Power of Pervasive Subliminal Advertising

Dave Young at GrokDotCom, who work with Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg (or, is it Bryan and Jeffrey – not quite sure) writes about subliminal messages, are how subliminal stimuli are very powerful and shape our future perceptions and ideas.

Dave Young's point is that a website gives off subliminal messages that may fight or augment the conscious messages the business is trying to put forth.

"…Done with dinner, we've beached our stuffed selves onto the furniture at the hotel and Bryan says, "You've got to see this YouTube video on subliminal advertising." What brought that up? I hand him my MacBook and he quickly finds the video. Pretty cool. It all makes sense now."

Here's the Video (below):

And this gets me to think … where have we seen this before?  I think about the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections and wonder if voters perceptions are being influenced by thousands of subliminal messages that affect not only our perceptions but the solutions we come up with. 
One would expect such techniques to be used in spy agencies like the CIA (who's father was the Head of the CIA at one time?).  Now,the picture starts coming together – see what I mean?  Just read on.


"..Gore told reporters Tuesday, "I've never seen anything like it. I think it speaks for itself." When asked whom he felt was responsible for the "RATS" message, he replied, "That's obvious," but did not elaborate on whether he was referring to the Bush campaign or the RNC."
"..We all know the results of the 2004 American presidential election by now. We’ve read about it online and in newspapers, viewed it on television and listened to reports of it on the radio. This week, though, Limelight looks at the effectiveness of political advertising – just how did Bush get his message across more effectively than Kerry?"
Recent research from the UK Times shows people will absorb subliminal advertising as long as they're paying attention (keep in mind the video I just showed you):
"…Brain scans have shown for the first time that subliminal advertising can be an effective means of getting a sneaky message across.

Simple messages flashed up before the eyes of volunteers were unconsciously registered by the brain, research showed.

An fMRI scanner recorded extra brain activity whenever an image was shown for a moment, even though the viewers were, at a conscious level, unaware of what they had seen.

The study suggests that George Bush was on to a vote-winner when his campaign team used subliminal advertising to brand Al Gore a rat in the 2000 American presidential elections.

The advert was pulled from the screen when it was realised that the word “rats” was being flashed up for a thirtieth of a second. Research at University College London reveals that such messages are absorbed by viewers. The key to the message being unconsciously understood, the study showed, is that the image reaches the retina and that the brain is unencumbered by other tasks.

When viewers were concentrating hard on another visual task, subliminal images of household objects failed to be registered by the brain. Behador Bahrami, who led the research, said: “What’s interesting here is that your brain does log things that you aren’t even aware of and can’t ever become aware of.

“These findings point to the sort of impact that subliminal advertising may have on the brain.”

Let's assume certain candidates will use Subliminal Advertising again in 2008; let's also assume that we only discovered 1% (or a fraction) of the subliminal advertising that was put out onto the airwaves and print during 2000 and 2004 – it would explain much of what happened.
In fact, Subliminal Messaging is not all bad, it can have a positive impact to speed learning – as was covered in a book written by a former college professor of mine, Philip Miele, called SUGGESTOPEDIA – Easier Learning the Natural Way.  I still have my copy (its out of print)  from the Graduate class I took on Communications and Media in 1987 at New York Institute of Technology with Professor Miele.  Much of Suggestopedia is based on the Reptilian Brain, a carry over from earlier evolution that sites at the Brain's base, and was used as a learning accelerator by Dr. Lozanov (who wrote a UNESCO paper on Suggestopedia). 
Suggestopedia was used as a way to speed learn foreign languages – but the base of it's technique is to put the conscious mind at rest, but aware, let the Reptilian brain function and take in information at accelerated rates; the information is quickly

assimilated to the conscious mind.  Subliminal Messaging (Advertising) is a from of Suggestion.

Let's also further expect that in 2008 Subliminal Advertising will be even more powerful – for example, it's already been shown that Branding is much more powerful when build into 3D Virtual Worlds like Second Life – in fact, I did a painting about it recently – taking Coke/Pepsi as an example:
My painting, done after Virtual Worlds 2007 Conference –  works out how much more powerful Branding is in Second Life.  On the other hand, most people still don't go into Second Life compared to the general population.  But a lot of people go on the internet and listen to / view online videos and podcasts – most of these are not even regulated.
My point is – let's assume there's going to be ALOT of Subliminal Advertising – there already is and as I have shown, there has been a lot of Subliminal Advertising in the past and — it works.  That's a fact.
We can't bury our heads in the sand and say it's not a factor ….. it is.  Should it be disclosed when it's done …yes.  Will it be? No.   Is there a way to filter it out?  Not sure.  However, I think the point of this post that there are always subliminal messages – even one's that you don't plan to give out – like a web page that has one message (buy my widget) but that is formatted and presented in a way that says (don't buy my widget).
If we want the best result, all messages, conscious and subliminal, should match up.

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