They were scoffed at by mainstream scientists. We were told that they didn’t work! So why have millions been spent on research and development within the advertising industry? Why have Rock Stars been taken to court over their alleged use, and why have they banned from television and radio by the UK, Australian & United States Governments?
Why? …. Because they work!
A few short years ago we were still being told that subliminal advertising didn’t exist yet today the truth of it can be seen all over the Internet. The Information Age has made it possible to burst the bubble on the myth that subliminal advertising doesn’t exist. Moreover, there is now empirical scientific evidence supporting the belief that subliminal messages can be extremely effective at guiding human behavior.
In 2006 a study was conducted by a group of behavioral scientists at a university in the Netherlands. They found that subliminal messages had a massive effect on people when the conditions were right. They fed subjects subliminal messages that directed them to drink a certain beverage and found that if they made the subjects thirsty 80% chose the subliminal product.
Today the famous UK mind-magician, Derren Brown, has shown a worldwide audience how the power of subliminal messages can be used to manipulate people (see site below for free video footage). He even used it to collect winnings at a racetrack with a losing ticket!
However, despite the mass fear of mind manipulation and the millions spent by advertising agencies, subliminal messages should not be regarded as inherently bad. A scythe has been used for its primary purpose to cut wheat for hundreds of years but in the past, under war situations, it was also used to take a man’s head off! Don’t blame the tool for the way it’s abused. We are bombarded by subliminal stimuli every second of every day and it is not all intentional. We simply cannot consciously register and filter all the stimuli that are reaching our senses. Things go unnoticed like the temperature of the air, the watch on your wrist, the couple arguing about money across the street, the lamp that is still lit at 2 pm, etc. These outside stimuli are processed by your subconscious mind which stores everything it encounters.
So anything that is subliminal is just some stimulus that is “below the threshold of consciousness”. So a subliminal message is a message that is perceived below the awareness of your conscious mind and stored in your memory by your subconscious mind.
Now the subconscious mind is also responsible for not only memory but all your bodily functions and movements. In order to move your finger, it must compute and execute a multitude of intricate muscle contractions, which start with action potentials and neurotransmitters in the brain. Its computations must be exact. Think how complex it would be if you were to consciously try and compute something simple like the distance a car is from you. Yet your subconscious mind can do it instantly! It learned through repetition. Look at a baby. It can’t walk or talk or even have full control over its motor functions (movement of bodily parts). The baby learns to do these things by conscious effort. After many attempts and failures, the baby learns, and then the function is passed over to the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind then responds to similar situations by recalling the memory and replicating it. You did the very same thing as an adult when you learned to drive a car.
Many problems arise, however, because the subconscious does the same thing with your emotional responses to certain situations. It stores them and replicates them in situations it sees to be similar. You were belittled and rejected when you were younger by a girl you fancied and now when you encounter a potential partner that you like you get clumsy, self-conscious, feel awkward, panicked, and want to run away – yet the original memory may have long faded. The subconscious mind is a creature of habit. It accepts whatever the conscious mind passes to it and replicates this belief in your emotional responses, thoughts, action, and even your environment.
The subconscious mind is extremely powerful. The only problem is it believes everything it is told without the slightest reservation. However, we have a safety net, so to speak. There is a guardian at the door of the subconscious mind called the conscious mind, and it regulates what is and isn’t allowed to get through. This is the thinking you that is reading this article now.
As we see from the example with the baby the most common way to gain access to the subconscious mind is through repetition. You should now understand why affirmations can be so powerful when employed correctly. However, in this age of technology, we have found quicker more direct routes to the subconscious mind such as hypnosis, brain entrainment, and of course subliminal messages.
If subliminal messages can manipulate your emotional responses and make you chose one product over another, as was shown in the Netherlands, then it can also be used as an invaluable self-improvement tool. Imagine being able to feel more confident where before you felt timid? Or feeling calm when you felt stress? Imagine programming your mind to think and act like Bill Gates or Rockefeller? Imagine being able to create your own custom subliminal messages and program your mind with whatever you wanted. Just imagine!