Subliminal Advertising Essay

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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. Subliminal advertisement has been around long before the 21st century. Subliminal messages are said to be “below the threshold of conscious perception” (Credo Reference, 2011). It was first pioneered by Dr. James Vicary, in the 19th century, when he conducted an experiment that subliminally engaged the viewers to “eat popcorn” and “drink Coca-Cola” while in the movie theatre (Broyles, 2006). The experiment attempted to prove that subliminal messages are a technique that is effective. In his studies, Vicary reported that the experiment was successful. His data showed that the experiment “increased soda sales at the theater by 18 percent and popcorn by 58 percent.” These results are truly an impressive increase but they were fab... ... middle of paper ... ...ould simply not be acceptable. It creates an uncomfortable atmosphere because many people do not realize what is happening until another person points it out. This is can be seen as a form of controlling. There is a great deal of knowledge that is required in order to successfully develop a subliminal message. This art of persuasion deceitfully uses perception and cognition. The professionals involved use their knowledge of the human brain to strategically change behaviors of consumers’ conscious desires. This, in itself violates a person’s right to self-determination. Unfortunately subliminal advertising will continue to thrive because it is not regulated in many countries. Although some countries have regulations against subliminal messages, it still is not enough. More countries need to ban the use of subliminals because they have a negative impact on consumers.
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