In recent years there has been a tool by which people can build confidence and learn to rebuild their lives after experiencing tough life experiences. This tool is called subliminal messages and people wonder if they work or not. Subliminal messages work as a form of self hypnosis, and are based on Neuro Linguistic Programming, which was founded by John Bandier in the 1970s as a way of helping people overcome certain phobias. In NLP, a person uses positive affirmations that they create or which come from outside sources in order to counteract negative emotions. But do they really work? Yes In fact, this technique is so powerful; the US Government banned its use in television advertising decades ago! Dozens of scientific papers have been written demonstrating the effectiveness of subliminal messaging. Below are a few studies that have been conducted:
Before we get into the main areas of subliminal use, it is important to understand what a subliminal message actually is.Generally by using the term subliminal message we mean a means of transmitting a message beyond the means of conscious human perception, yet still reaching the mind to influence behavior. For example we receive a message without our awareness yet it still has an impact upon the brain.In truth the definitions are flexible, so lets define them in terms of “soft” and “hard” messages: This is where the suggestion is very passive.. where it is just a subtle suggestion such as a provocative or sexual pose, maybe even a play on words, but nothing too technical – a mere hint.This is what we really usually mean by the term, where an obvious subliminal technique is used, such as flashing images, hidden text, software, or audio moved to a different sound frequency so it is just out of hearing range.
We will discuss these “hard subliminal” messages in further detail next and show how they are used within our modern media centric world.Flashing images.This is probably the most common form of subliminal message use. There has been a lot of instances of flashing images within advertisements – trying to prompt the user to buy, or relate favourably to a brand.This all started with the now infamous research study where text was flashed saying “eat popcorn” or “drink cola”and sales of such items rose. This seemed to capture the imagination of every marketing manager in the country, yet still to this day brands are trying it.Just recently a major fast food brand, I don’t want to mention the name of (ahem, golden arches) was accused of flashing their company logo in the adverts on the food channel in the USA.
Hidden text.This is another common type of subliminal message. The idea is to hide a word in an advertising poster, perhaps make letters out of stems of grass, flowers, or other patterns within the poster.The idea is to spell a word out – commonly it is “sex”, which appeals to the mind, and makes a connection within the brain of the consumer, and hopefully helps the consumer to associate positive feelings towards the brand.There is also a lot of instances of cartoons, and children’s programs including such messages, but this is rumored to often be the work of the designer as a joke rather than directly the intention of the movie house.Audio messages.Typically when audio is referred to as a subliminal message, it is meant that the voice is either hidden behind the backing music, or that it is moved to a higher sound frequency, often just on the edge of human hearing.
The idea here is that the transmission is still intercepted by the subconscious mind and impacts upon the brain without the conscious mind hearing.The implications and uses for this type of subliminal embedding are not so much for advertising, but there are reports of musicians implanting suggestions.. sometimes less than savory, in their music. Although this is heavily debated and more often just coincidence of the song sounding similar when played backwards but usually not containing a deliberate hidden message. The main way that audio is used is as a tool for self development. There is a huge home industry now around using subliminal messages for self improvement – the idea being that you can listen at home, to positive subliminal messages and rewire the negativity in your mind into positivity to help you to change your outward behavior, your habits and belief systems