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Old 28th November 2012, 07:03 AM   #1
Joe Random
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Any reliable on-line resources on subliminal advertising

So the one fellow at work who was busy a few weeks ago trying to convince everyone that the hurricane was just the start of the End of the Word(tm) has now been going on about subliminal advertising. I remember reading some stuff way back in high school which made it out to be some insidious, wide spread practice which all advertisers across all media engaged in, and at the time I lapped it up uncritically. A few years later I came across information which seemingly debunked it. That was <bignum> years ago, however.

My knee jerk reaction to hearing him go on about Absolut vodka and Marlboro cigarettes was to dismiss it out of hand, but to be fair I haven't looked into the subject in quite a long time, so maybe I was mistaken. I did some reading (mainly Snopes) and it reinforced what I seemed to remember - whatever effect is there is too small to influence a person's decisions.

The Snopes article should be enough to address the several claims he made about Marlboro's packaging, but I'd like to be able to address the topic of subliminal advertising in general. He claims to have 'read all about it', but this is the same person who had 'read all about' how the hurricane was going to be Obama's excuse to call in the UN occupational forces which would eventually usher in the Rapture, so ...

In any case rather than tackle things piecemeal I'd like to hit the subject in general. I"m almost dead certain I couldn't get him to read a proper book, and whatever research I do on my end he could easily dismiss if he doesn't see the same info with his own eyes. Does anyone know of any reliable resources on line discussing the subject, which I could easily point him to as a backup to my refutation? Is anyone knowledgeable enough on the subject to say if Wikipedia's article and references on it are reliable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subliminal_advertising )?

As a side note, I don't think I'll actually be able to get him to change his view point, and he's a rather nice person so I wouldn't want to badger him into rationality even if that were possible. I'm approaching this as something of an exercise for me : how do I make a solid, coherent case for rationality. Outside of showing people proof that forwarding an e-mail <x> number of times won't actually get them that Disneyland vacation/new car/new computer, I've always been a spectator in these sorts of things, so I'm trying to learn how one actually participates.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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Whatever you do find, show it to him really really quick, to cement it better in his head.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:02 AM   #3
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There is nothing at all subliminial in Marlboro ads.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:24 AM   #4
Scott Sommers
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The term 'subliminal advertizing' is used for two entirely different things. One claim is that pictures of penises and forbidden words have been deliberately inserted in ads, and that this has some sort of psychological affect on viewers. a second meaning is contained in the Wiki link. Here stimuli that is not within conscious perception to produce behavioral change.

These are not the same things.

One claim is that we can be affected by stimuli that no one can be aware of, but has an objective existence. The other is that vague and ambiguous stimuli contain meaning that was intended by their creator and this intended meaning, no matter how vague and ambiguous, has a consistent affect on viewers.

Which one of these sounds more likely to be true?
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Scott Sommers View Post
One claim is that we can be affected by stimuli that no one can be aware of, but has an objective existence.
My father is going deaf, and constantly repeats things that other people said seconds before as if he'd just thought of them. His subconscious now includes any conversation in the room that is just below his level of conscious hearing.
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Old 28th November 2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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It was my understanding that seeing naughty bits or such in adverts was nothing more than pareodilia. I'm not talking about Easter eggs deliberately inserted into animated films or the like, but that in picture adverts seeing whangs or boobs was nothing more than the product of imagination.

Is it generally accepted then that it does happen intentionally on the part of the advertisers? I have to say I'm at a loss to figure out what they'd gain by it all if true. From the pics posted above it seems like they'd have to be targeting people who have a fetish for mummy members.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:31 PM   #7
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When I was first exposed to this idea (about 30 years ago), I was quite impressed. But the more you think about it, the crazier it gets. It seems to be implying that pareodilia has impact based on the original intention of the creator of the vague stimuli. So if I paint a picture with some vague sexual thing painted into it, and my intention is that you will get excited by it, you would get excited. But this makes no sense.

As Modified points out, it seems to completely ignore individual differences. I think the original point was that sensitizing yourself to what's going on will give you the ability to understand the unconscious effects of the subliminal stimuli. So your grandfather may not be understand everything that's said to him, but he would know that people are talking to him and that that's where he's getting some of the ideas that pop into his head.

But these are quite different ideas about the stimuli that affect unconscious thought.
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I've seen it here and in several other places that there is no Illuminati. That doesn't even make sense. There's a Wikipedia entry that talks about it. I'm not saying that everything on Wikipedia is true, but if you read it, it's just really clear how the Illuminati controls the world.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:32 PM   #8
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As someone who's worked in advertising or advertising-related fields in North America, Latin America and Asia for nearly 20 years, not once have I seen an example of actual subliminal advertising, or even heard it mentioned seriously.

To be honest, advertisers find it hard enough to convey the selling idea in a convincing way through regular communication, without worrying about communicating stuff subliminally.

It's BS.

ETA: I don't want to imply that subliminal advertising has never been tried--it probably has. Just that if it actually worked, advertisers would be using it, and they're not.
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scott Sommers View Post
So your grandfather may not be understand everything that's said to him, but he would know that people are talking to him and that that's where he's getting some of the ideas that pop into his head.
Father, not grandfather.

I think the voices are at such a low level for him that he perceives them as his own thoughts, or possibly the (subconscious) process of deciphering the words takes so long that the association with the original speech is lost. Anyway, it happens a lot, usually once or twice every time I see him.
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Old 29th November 2012, 09:20 AM   #10
Scott Sommers
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Originally Posted by Modified View Post
Father, not grandfather.
Sorry.

Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
As someone who's worked in advertising or advertising-related fields in North America, Latin America and Asia for nearly 20 years, not once have I seen an example of actual subliminal advertising, or even heard it mentioned seriously.

To be honest, advertisers find it hard enough to convey the selling idea in a convincing way through regular communication, without worrying about communicating stuff subliminally.

It's BS.

ETA: I don't want to imply that subliminal advertising has never been tried--it probably has. Just that if it actually worked, advertisers would be using it, and they're not.
And that's where this leads to us calling you a lackey of the New World Order and how this just proves a conspiracy theory about the mind control of advertizing...developed no doubt using the techniques of MKUltra.

http://experimentalvaccines.org/wp-c...04/mkultra.jpg

Edited by LashL:  Changed hotlink to regular link. Please see Rule 5.
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I've seen it here and in several other places that there is no Illuminati. That doesn't even make sense. There's a Wikipedia entry that talks about it. I'm not saying that everything on Wikipedia is true, but if you read it, it's just really clear how the Illuminati controls the world.

Last edited by LashL; 29th November 2012 at 12:19 PM.
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