuade my audience to refuse to be persuaded by subliminal advertising


Who here has seen the movie "Fight Club"? If you have, you have been exposed to a thing called subliminal messaging.

Let me show you a short clip from the movie. [show clip]
Okay, raise your hand if you saw the image flash on the screen.
For those of you who didn't see it, here it is in slow-motion. [show the image]
I noticed three other instances just like that one. That's not even all; there's lots more to watch out for in that movie.
Those kinds of techniques are used all of the time, especially in advertising.


Most of us remember an incident involving George "Dubyah" Bush. During the campaigns, the
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It's the reason why anybody would buy movies such as the "Faces of Death" series.

Advertisers love to take advantage of these instincts.
For a more contemporary example, I need one male and one female volunteer.
Look at this Ralph Lauren ad.

Look closely at the positions of their bodies. I want you to mimic this pose exactly.
As you can see, this is an incredibly awkward pose.

The next page shows a picture of the product.
Next, we see a picture of the girl.

Again, the picture is on the right. This is the picture that completes the image. It's the "money shot."

In a multiple page ad, the "money shot" always stays on the side that your attention was initially drawn to. Think about it; when you flip through ads, you tend to focus on one side of the magazine. For most of us, it's usually the right side. But not always. When they make an ad, if they put the beginning on the left, and the end on the right, all of the readers miss their message.

Look at the girl. Her cheeks are flushed, and she has a satisfied expression on her face.
Also notice how they conveniently chose a tube top, so that in page 3 you can't see a stitch on her.

Remember, none of this is accidental. This ad evokes a primitive emotion. And they force us to assume that something happened between page 1 and page 3. And what's on page 2? The product that made it all happen.

To understand how subliminal messaging works, we have to

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