James Vicary, an advertising expert, went into a 1950s movie theater to test his devious new tool for persuading others.
During movie he allegedly flashed commands "EAT POPCORN" and "DRINK COKE" so fast that unsuspecting audience couldn't consciously see words. Vicary claimed Coke sales jumped 18.1% and popcorn sales leaped 57.7%.
On that day, "subliminal advertising" was born.
Today subliminal advertising is banned by most major countries. The FCC in America outlaws it by simply saying subliminal advertising is designed to deceive. For that reason alone it is forbidden to be used by any radio or television advertiser.
Still, self-help tapes that claim to have subliminal messages hidden on them continue to sell to tune of $50,000,000 a year.
The question I bring to table today is this: Which works better: Subliminal Advertising or Hypnotic Writing?
Vicary's famous movie theater test has been proven to be a hoax. He didn't test it on amount of people he claimed (50,000, which small town theater couldn't hold), and he didn't keep an accurate count of popcorn or coke sales. In short, he wanted subliminal advertising to work in order to increase his consulting business as an ad expert. But all research shows his method did not and does not work.
The same with subliminal tapes. Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson, author of fascinating book, "Age of Propaganda," conducted studies to see if subliminal advertising, and subliminal self-help tapes, actually worked. Their research said it did not. There was no evidence to support it. None. While people wanted to believe in subliminals, they could not prove it worked to even slightest degree.