The Official Story
Subliminal advertising doesn’t exist.
But if it does, it doesn’t work.
But if it does, it’s not a problem.
But if it is, it doesn’t matter.
But if it does, ignore it.
There’s nothing subliminal about that, is there.
A subliminal message is a signal or message embedded in another object, designed to pass
through the normal limits of perception.
E.W. Scripture’s New Psychology (1898) summarized subliminal
One of the first studies done to test subliminal advertising was done by
James Vicary in 1957, when the message “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Hungry?
Eat popcorn” at 1/3000 of a second at five second intervals in efforts to
increase Coca-Cola and popcorn sales.
The result of this experiment that both Coca-Cola and popcorn sales
In Spring of 2006, KFC
ran an ad that included
this frame of a bucket of
KFC as a promotion for a
coupon to get a free
KFC claimed that there
was a 40% increase in
visitors at their website,
and that 100,000
coupons were given out.
ABC soon banned the
they classified it as
Democrats accused Republicans of using subliminal
advertising as a campaigning technique in 2000.
In an ad attacking Al Gore during the 2000 campaign for
president, the word “RATS” flashed continually in 1/20th of a
second intervals in the last 20% of the advertisement.
Kehl, D.G. “Subliminal Chainings: Metonymical Doublespeak in Advertising.” Beyond 1984: Doublespeak
in a Post-Orwellian Age. Ed. William Lutz. Urbana, Illinois: National Council of Teachers of
English, 1989. 147-152.
Montgomery, Alicia. "Rats Infest the GOP." Salon News. 13 Sept. 2000. 5 Feb. 2008
Perton, Marc. "KFC Claims Victory in DVR-Only Commercial." Engadget. 20 May 2006. Weblogs Inc. 7
Feb. 2008 <http://www.engadget.com/2006/03/20/kfc-claims-victory-in-dvr-only-commercial/>.
Robbins, Michael D. "Advertising." Aug. 1998. 30 Jan. 2008 <http://www.poleshift.org/sublim/>.
"Subliminal Message." Wikipedia. 1 Feb. 2008. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 4 Feb. 2008
"Subliminal Messages Can Affect Our Brains, Researchers Find." World Science. 16 May 2005. National
Academy of Sciences. 4 Feb. 2008 <http://www.world-