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Subliminal Advertising

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"They can manipulate anything from your political views to your reproductive

behavior, all in the interest of making a buck" says expert Wilson Bryan Key who

wrote the most popular subliminal advertising book ever, Subliminal Subduction.

Subliminal Advertising is an important method of influencing consumers to buy company's products. Subliminal advertising, which first came to the public attention in 1957 is embedded, camouflaged, or hidden words and/or symbols in advertisements. Although most of the subliminal advertising is done in the media, subliminal messages are often played in department stores to discourage shoplifters from stealing. Some of the different messages are "stealing is dishonest", and "I am a dishonest person". Every 7.5 seconds messages were played either under songs or really low so no one can consciously hear it. Another form of advertising not in the media is by a group called Interloc design who uses computers to do their subliminal advertising. They use the newest way of subliminal advertising which is screen savers. Text or images may be inserted in the screen saver and flash at 1/50 of a second. The only way to detect it would be with either laser disc or four-head VCR's. There are many different techniques and symbols that advertisers use. There are also many ways of stopping advertisers from abusing your unconscious brain.

There isn't just one technique that advertisers use to brainwash buyers.

A technique that can normally be viewed in movies or in television. What is normally

done by advertisers is they flash images that are pleasing to the viewers eye such as

a flashy color or a sexual innuendo. A technique that is very effective is questioning

the buyer. When used, it makes the buyer ask themself the question "would I be a bad

person if I did not buy this product?" The next technique used is another way to catch

the buyers eye. "Buzz words" which are words that make us want to see what all the fuss

is about, and to read the company's advertisement. The way it's used in newspapers is

if your flipping through the pages, not really looking at what your reading. What

advertisers will do is put in big, huge word in an ad to catch the reader such as NEW!,

or IMPROVED!. The way it's used in magazines is advertisers would put the word 100% if they were trying to advertise for a product. The way it's used in catalogues is they

put the word HURRY! in, or put something like $20 off!, and that's all they have to do

and people see that and they automatically think of saving money. The way it's used

in billboards is if the advertiser is trying to get a new sandwich a little more hype,

they would put the word Homemade! The celebrity technique is seen more on television,

billboards, and magazines. The reason celebrities endorse products is to give the

product a trait that it doesn't really have such as wealth, fame, or even success.

There are different celebrities that endorse for different products. Just to name a

few: Michael Jordan always drinks Gatorade, Jerry Seinfeld never leaves home without

his American Express card, and Paul Reiser never uses anything except AT&T. What this technique does is make people think "well if the best basketball player in the world drinks Gatorade, then maybe if I drink Gatorade, I could be as great as Michael Jordan.

The "bandwagon technique" asks you the question "Everyone else is doing it, so why aren't you?" What this technique implies is that it's second nature to buy this product, and that it's so popular that you would have to be insane not to have this product in your house. Some of the different slogans are "Did somebody say McDonalds?", and "Thirsty? Drink Coke." The last technique used is the fear technique. This technique lets the buyer know that not buying this product could be disastrous on your own self. The questions advertisers simply are "Do you want to be fat?", "Are you trying to treat your hair badly?", "Would you like to have zits?", "Do you want to have dandruff on prom night?". The mechanism that supports this technique is the Before/After scene. This is the scene where the advertiser has someone looking terrible in one picture, than in the after picture, they look terrific.

There are many ways to manipulate consumers; one is symbolism. The first symbol the unconscious sees is of death. Death is the most repressed fear of the unconscious mind. It represents the feared and repressed of the reader. The symbol most used when using the death technique is the skull-death symbol. Out of all of the death symbols is the most obvious embed. An embed is a subliminal mechanism which is a word, slogan, or symbol inserted faintly so it isn't perceived. Another type of symbol used is a sexual symbol. According to expert Wilson Bryan Key, "sex is the most frequently embedded word in the American advertising industry". Fruit appears a lot in advertisements. However, the orange is probably the most common fruit symbol. The orange historically symbolizes women, and peeling the orange symbolizes undressing the woman. If one imagines a woman in place of an orange in all of the advertisements, the orange appears some rather interesting results may occur. The playboy bunny is also a very common embed. The playboy bunny represents, because of it's universal popularity, the finest international class. There are many phallic symbols that are used in some advertisements which are neckties, arrows, flagpoles, automobiles, rockets, pencils, cigars and cigarettes. According to Wilson



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