The Power of Subliminal Messages in Advertising

The Power of Subliminal Messages in Advertising

Did you know that subliminal messages can be found in almost everything around us? These messages are designed to influence our thoughts and actions without realizing it, from advertisements to movies. Some people believe that subliminal messages are a powerful tool for advertisers and marketers, while others think they are unethical and should be banned. So what is a subliminal message, and how do subliminal perception and persuasion work? This article will discuss the importance of using them in advertising and some examples of how they have been used in the past.

subliminal perception
The subliminal message “Buy” is hidden in binary code.

What is a Subliminal Message?

Have you ever seen an advertisement and felt like there was more to it than what met the eyes? That is because subliminal messages are often used in advertising.

Subliminal messages are hidden messages meant to influence a person’s subconscious mind. For example, they can persuade people to buy a product or service or make them feel a certain way about something.

As per the advertisement guru, David Ogilvy, “A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” In other words, a good advertisement will use this sort of message to persuade people to buy the product without them realizing it.

Subliminal perception is basically when our brains process information below our level of consciousness. In other words, we may see or hear something subliminally without being consciously aware of it. This can be done in several ways, such as through advertisements that show pictures of the product being advertised to make it seem more appealing than other brands.

Subliminal Perception

The way subliminal messages work is through something called subliminal perception. This is when a person perceives information below their level of awareness. So even if you don’t consciously see or hear the message, your subconscious mind will still pick it up.

That’s because your subconscious mind will have taken in the message that was being sent without you realizing it. And since our brains are constantly processing information, even if we’re not paying attention to something at the moment, there’s a good chance that the subliminal messages will still affect us.

For example, if you see an ad for Coca-Cola on TV but don’t pay any attention to it because you’re busy doing something else at the moment. Once your mind wanders back to the ad later in the day, there’s a good chance that you’ll remember what brand of soda was being advertised and start craving one right away.

The Power of Subliminal Messages in Advertising
A good way to create a position on customers’ mind

Subliminal Persuasion

Subliminal persuasion is another method that subliminal messages use to influence people. This is when the subliminal message encourages people to act on their impulses or desires. So, for example, if you see an advertisement for a new car and you want it, the subliminal persuasion will make you more likely to buy it.

Subliminal persuasion is when we are consciously aware of something, but it influences our behavior in a way that we may not have intended. For example, if you see an advertisement for a brand of soda that says it tastes good and then go out to buy one later on in the day because you saw an ad, that would be an example of subliminal persuasion.

How Do Subliminal Messages Work?

Subliminal messages are designed to influence the subconscious mind. Although there is no scientific evidence that they work, many people believe in their effectiveness.

As per research conducted by Senka Borovac Zekan and Ivone Zekan note these: “Most research to date indicates that people do, in some way, perceive subliminal stimuli that can have an impact on their behavior. Subliminal messages are viral and are used to manipulate consumers. However, most human psyche researchers are still inclined to think people cannot be persuaded on an unconscious level to behave in a way they would not consciously act. How crucial the influence of subliminal messages is for behavior has not yet been sufficiently explored. “

The Importance of Subliminal Messages in Advertising

Subliminal messages can be a powerful tool for advertisers and marketers. They can persuade people to buy products or services or make them feel a certain way about something.

There are several reasons why these types of messages are essential in advertising.

  • First, they can help to capture people’s attention.
  • Second, they can be used to create an impression or association with a product or service.
  • Third, they can be used to influence people’s buying decisions.
  • And finally, they can be used to increase brand awareness.

As per many recent studies, people are losing trust in advertisements. Anyone can run promotions on social media, like Facebook. The authenticity is a big question. If you want to stand out in these changes in people’s media usage, you can consider subliminal messaging as a good strategy.

Examples of Subliminal Messages in Advertising

There are many examples of subliminal messages in advertising. One example is the logo for Pepsi. The word “Pepsi” is hidden in the design and can only be seen if you look for it.

Another example is an advertisement for Coca-Cola that was aired in India. The ad featured people of different religions and cultures drinking Coke and enjoying it. However, the subliminal message was that Coke is a drink for everyone, regardless of religion or culture.

Examples of Subliminal Messages in Logos

Logos are one of the most critical aspects of advertising. They need to be visually appealing and contain a subliminal message to persuade customers to buy the product. Here are some examples of logos that have subliminal messages:


The apple logo is said to be inspired by the story of Adam and Eve. It also represents the fruit of knowledge that is forbidden to eat, and it has a bite mark on one side, which a lot of people miss because they can’t look at their logo long enough before they realize what they are looking at.

Apple Logo


The FedEx logo contains an arrow between the E and X in its name. The arrow is pointing in the direction of the E, which stands for expectation. It subliminally suggests that FedEx will always meet your expectations.


The Mercedes-Benz logo contains a three-pointed star representing power, performance, and success.

Mercedes-Benz Logo


The Coca-Cola logo was designed to be visually appealing, and it also contains a subliminal message. The Coca-Cola script was written in Spencerian Script, which was the most popular writing style. It was used to promote the drink because the curves and swirls in the letters make it look like you are drinking Coke from a glass.

Coca-Cola Logo


Amazon has been using the current logo for a long time. The long is successfully utilizing the subliminal messaging. The A and Z are connected by a smile, representing that Amazon has everything from A to Z.

Amazon Logo

Examples of Subliminal Messages in Movies

Subliminal messages in advertising are not a new phenomenon; it has been around for centuries. There are many theories and examples of subliminal messages in movies speculated. Though some have been debunked, a number are still believed to exist.

Though some subliminal messages in movies are easy to spot, others are more subtle and easily missed. Subliminal messages can be used to create an impression or association with a product or service. This means that you will have to pay attention if you want to notice them. Here are some examples of subliminal messages in movies:

  1. Minions (2015) – the movie contains subliminal messages to promote McDonald’s and Oreos.
  2. Shrek (2001) – the subliminal message here is that “I want it now!” will get you anything you desire in life. Burger King used this at the time of its release because they wanted people to eat more fast food.
  3. The Lion King (1994) – in this movie, Disney subtly inserted the word “sex” into a scene where Simba is being taught about life by his father. If you look closely at the clouds behind Mufasa when he’s talking to Simba, you’ll see the letters S-E-X spelled out.
  4. The Simpsons Movie (2007) – In one scene, there is a close-up of Homer’s eye, and the word “Krusty” can be seen. Krusty was one of the sponsors of the movie.
  5. The Matrix – In one scene, the main character Neo walks down a dark hallway when he stops and sees an advertisement for Coca-Cola. He then turns around to see another ad for Coke, this time with the word “Coke” written in big, bold letters on it. The subliminal message here was that drinking Coke would make you feel better about yourself and your life.
  6. Fight Club – Another example of a subliminal advertisement in movies is “Fight Club.” There is a close-up of the main character’s eye in one scene, and the word “Volkswagen” can be seen briefly. Volkswagen was not the only company to use subliminal advertising in this movie. There were also ads for Pepsi, and Nokia found in other scenes.

Subliminal messages in movies have been used for several purposes, sometimes to promote the film itself, sometimes to give inside jokes, and sometimes just for fun.

How to Use Subliminal Messaging in Your Campaign?

If the examples have inspired you at least a little, you might be wondering how to use subliminal messaging in my campaign. Yes, that is possible if you want. However, to make it impactful, you need to follow specific criteria, such as:

  • Keep it short: The subliminal messages should be flashed for a very brief period, no more than two seconds.
  • Use negative messaging: Research indicates that people are more likely to respond to negative subliminal messages than positive ones.
  • Make it relevant: The subliminal content must be relevant to the advertising product or service.
  • Use contrast: The subliminal messaging should be flashed against a contrasting background for better visibility.
  • Avoid ambiguity: Make sure the subliminal messages are unambiguous and easy to understand.

Now that you know how to use subliminal messaging in your campaign, it is time for execution.

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Subliminal messages are a powerful tool for advertisers and marketers. They can persuade people to buy products or services or make them feel a certain way about something. And, in some cases, they can even influence your subconscious mind without you knowing it!

There are tons of examples of subliminal messaging in marketing. It is not only the game of big brands. You can also develop ideas to implement such campaigns for any brand if you try. It is not impossible to do. You need to be creative and think out of the box.

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