There is a constant and ongoing battle for control over society’s thoughts. Large, money hungry media corporations are using mass media to embed subliminal messages in hopes to influence your thoughts. The use of subliminal messages may have an impact on your decision making, and you will not even be aware of it. It is a subtle tool of manipulation first utilized in the late nineteenth century.
The United States has come to a point where a person cannot go for very long without being greeted with some sort of advertisement. Advertisements are everywhere, no matter how secluded of a life someone may live. They appear on most web pages of the Internet, show up on cellphones during applications, and are plastered along roadways. It has become second nature for most people to tune out the advertisements that are thrown in their faces at practically every turn. Our country is especially ridden with advertisements compared to others, as it has become a multi-billion industry for the country. Fueled by a materialistic frame of mind, the population’s desire for the latest product keeps the advertising field thriving.
Advertising is designed to get information from the companies to the consumers. With that being said, there are several ways in which companies will go about this to ensure that their information is relayed to the consumers effectively and efficiently. According to George N. Root, from Demand Media, “advertising uses misguided promises of desired results to convince customers to purchase a product.” Nancy Day expresses in her book, when there are many of the same products, companies need to convince the public that their product is superior. Which results in an increase in the demand for advertising (7-8). This is when informative advertising turns into manipulative advertising. Root goes on to explain that advertising agencies use manipulative techniques such as “expert” opinion, attractiveness, lifestyle, and fear to control their audience.
1. Propaganda is a term used to describe a way to openly and tendentiously manipulate the public opinion. It is mainly transmitted through the mass media, which in general can reach out to a large number of people in a short time. If you search up the term advertisement you will find that it usually means one of these things: a paid announcement, as of goods for sale, in newspapers or magazines, on radio or television, etc; a public notice or the action of making generally known; a calling to the attention of the public. Basically the main goal of advertising is convincing people that a thing is good or bad, regardless of whether it is a political decision, economic venture, social activity, religious measure, or etc. This position paper will try and justify the claim that advertising is a form of propaganda.
A mass communications major once told me that an individual is subjected to more than forty thousand advertisements during a single day. From radio to television a person’s senses are bombarded by images, sounds, and even the smells of ever conceivable form of media. Newspaper pictorials use print to deliver visual messages. Companies erect walls of advertising billboards along our highways that utilize large graphics and bright colors to draw the attention of sight. The radio attacks the sense of hearing with commercial advertising twice as loud as the station’s booming rock music. The pages of men’s magazines are doused in the smell of a single cologne ad that lurks within the pages waiting to be unhinged. At grocery stores and markets tasting tables are set up to create interactive advertising for an individual’s pallet. No matter what form of media is used to communicate ideas to the population there will always be a stimulation of one or more of the human senses.
The viewer sits on the couch, nestled inside a cozy, warm blanket with a large bowl of buttery and salty popcorn on his lap. His heart starts racing as the movie reaches its climax. Just as his lungs stop breathing and his eyes grow wide with fascination, the channel changes to an old advertisement that he’s seen a thousand times. Ads like that one appeal to the three main techniques that have subliminal messages to viewers. These different techniques have proven to be effective with television watchers. Advertisers use these three techniques to target a certain audience.
Ever since the marketing researcher James Vicary published his study about subliminal messages in a cinema, which - as he claimed - persuaded people to buy more popcorn and cola, there has been a huge controversy about the topic (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Ruscio & Beyerstein, 2010). Vicary claimed to have exposed the audience of a cinema to rapidly flashing images of the words “EAT POPCORN” and “DRINK COLA”, which, according to him, increased the popcorn and cola sales drastically. The question which then presented itself was: Is it really possible to manipulate people with hidden messages in commercials that may influence their behavior at an unconscious level? After the study was published, many people believed that this is indeed the case. However, Vicary’s research (1957) turned out to be completely made up (Lilienfeld et al., 2010).
From the moment that America has been established, this country has been forced to make our own products. However, in order to sell these products, one must discover the best way to put them on display for anyone to purchase. What better way is there to sell something if you advertise it? From huge industrial LED signs to small yard displays, America has been selling its products for years this way. These very effective ways of telling others to “come buy our product”, have been seen all over the world. Whenever people see an advertisement for anything, that idea or product that they saw is the most prominent thing on their mind at the time. Advertisement has been manipulating the human mind in various
Children’s exposure to subliminal messages occurs daily and throughout their life. The media conditions and manipulates the developing mind. Without the parents’ permission or even their knowledge, the media makes lifestyle decisions for our children. Advertising Moguls, without regard for our childre...
Every day, the average person watches three hours of television, reads between five to ten magazines or newspapers, and listens to the radio for five hours (WOW). While doing this, a part of what he experiences are advertisements that come on at an average of every ten minutes. These advertisements are usually used to persuade the costumer to buy something. They also might be used for the listener to do something that the advertisement is asking. Sometimes these advertisements can be hidden messages between or in television programs. This paper is a serious investigation in educating the reader about the effects of advertisement. This investigation will include looking at how advertising began, the actual purpose of advertisement, the types of advertisement and how to deal with them and finally, the future of advertisement. The world of advertisement comes in many ways, and through many means.
We see advertisements all around us. They are on television, in magazines, on the Internet, and plastered up on large billboards everywhere. Ads are nothing new. Many individuals have noticed them all of their lives and have just come to accept them. Advertisers use many subliminal techniques to get the advertisements to work on consumers. Many people don’t realize how effective ads really are. One example is an advertisement for High Definition Television from Samsung. It appears in an issue of Entertainment Weekly, a very popular magazine concerning movies, music, books, and other various media. The magazine would appeal to almost anyone, from a fifteen-year-old movie addict to a sixty-five-year-old soap opera lover. Therefore the ad for the Samsung television will interest a wide array of people. This ad contains many attracting features and uses its words cunningly in order to make its product sound much more exciting and much better than any television would ever be.
Advertisement has become fundamental in today’s economy. It is a medium that companies utilize to promote their services. It has become a big business. Many companies spend millions upon millions in their efforts to promote their products and services. The market is highly competitive and companies are constantly making use of the techniques used to communicate with consumers. These techniques can be seen almost everywhere. Adverts appear on television, magazines, billboards and are even heard on radio stations. There are countless means that advertisers use to lure the customer(s) in the hope that they will be loyal to the brand. Some of these techniques have been quite controversial. Subliminal advertisement or messaging is a prime example. Their subtle manipulations have instilled some fear and uneasiness on many consumers. These manipulations are deceptive, behavior altering and cause paranoia. Due to these negative aspects of subliminal messaging, it should not be an acceptable form of advertisement.
By being a consumer in a world of diverse products and services, it has given us a wide range of choices. A product may be produced by different companies and has the same function, but it is presented to the consumers in different forms. In order to differ from each other, companies use the help of advertising to present its product in a better way than their competitors’. However, advertising the product is becoming more crucial than the product itself. Companies are focusing more on making the brand more popular, rather than actually improving the product that they offer. By turning the advertisement competition into a war between companies, they mislead buyers by hyperbolizing their products positive features, thus hiding the negative ones. Companies forget about the effect they have on the consumers. Consumers should be aware of the manipulative tricks that advertising uses like subliminal messages and brain seduction in order to not be misled into buying something that they do not really require. By knowing how to manipulate the audience and consumers’ brain, companies use tactical methods in order to persuade specific customers to buy specific products or services. Other examples of techniques they use are techniques like puffery which are suggestive claims about a product, using subliminal messages and transferring information indirectly, as well as by targeting a specific group of people, creating a slogan or a mascot and by using sexy models with perfect bodies, advertising tries to manipulate and persuade consumers into buying the product they are offering.