Subliminal Messages in Advertising: The Case For
and Against Lisa Caswell Syracuse University
Running Head: Subliminal Messages Subliminal
messaging and subliminal perception are
controversial topics in the field of psychology.
Many studies have been conducted to determine if
subliminal messaging does in fact work. Many
people think that subliminal messages in the field of
advertising are much more successful than
subliminal messages for self-improvement, such as
tapes sold to help the consumer lose weight, gain
intelligence, or do something else to improve
themselves simply by listening to a tape. Subliminal
advertising can be defined as "embedding material
in print, audio, or video messages so faintly that
they are not consciously perceived." Rogers and
Smith (1993) surveyed 400 households. When
asked if they believed advertisers deliberately
included subliminal messages, 61.5% responded
'yes'. A 72.2% 'yes' answer was obtained when
asked if subliminal advertisements were effective.
Based on these results, it can be concluded that
consumers are aware of subliminal advertising, and
believe it is effectively used by advertisers to
influence their decisions. The term "sub-threshold
effects," first popularized by Packard in 1957,
preceded the popular notion of "subliminal
advertising," whose originator is James Vicary.
Subliminal advertising first came to the public's
attention in 1957 when Jim Vicary conducted a
subliminal advertising strategy of...
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...ou See Is What You Get. Journal of
Marketing. 38-47. Packard, V. The Hidden
Persuaders. New York: Pocket Books, 1957.
Rogers, M., and. Seiler, C. A. (1994). The
answer is no: a national survey of advertising
industry practitioners and their clients about
whether they use subliminal advertising. Journal of
Advertising Research. 36-46 Rogers, M., Smith,
K. H. (1993). Public perceptions of subliminal...