We are doing a 90 second video that we will run on YouTube and if it does well maybe cut it to 30 seconds and buy a spot on a local TV station (we are a hybrid brick and mortar local biz with a growing online presence). I've heard mixed things about subliminal messages in ads. Do they work?
are 2 ways to embed subliminal messages in ads.
– Imagine that a restaurant want to promote a particular kind of alcohol. So
the restaurant or bar decides to subtly carve an alcoholic brand name into the
ice that goes in your glass when you order a drink. Let’s say the bar is able
carve the word “Vodka” into the block of ice. The desire in this scenario is to
subtly suggest to the customer to order Vodka. This type of subliminal ads does
not work for the following reasons.
is premium. Most professional people are very busy and distracted and may
not even recognize that they are being surreptitiously advertised to with a brand suggestion
carved into the ice in their glass unless they are James Bond. In fact, it may
even turn them off if they suspect that they are being subliminally advertised
brands vs new brands. Established brands do not need subliminal ads. They certainly
have the budget to create interesting ads that can engage their target
Depending on your geography and sophistication of your target market/audience,
you may be able to embed a subliminal message in the ad and have it be well
received. It is worth noting that western consumers are generally suspicious of
ads that are not transparent and upfront.
Embedding subliminal ads in a static image is easier and more effective than
trying to embed it in a medium such as video. Next time you see the FedEx logo,
take a closer look. You will notice an arrow pointing to the right.
very clever and creatively done. Once you see it, you will always see it. The
subliminal message that FedEx is conveying is that of “speed & delivery accuracy”.
I’m not sure how much FedEx spent to get this clever subliminal message into its
logo. I'll bet it wasn’t cheap. It has become an integral part of the FedEx brand
now. It would have been very difficult to achieve this in a video clip of FedEx
trying to explain how they are accurate in their package delivery unless the
video includes this image.
advertising industry is rapidly changing from direct product ads to
experiential ads. What does that mean? Embedding subliminal messages in an
ad is easier and can be clever and witty.
than an advertisement of the car itself, Subaru created an ad that is more
focused on what experiences you will have with the car. The subliminal message here
is that you will enjoy the outdoors, find love and enjoy the affection of a
pet if you drive a Subaru. You only see the name of the car at the very end of
lesson here is that unless you are able to embed a cleverly subtle subliminal
message that conveys a positive “experience” associated with the use of your product, you are better
off just doing a direct advertisement of your product in the ads. It is a
tricky exercise because if your audience and potential customers detect that
you are trying to trick them into buying your product, it could back fire. Once
that trust in your brand is lost, it usually difficult to build it back up.
Also, see the CBSNEWS MoneyWatch article on The
10 Best Subliminal Ads Ever Made "Subliminal advertising -- placing fleeting or hidden images in
commercial content in the hopes that viewers will process them unconsciously
-- doesn't work. Recent research suggests that consumers do
sometimes respond non-consciously to cues they aren't consciously aware are