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Subliminal Advertisement: Where To Find Subliminal Messages In Advertisements

Feb 10, 2008
Conspiracy theories aside, almost every advertisement contains subliminal messages to help influence you. So how do you spot a subliminal advertisement and what can you do once you've seen through its disguise?

Well, your first task is to spot a subliminal advertisement when you meet one. So here are some clues to look for:

1. Beautiful smiling people

The favorite of alcohol advertisers everywhere. They're not allowed to say "you'll look sexier" or "you'll get more dates" if you drink their brand. There are laws against them saying that. But it's fair game to show the product being consumed by people. So are they going to populate their adverts with ugly drinkers or nice looking ones? Hmmm. Difficult question.

2. Negative commands

"Don't read this". That kind of thing. These help get round lots of rules and regulations in the advertising industry, especially where claims are concerned. One minor problem is that our subconscious mind - the place where these subliminal messages is aimed at - doesn't process negatives. It just carries on as though they weren't there. So the cream that "Won't give you the results of a face lift" is being perfectly legal when it says that in the advert. The regulators are happy - the advertiser is telling the truth. The advertisers are happy - our brain processes the message as "give you the results of a face lift". So our subconscious mind immediately sends a command to get our your wallet or purse and buy the cream. Neat, huh?

3. Pictures at odds with the words

If you're not sure what I mean by this, turn down the volume when you next watch an advert. Is it the same message as the words that were being spoken? Well, if the advertisement was for a car the answer is almost certainly "no". The words will talk about how safe the car is, how good its gas consumption is, how reliable it is, that kind of thing. The pictures will be showing you how you can escape from the regular life you are likely to live with your car. its highly unlikely that the pictures will show a regular commuter run. Instead you're shown pictures of wide open roads with no other traffic. Or squealing around tight corners in some picture postcard town. So the subliminal message is that your choice of car will help you to escape.

These are all regular ways that subliminal advertisements can creep up on us. They happen without the advertiser having to do anything devious like flashing messages briefly on the screen or playing something backwards in the soundtrack. They'll pass any examination by an advertising regulator because they're squeaky clean as far as our conscious minds are concerned.

To be honest, the best protection from this kind of subliminal advert is from seeing it in its true colors. Once you start to analyze an advert like this, you rob it of some of its power. Or at the very least you are much more aware of what the advertiser is doing their level best to sell you. Make a decision based on this analysis rather than the superficial style of the ad.
About the Author
Find out much more about subliminal messages in advertisements and how you can use the power of subliminal messages to positively influence yourself and others.
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