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Subliminal Advertising The advertising industry, a prominent and powerful industry, engages in deceptive subliminal advertising which most people are unaware of. By bypassing the unconscious mind using subliminal techniques, advertisers tap into the vulnerabilities surrounding the unconscious mind, manipulating and controlling it in many ways. Since the 1940's subliminal advertising blossomed until now, when it is possible to find subliminals in every major advertisement and magazine cover. Legislation against the advertisers has had no effect in curbing the use of subliminals. In this Information Age, it seems people are no longer in control of the people. The ones in control are the ones with knowledge (as usual). In this case, the advertisers have it. Advertisements bombard every minute of our lives. The advertising industry has penetrated into every aspect of this society. Most people ignore these ads as they drive by the Marlboro billboard on the way to work or to the countryside on a lovely day. However, most of them do not realize the mind games the advertisers has been playing on our subconscious minds for the past half century. It's a scary thought, really, when you realize the advertisers has gained control of lives without people even knowing about it. A subliminal message requires expert preparation and crafting, and minimal exposure. The former can be achieved in almost any medium. The latter, however, is a far more difficult task in some media than in others. In the electronic media, as an example, control of the exposure time can be precise. In print media, however, the task is far more difficult. Assumptions are made that individuals view a print advertisement for very short periods of time approximately 10 seconds (Gable, Wilkens, Harris, and Feinberg, 1987). In practice, however, such control can neither be assured nor attained. Blink and your eyes might miss it. But will your brain? Several researchers have found that not only are subliminal messages capable of getting through to an audience, they are capable of
significantly influencing a consumer’s choice. But on the other hand, some scientists have found no real connection between subliminal advertising and profit. Well, what’s the truth one might ask? The philosopher William James once said, "We are conscious of what we attend to -- and not conscious of what we do not attend to” (Goodman 1). How does one seek out the truth? How does one begin to find it? Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me something. And I will forget. Show me something. And I will remember. Involve me. And I will understand” (“Benjamin Franklin”1). In 2010, BMW used the optical illusion of afterimage to temporarily imprint “BMW” onto the retinas of the viewers. They made “BWM” flash for an instant during the commercial (“BMW Flash”). After the commercial, viewers were asked to close their eyes. Almost all of the viewers saw the hovering logo in their vision. Was it Subliminal?