Subliminal Advertising

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by wegs, May 16, 2019.

  1. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Subliminal advertising is thought to be fast paced stimuli that is perceived by the subconscious brain. Mainstream science states that subliminal messaging or advertising does not have a lasting effect on the brain, while pseudo science suggests that it might.

    One of the most curious studies on this was done by James Vicary who claimed that he could flash the words “Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola” onscreen at speeds far too fast to be consciously noticed, thus increasing sales at various concession stands. However, this was later proven to be untrue.

    Subliminal advertising is illegal actually in the UK and Australia, but not yet ''officially'' banned in the US, yet.

    If subliminal advertising/messaging is considered pseudoscience, why would it be banned in some countries? Is there any scientific evidence that could support the fact that subliminal advertising directly seduces our subconscious brain?
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know the answer to your second question. Regarding the first question, being banned (if that is the case) would be a political thing. Politicians can ban anything regardless of whether it's scientifically significant or not. Politicians could ban GMO whether there is anything proven to be wrong with it or not, for example.
     
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  5. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, I didn't know that. Even if the business is a privately held company?
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Regardless of possible privately-held status, broadcast stations are regulated by the government for content.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Probably because the ban was put in effect when the government was alerted to possible danger. Whether the danger turns out to be real or not, it's better to protect people ahead of time than try to cure them too late. Advertising is not exactly an essential service, so there's no harm in banning potentially harmful methods.
    Last I read on this, that was still uncertain. Hardly seems worthwhile to make advertising subliminal, though, when obvious visual images and repetition seem to do work more predictably.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Guess that would depend on the money and clout of the lobby.
     
  10. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

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    Does subliminal advertising only apply to food? What about flashing up ''Vote Republican'' or ''Sweetpea is my hero''?
     
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  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure if anyone has sought to overturn the ban in the UK, and if no one has, that might partly explain why it's still illegal. If it was effective then people may be more eager to seek to overturn it, but since its effectiveness has not been statistically proven outside of the lab, it is not something the advertisers might want to follow up on. Why overturn a ban on something that doesn't work?

    There is also a risk to the advertiser should someone become aware that they are using subliminal advertising. Would you appreciate someone trying to subconsciously control your thoughts, irrespective of whether it worked or not. I could imagine any attempt to use such methods might backfire and result in boycotts or simply bad publicity.

    There are/were many weird and wonderful laws in the uk that were not repealed until well after they were anachronistic. E.g. Until 1960, I believe, it was required of every Englishman between the ages of 17 and 69 that they keep and practice with a longbow.
    Whether the ban on subliminal advertising yet falls into this camp, though, is doubtful.
     
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  12. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    For the sake of the advertisers, I hope subliminal advertising does work because I really hate the regular in-your-face advertising. I haven't bought a Pepsi product since the 1970s because I didn't like their advertising and I have a more recent personal ban on A and W for the same reason.
     
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  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    You certainly don't need it for food. In fact, the single most effective message is just pictures of food. Of course, there is no reason to suppose that Burger King's pictures won't send you to A&W or Wendy's. Unless you're deliberately boycotting a company, you'll get the desired burger wherever is nearest, cheapest, most convenient, or most familiar.
    Seeing lots of beer slopping over lots of glasses on tv might make you thirsty for one, but you'll just get your usual brand from the fridge.
    Sometimes when I see something new advertised, like A&W's veggie burger, I go out of my way to try it. Once. It's boring. President's Choice is much better.
    My suspicion is that advertising accomplishes very little at all - I certainly don't notice what brand they're pushing, unless the ad is unusually annoying or insulting. Dairy Queen put me off their Mother's day cake with the 'cute' messages you could order. I won't buy Coors because they think I'm stupid enough to pay for refrigeration.
    If subliminal advertising worked, people would change brands. Do you see any evidence of that?
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    There's no way this effect would bubble up to blatant visibility. We just can;t know without looking at the data. You would have to do a controlled study - maybe an AB study.
     
  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    But that's the only effect most advertisers are interested in achieving.
    However, subliminal messages may have other effects. https://academic.oup.com/nc/article/2016/1/niw013/2757133
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/...nal-ads-unconscious-influence-and-consumption
    Will those who intended to buy a couch anyway buy two couches? Unlikely. But they may go shopping for one do it sooner than they planned. This, OTH, this
    is just setting a mood, like Christmas carols, lullabyes or marches - we've known about the effects of music for several thousand years.

    So, I guess it also depends on what we mean by subliminal.
     
  16. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    So we can ban politicians before they become politicians?

    Sounds good to me

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  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I have some ideas about early childhood education....
     
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    a good way would be to ban all those with a law degree from running for political office

    (maybe tad less radical than killing them all?)
     
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  19. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    The fact that you’ve mentioned those brands here is what advertisers are most likely aiming for - to be remembered. Even if the ad annoyed you...it was memorable.
     
  20. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder if subliminal persuasion is effective, even if the stimuli (message) is something your conscious brain would be totally averse to - like “vote for Trump.”

    Flashing super fast across the screen (that your subconscious brain picks up) over an image that your conscious brain processes as positive, like your favorite dessert or restaurant.

    The two stimuli together cause your conscious brain to somehow relate Trump with something you enjoy. Then, like a programmed drone...you cast your vote for him in the next election. Unaware of how it all happened.

    That would be wicked!

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    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  21. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    They're welcome to all three people who read this - if any of them decided to cross the street and buy that burger instead of one from the outlet on this side of the street.

    Did you read the abstracts?
     
  22. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Why be subliminal when you can just be obvious?
     
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    At least those ones can read! And maybe even have an inkling of what's in the constitution.
    Wrestlers, actors and real estate agents with ghost-writers to turn their life story into an infomercial - who knows?
     
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