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Subliminal Advertising And Semiotic Communication Essay

1532 words - 6 pages

Abstract:Marketers use subliminal advertising and semiotic communications to attempt to influence consumers into purchasing, using or thinking about their product. Although they are two different techniques, they are often combined with semiotics used in a subliminal manner. This paper will explore what the two techniques are, discuss some examples of each of debate whether or not they actually work.Part 1: Definitions of subliminal advertising and Semiotic communicationSubliminal advertising:1. 'Such practices are purported to influence consumer behaviour by subconsciously altering preferences or attitudes toward consumer products'. (Moore, 1992)2. 'Subliminal advertising is a technique of exposing consumers to product pictures, brand names, or other marketing stimuli without the consumers having conscious awareness. Once exposed to a subliminal marketing stimulus, the consumer is believed to decode the information and act upon it without being able to acknowledge a communication stimulus'. (Sponiletti, 2007)Semiotic Communication:1. 'An approach grounded in the social sciences and devoted to the analysis of symbolic communication to link the consumer world to brand associations'. (Groeger, 1984)2. 'Semiotics investigates the relationship between branding and culture through the medium of signs'. (Deely, 2005)Part 2 & 3: How subliminal advertising and semiotic communications are alleged to work and a few examplesThe premise of subliminal perception has been that the unconscious mind can receive information presented below the threshold for conscious perception. (Rogers & Smith, 1993)Subliminal advertising aims to subject a consumer's subconscious to stimuli in order to communicate and influence their decisions. Once consumers have been exposed to these 'under the radar' stimuli and ultimately act upon them, they are often unable to identify the origin of any stimuli associated with the product (Vicary, 1994). Consumers can be subjected to many different types of subliminal advertising. A classic case-study was conducted in 1957, where a market researcher subjected nearly 50,000 patrons over a week period at a movie theatre to 3/1000 of a second flash of "Eat popcorn" and "Drink Coca-Cola" every 5 seconds throughout a movie. These flashes were so short that the patrons were not consciously aware they were viewing them. It is claimed that over the next 6 weeks, popcorn sales rose 57% and Coca-Cola sales rose 18.5% (Moore, 1992). This shows that subliminal advertising does in deed have a measured effect and can influence consumer's to not only purchase a product on sight, but it may be possible to influence so heavily as to persuade consumers to actively seek out and purchase the product.Other ways subliminal advertising is alleged to work is by embedding hidden pictures or words in a logo or packaging of a product. To be able to consciously see the subliminal messages, one would have to know it is there, however most of us would...

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