To create subliminal ads or not? This is the question!

subliminal ads unconscious
Photo by: Gabriele Negri

There are generally two possibilities in presenting ads:

  1. You create an ad – image, message, sound and you present it to your target customers, just as it is.
  2. You create an ad – image, message, sound. But now there is a special effect – within the ad, you filter a subliminal message.

What is a subliminal message?

A subliminal message is a signal or message that is presented that quickly to the target audience, so that is not perceived consciously. But on the unconscious level, it will be surely processed.

The subliminal message can be filtered in 1 frame pro 25 seconds or in 1 frame pro second. It depends on the frequency you decide to present it to your target audience.

Moreover, you have various possibilities to implement this subliminal message:

  • you can use for example a couple of words to encourage people to buy your product e.g. “PRODUCT XY” or “BUY PRODUCT” – choose a simple word combination and keep in mind how your target customers should behave after seeing your ad.
  • Or you can filter some kind of picture of your product, which is displayed very quickly between the images of your ad.
  • If you are creative you will surely find also a possibility to filter your subliminal message in audio.

To get a better impression on how to implement subliminal messages within an ad, you can watch the following video:

There is a hot debate whether it is useful or not to create subliminal ads. Science does not give a clear information on this topic. There were experiments, which could prove the effect of subliminal ads on the behavior of target customers like it was the case of Coca-Cola (1957,1970). Other studies (1989) could not replicate the positive effect of subliminal ads. Consequently, science does not confirm that subliminal ads would influence consumers´ behavior to buy a product.

On the other hand, others argue that the human mind is suggestible and that subliminal suggestions are more powerful than normal ones, which are induced by auto-suggestion or hypnosis. And that the unconscious mind would be not capable to protect itself from subliminal suggestions.

And there are also voices arguing that subliminal ads would be a tool of manipulation because they were also used in the presidential campaign in the USA (2000).

What do you think about creating subliminal ads? Do you play with the thought to test such an ad? Or do you think this is just Woo Doo?

I am curious to find out more about your opinion. Therefore you can leave a comment in the field below! Looking forward to reading it 🙂


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