What is Subliminal Advertising? Can it Be Good to Your Business?

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BY Chris Loomis

Subliminal messaging is not a new thing anymore and is mostly used in pop culture. However, it is also used in advertising. This article will explain subliminal advertising and how to execute it in your digital marketing strategy


How subliminal advertising works 

Subliminal advertising pertains to subtle advertising messages meant to provoke a subconscious reaction in those who see them. It is intended to be subtle, not too obvious, but enough to be picked up by the subconscious. 

The use of subliminal messages began around the 50s as a concept by James Vickery. Subliminal advertising is usually done in several ways, such as flashing images or words briefly on the screen so fast you won’t detect them easily. It could also be through the brand logo – its image, shape, or color incorporated. It is widely used in movies and even in popular songs. 

Subliminal messages often have a negative impression due to their negative portrayal in many TV shows and films. However, it is not apparent that way when used in real-life advertising. It is common in brand logos, which is an effective way to associate the brand with a particular idea. 

Some popular examples of subliminal messaging are the following: 



People are all too familiar with the brand’s blue and orange text logo. But if you look closely at it, you will see an arrow created by negative space between the E and X at the said logo. 




Again, another popular logo of a popular ice cream chain. If you look closer, you will notice a “31” printed in pink with the initials “BR .”The “31” represents Baskin-Robbin’s popular 31 flavors.



Perhaps you have already seen Amazon’s logo. Again, if you look closely, you will notice that the arrow under the name moves from “a” to “z .”The arrow seems to portray a smile, making consumers associate the popular e-commerce company with positivity. 


How you can use subliminal messages in advertising 

Can you – or rather, should you? – use subliminal messages in your advertising campaigns? The truth is there’s no right or wrong answer to that. It depends on how you go about it, but make sure it won’t be misleading and could end up in legal trouble. You might unintentionally deliver a misleading message, but it will still turn off customers. So, be careful when creating a logo or a brand tagline. 

Most logos that we know of use graphic designs that represent what the brand is. Sticking to non-misleading material, you can try using subliminal messaging. But if you are worried about accidentally creating a legal issue because of sneaky and malicious ad messaging, it is better to talk to a lawyer first. 

So, do subliminal messages work? Some say it’s ineffective. However, some research reveals that it has the power to influence us. It works bests when we don’t notice it. Nonetheless, creating effective advertising should be thought about carefully. Better yet, hire a digital marketing expert in Franklin, TN, to help you with your advertising needs. 

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