Month: September 2015

The Power of Subliminal Advertising

Hello all. I would like to update you all on my latest viewing stats. I am currently at thirty-two views, which appears to be the highest of my class. Although, it may be the highest, the amount of viewers and readers are still well below my goal of 1,000! Please help me out by sharing my blog with your friends and family so we can have many productive discussions and all learn something new together: www.deanfromsiena.wordpress.com.

This past week in my advertising class we talked about how brand communication works through advertising. Boring, yes, but oddly very interesting and I will show you why. We covered some important topics such as interactive communications vs. mass communication, buzz marketing, the AIDA concept, and emotional responses. However, there is no other technique that it more appealing than implementing subliminal messages into advertisements to trigger a direct, hopefully, impulse decision from a customer.

What is subliminal messaging?

Subliminal messaging can be defined as a message that exists and operates below the individual’s threshold of perception. In other words, as a consumer, you may see the subliminal message, but since it operates below the individual’s threshold, you may not notice it is even there. The goal of the advertisements is to allow you to process this message unconsciously, even if you don’t really notice you even did. It is a pretty interesting and intriguing topic that is used by marketers everyday. So let’s look into a few examples on how this really works.

1.) Milwaukee Brewer’s Logo

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The Brewer’s logo from 1978-1993 appears to be just a baseball glove or mitt with a ball inside of it at first glance. When in reality, if you take your time to really look at it you can notice it is comprised of a “m” and a “b.” So why did the Brewers decide to do this? I do not know for certain, but my educated guess would be that they really want fans and baseball followers to associate the Milwaukee Brewers and baseball together as one to increase the brand message. You should go off my educated guess, I mean I am a Siena College student after all!

2.) Amazon’s Logo

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Everyone now is very familiar with Amazon and what they offer. Just in this past year, Amazon passed Wal-Mart retail stores as the largest retailer in the United States. So what is so subliminal about their domain name and a gold arrow? There are a few messages that you probably did not pick up. For example, the arrow starts at the letter ‘A’ and ends at the letter ‘Z.’ The significance is that Amazon is trying to reinforce, subliminally, that they have access to deliver you your purchased products regardless of your geographic location. The yellow arrow also symbolizes a smile. The purpose is to associate happy and good feelings along with the Amazon brand. The color yellow also can me interpreted as joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. These are all adjectives that Amazon wants their customers to feel about their brand.

3.) Tostitos’ Logo

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Everybody eats Tostitos chips. Let’s be honest with each other, they are absolutely delicious. But you may have missed a couple friends sharing a chip and salsa. Still can’t see it? Look at the two lower case “ts” in the logo. Tostitos did this to reestablish the social gathering of consumering tostitos chips. This idea also reinforces the need to buy a complementary Tostitos’ salsa.

These are just a few small examples of how subliminal messaging is mixed into daily advertisements. If you are still interested on this topic, you should do some research of your own! It is very interesting and maybe you can task yourself with finding subliminal messages in advertisements in the future.

Keep the discussion going! Comment below with your thoughts, ideas, and other examples!

Until Next Week,

Dean Maloney From Siena

*All images are from http://blog.hubspot.com/

What Makes Advertising so Controversial?

Hello all, I’m very glad to be back on WordPress. Unfortunately, my last post only received five views! I think that’s a little pathetic, so I am posting this link (deanfromsiena.wordpress.com) on my Facebook and Twitter page! Like I said, give me until the end of semester and I will have readers all around the world reading about my experiences in advertising. Now, I would like to update my readers on my experiences in Professor Scardillo’s Advertising class at Siena College. This week, his students were raised with a very important question as soon as the class period started:

“Does advertising shape social trends or mirror social trends?” In other words, this question asks if advertising creates social trends or are they reactive to common and popular social trends that are currently happening in our society. It is often argued that advertising both shapes and mirrors social values. I would agree with this claim. For example, if you take a look at Poland Spring’s advertisement below, you will see how the attitudes of “going green” in our society lead to the new eco-friendly Poland Spring bottle that features a smaller plastic cap, made with 30% less plastic, and 100% recyclable. It should also be noted, however, that Poland Spring is one of the first companies to really use green marketing technique to build brand awareness as this ad was released in 2012. So, in this case, advertising does both shape and mirror societal values.

Newly shaped Poland Spring Bottle in reflection of our Environment

Newly shaped Poland Spring Bottle in reflection of our Environment

Another claim of controversial advertising is that it has such a heavy influence on children, teenagers and elderly. This suggests that advertising is unethical in their practices. The goal of advertisers/marketers is to persuade consumers to think they need material products when in reality the lives of the consumers would continue without these materialistic products. So, many marketers create advertising campaigns to target the weak consumers such as children, teenages, and elderly. Advertising will often build up the expectations of a product or service. For example, many cereal companies will create ads to get the attention of children watching TV. See for yourself on this Youtube video about Trix’s recent advertisement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYWDvZl31Ac. There are also many “info-mercials” that will target the vulnerability of the elderly population. This deception can be done through false advertising, misleading claims, or endorsements.

This problem of advertising controversy is not going disappear in thin air overnight. Unfortunately, there are so many greedy people in business that seek to take consumer’s money for their personal benefit. The solution to this problem would be for people to get educated and take the time to actively shop for a product/service. A great aspect of our country and capitalism is competition. This gives us consumers a decision!

In conclusion, I personally believe that marketing has become very unethical. One day, I hope to start a career in the advertising industry. As a humanitarian, I pledge to use fair advertising tactics to give value to my future customers (increased value means an increase benefits which yields customer satisfaction). Stay alert fellow consumers and use your options to benefit yourself! Stay posted for next week’s post. Who knows what it is going to be about!

Best,

Dean Maloney From Siena

How to Advertise During Lake George’s Car Show

It’s official! First week of Junior Year at Siena College is in the books. Although this week is normally filled with stress, I have found myself already enjoying my courses, professors, and classmates.

Most recently in my Advertising class, I have been tasked with creating and maintaining a weekly blog throughout the semester. I love this new, creative assignment. As Professor Scardillo said on the first day of classes, you will be surprised on how many people will be reading your blog. My goal is to have readers by the thousands! Difficult, yet doable. In addition, this can be served as a competitive advantage for myself as I enter the highly competitive job market in the next few years. Meaning that I am just going to have some fun with this and hopefully my readers will too.

This past weekend my family and I took a trip north to attend the 27th Annual Adirondack Nationals Car Show in Lake George. You would not believe the amount of people that walked the village’s sidewalks. Not to mention the large amount of money that was dispersed throughout the weekend.

If anyone is familiar with the village of Lake George, you know that it has great stores targeted to tourists filled with multiple promotional offers and menus for their finest restaurants posted out in the flow of people traffic. This all is expected. What was not expected, in my opinion, was the number of cars that were for sale. I’m not talking about your mother’s old 2004 Chevy Impala. I’m talking about a classic 1973 Pontiac Judge 442 with 50,000 miles with a ‘For Sale’ sign listed at about $35,000. Let’s backtrack for a little bit. Why would somebody park this beautiful car on the side of Lake George’s street for the whole weekend? It’s simple advertising ladies and gentlemen.

Last class I have learned the three basic functions of advertising, identification, information, and persuasion. The identification is clear, it is the car itself for sale. That is known through our societal practices of putting ‘For Sale’ signs on products that we would like to sell. The advertisement also had necessary information. The information listed was the car model, year, miles, price, and the seller’s contact information (usually cellphone number). Then finally, persuasion is pretty easy on such a luxury product like a 1975 Red El Camino. Anyone in their “right state of mind” would want to own and get behind the wheel of this car!

What I found most interesting about this is simply the number of cars that were parked on the side of Route 9 with ‘For Sale’ signs. I must have seen 10-12 cars for sale. The potential sellers are reaching their target market, people that have the disposable income and the passion for a luxury item such as an old race car. Unfortunately, I was not able to see any physical transactions occur, but I would be shocked if not one business deal was agreed upon.

So I would consider this weekend a success. I was able to take the information I learned in my Advertising class and then apply it and recognize it in the “real world.”

That’s all I have for topic! Thank you for reading and stay posted for my post next week!

Best,

Dean Maloney From Siena