I wasn’t expecting to write about this topic but I saw during my Media Research class a video on subliminal messages. The video features two top advertising executives. They are asked to create an advertisement about animals. Before arriving to the office, they take a cab are are subject to a lot of subliminal messages. The result is stunning. The video is here. And it’s worth the look.
Recently, I went to the movie to see Focus, the last Will Smith movie. Subliminal messages are very present in this movie. At the beginning, the movie focuses on the mugging of items. To robbed wealthy clients or tourist on the street, the main characters draw their attention away by using simple gestures or words. For example, in order to steal a phone in back pocket, the pretty girl will coax the victim by touching another part of his/her body such as the shoulder. The attention of the victim will be diverted of the phone in his/her pocket. At the end of the movie, another example of subliminal messages is presented. A Chinese guy needs to pick up a football player’s number on the playground. All day long, his subconscient has been confronted to the number 33. Even the music on the background suggests the number 33. Guess what number he is picking up?
The word subliminal comes from the Latin « sub » (under) and « limen » (limit). Subliminal messages are visual or audible stimuli perceived by our subconscious. They are present in our daily lives and we are constantly under their influence. We don not realize it (unconscious) but this process influences us in our behaviors. The subconscious, unconscious, is able to receive messages that cannot be perceives consciously. It can be visual because they can be incorporated in films, commercials on TV or in magazines. M&Ms ad at the beginning of a movie can make us want to eat while we are absolutely not hungry. It can be audible because they can be found in radio or TV commercials through music. For example, the music of the TV news program on TF1 (one of the most popular TV channel in France) is a remix of the Jaws soundtrack. Yes, Jaws the movie. The result is that the viewers are captivated and it makes the news important.
There are so many things to say about subliminal messages! I invite you to go do your own research to realize how important they are for advertisers and how much they are influencing us in our daily lives.