The Power of Subliminal Advertising

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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

amazon

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/

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