The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


The Lies We Choose To Believe …
May 28, 2007, 8:18 am
Filed under: Comment

* “Of Course They’re Real”

So I am reading this book called Quirkology which basically details a bunch of weird and wonderful psychological tests that have been done by all sorts of institutions around the World.

It covers a real hotch-potch of things including how your name influences your life … why women should get men to write their personal ads … why incompetent politicians win elections … how our lives are shaped by when we are born … whether you can be born ‘lucky’ … etc etc.

However the thing I found the most interesting was that they proved the holy grail of advertising – subliminal communication – is a complete and utter myth.

Can you hear the execs at Omnicom, WPP and Publicis crying? Ha!

Anyway, I won’t go into the specifics except to say even the guy who discovered the supposed ‘phenomenon’ admits the concept is flawed … however this does highlight an interesting issue – mainly that society continues to believe there are ‘ultimate answers’ to the needs/wants/desires we have in life, despite in many cases, there being comprehensive proof this is not the case. [Though I do have to acknowledge in the case of ‘subliminal advertising’, there was supposed ‘facts’ to back the claims up, but that raises an issue best saved for another day]

Why do you reckon that is eh? 

Laziness … Hope … Despair … Faith … Intellect …

And while you ponder that, are there any other advertising ‘facts’ that you feel are about as true as the Poodle story I detailed a while ago, ha!  Come on … get angry …


16 Comments

sounds like a good book! did you get the stuart sutherland irrationality with it too?

Comment by lauren

Is that woman who I think that woman is?

Comment by Pete

Sure is mate … proof money can make you look better than owning a 6 pack, chiselled face and bronzed skin eh!? Ha.

Now I am going to do this work I’ve been pontificating about so no more comments from me for the day/s.

Oh and Lauren, I haven’t got Stuart Sutherland’s book – well, I haven’t at this moment, the second I press the ‘SAY IT’ key I will as good ol’ Amazon will be getting a bash!

Comment by Rob

If you were in control, Extreme Makeover would be a 12 second show. You’d just give ugly people a couple of million each and laugh as the public (or at least those in LA) see them as much more attractive. You missed your voccation.

Comment by Pete

You do realise you have just proved subliminal communication DOES exist because as soon as I saw that photo, nothing else registered in my brain other than remembering a moment which I thought I had consigned to the bad memory dustbin.

Comment by George

Morning.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Sounds like a good book – I remember our professor drilling the same thing into us at University. On a similar vein I saw this yesterday on a psyche research blog:

Frequent web-based banner ads can have a positive effect on our feelings, even when we don’t notice them.

Maybe there’s still some contention?

Comment by Ian M

Hello Ian, my name is Terri and I am the cynic research librarian. I am writing to you (my first post on this blog) because I saw your post and had to mention a paper Robert wrote a few years back with Mr Paul Britton detailing how music (both sound and lyric) can act as a subliminal trigger in changing the mood, attitude and aspirations of the individual. In fact Robert was able to demonstrate how lyrical content in association with visual form (eg: music video and film) had better effects on consumer attitudes and actions (especially in the mid-30+ age range) as traditional advertising messaging. Should you find this of interest, I will ask Robert if I can send you the paper or at the very least, get him to connect with you to discuss this area further. Thank you. Terri

Comment by Terri Stevens

Hello Tezza, well done on your first post. I knew it would take something intellectual to get you to break your comment duck. Before I go, do you think Rob would be happy to hear you promising his expensive research to some bloke who wrote posted a comment? You’ll be giving him shares in the company next. 🙂

Comment by Billy Whizz

terri, do you mean to say that rob subscribed to the idea of subliminal communication? the same idea he’s rubbishing in this post? did i read that correctly?

Comment by lauren

Well done Terri, you’ve just fucked over your boss now too 🙂

Comment by Billy Whizz

I like Terri. Terri should comment more.

Comment by Marcus Brown

I think I should clarify my point before turning off my computer and never visiting this blog again.
The subliminal advertising that Robert highlights was focused on encouraging people to purchase a specific brand because of hidden messaging within another form of communication. The goal was to encourage people to buy a product that they would otherwise, not consider.
The research Robert and Paul undertook was not focused on misleading consumers, it was to understand the psychological impact music and lyrics has on emotions, attitude and aspirations.
The goal was never to make someone do something they would otherwise not want to do, it was about learning how they could connect to people because of their psychological make up, influenced by such conditions as age, wealth, family, location etc.
If there is any outcome, it will be similar to that adopted by fashion brands who use well known celebrities to sell their wares.
Maybe the word subliminal is wrong, association would probably be a better choice. I am sorry if I have caused any confusion and I understand that on first impression, they are similar views however in practice, they are quite different.

Comment by Terri Stevens

Don’t worry Terri, as long as we understand the difference, that’s all that matters.

Comment by George

Poor Terri, they’re a pack of wolves here aren’t they!

Comment by Rob

actually terri, i was taking the piss out of rob. i think you’ve done a wonderful job! hi rob!

Comment by lauren




Comments are closed.