The Different Forms of Subliminal Messages.

Subliminal messages come in several different forms. This paper will discuss the following forms of subliminal messages:.

aEUR?"Invisible" messages.

aEUR?Visible but unnoticed messages.


Subliminal messaging, especially as it relates to advertising, has been around since at least the 1950's. It really came to the forefront because of a man name James Vicary. It is reported that he wanted to boost the sales of snacks in movie theaters and flashed the words "Drink Coke" and "Eat Popcorn" on the projector screen. These words were flashed on so quickly that they couldn't be recognized by the conscious mind. He then reported to the press that sales had increased by 58%. However, his results have been questioned because they have not been able to be duplicated in any other studies. Even though there are no confirming studies regarding the effectiveness of subliminal advertising, it is still discussed and debated in many circles.

"Invisible" Messages.

The "invisible" messages are those that are (1) flashed before the eyes so quickly that the conscious mind cannot see them; (2) hidden embedded words in pictures; or messages played in such a way, in the background of music, that the ear cannot hear them. The purpose is to have them register with the subconscious mind and thus have the desired effect. Some examples include:.

i,?A videotape in the 1950's where the message "Rent Rhino's Videos" was flashed on the screen.

i,?A necktie with the words "Jesus Saves" embedded in it.

i,?"Buy/Don't Steal" is in the background of music played some malls and superstores.

i,?The word "Sex" embedded in various pictures and devices.

Visible but Unnoticed Messages.

These types of messages are very subtle. They are in plain sight, but there can be an implied meaning behind them. Examples are as follows:.

i,?In some print advertising there will be a group of people who seem to be looking at each other.