The Truth About Subliminal Messaging

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Emiliano Medina

The Merriam Webster definition for conspiracy theory is as described “a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.” Conspiracy theories as an idea or a form of thought has been seen all throughout our history books and our documented history from the accusation of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials to the 2020 Covid-19 cases. Conspiracy theories have flooded world history since the human ability to remember events began because they are usually used to provide a certain level of eye catching false news to a society that feeds off momentary reading. However harmful as conspiracy theories can be and how they can damage people’s lives, there is a sliver of them that are not harmful but rather just research. Subliminal messaging fits this criteria to a T in how it’s always just been a form of research and advertising methods that the media took to an extreme, and made it out into a harmful subject that was corrupting people’s minds. This was however not the case for subliminal messaging as it was much simpler than that and its true purpose was to market differently than was done previously.

In an article written by Technology Networks they explain that subliminal messaging is a marketing technique that utilizes adding frames in a movie, advertisement, tv show that can convince people to be intrigued into a product, service, etc. This explanation for subliminal messaging shows that it has no malicious intent and that it is just being used as purely advertising and researching people’s reactions too said advertisement. Even the origins of subliminal messages were in the same regard of not poisoning or misinforming others. Live Science wrote an article going back to the birth of subliminal messages stating, “Subliminal messaging was born in a New Jersey movie theater in the summer of 1957. During the Academy Award-winning film “Picnic,” market researcher James Vicary flashed advertisements on the screen every 5 seconds. The interruptions were so fast — 1/3,000th of a second — that they were undetectable by the conscious mind. Yet the fleeting advertisements of “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Hungry? Eat Popcorn” reportedly increased Coke sales by 18.1% and popcorn by 57.8%.” Further going into detail, even from the beginning the intent from subliminal advertising was not with any bad intentions rather than discovering information and raising products sales. The misconception of subliminal advertising having malintent as a conspiracy theory is toxic media attempting to grasp onto factual information and turn it into something harmful yet eye-catching.