Another guest post by Dana
The study, conducted by James Vicary, claimed there was an amazing 18.1% increase in Coca-Cola sales, and a whopping 57.8% jump in popcorn purchases, demonstrating the awesome power of "subliminal advertising" to coerce unwary buyers into making purchases they would not otherwise have considered.
And so the conspiracy theories began. Too bad Vicary lied about the results of his experiment. When he was challenged to repeat the test by the president of the Psychological Corporation, Dr. Henry Link, Vicary confessed that he had falsified the data from his first experiments, and some critics have since expressed doubts that he actually conducted his infamous Ft. Lee experiment at all.
So, subliminal advertising doesn't work, but that doesn't stop advertisers from (supposedly) using its techniques anyway. I came across a few examples that I thought I'd share. Clicking on the original photo will give you what those who believe subliminal advertising does work are seeing (and yes, I have too much time on my hands, but not enough to verify if any of these supposed subliminal ads are actually real).
The story behind this 1980's Coke poster is that some graphic artist was playing a joke but somehow the poster got through all of the editors without anyone seeing the ice cube image. It wasn't until the ad was blown up and placed on the back of a truck that "innocent" people saw the subliminal message.
Heineken - You probably don't even need my help for this one ...
I had to look REALLY hard (pun intended) to see anything in this one, but here you go!
As long as the cans are aligned just right, this one is pretty clear ... maybe ...
What do you think? Is it a conspiracy? Is subliminal advertising effective but big corporations are swaying the test data? Are advertisers being devious in their sales practices? Or do people just have vivid imaginations and too much time on their hands?