I've been studying subs for over twenty years, my father is in commercial advertising. It's a touchy subject that most people know about however, they are afraid to talk or think that subs can't persuade them. I tell them to take a look around their house and then go to this site. Most people think they can't be manipulated. Some wake up, most can't or won't. Your site is very well put together.
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002
From: Peter, Kevin: Bosshart
Peter, Kevin: Bosshart
WHAT'S GOING ON?
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001
From: HIP mom
on those first two pages, what really was going on in those two pictures? with the nail polish and then the one with the girl with somethin in her hand?
Reponse: Please watch the RealVideos and see. -David
SUBLIMINAL INSERTS ON TELEVISION
Subject: subliminal inserts on TV
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000
David; I am bothered by the recent "outing" of a political ad for its blatant (and brilliant) use of a subliminal technique (RATS!!). The fact that the uproar lasted no more than 2 days puzzles and disturbs me. In these days of multi-media conglomerates, follow-up discussion of the implications of subliminal manipulation in the democratic process (for the Presidency, no less ) seemed to me to be artificially muted. Why? Could it be that subliminal messages are so pervasive, that there is a general loathing to open Pandora's Box? In your years with NBC, did you wittness, or did you know about any use of subliminal inserts (even of the "get it!" or Buy it!" type, where the advertiser is clearly indicated)? Do you know of such practice anywhere else? I would like to arm my Congressman with all the facts that I can; I am deeply worried about any threats to our political process. Take it easy, but take it!! (Woody Guthrie)
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000
From: Jackki 5
I've had net access for a couple of years, and I'm just now stumbling accross your great site. This will be a site that I'll be referring to again and again! Keep up the good work! Job WELL done.
Sincerely, Jackki 5
Response: Thank you! -David
MANIPULATION IN ADVERTISING
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000
Most of the manipulation is so obvious but it's good to remind people about it. We get busy and don't notice....
Adbusters.org and the latest issues of Emigre magazine have been covering this as well. They are calling for designers to assert responsibility for the ads they create by being more aware of the goals of their clients and the impact those goals have on society and the world at large.
Capitalism is so successful because it exploits human weaknesses like greed and the need to keep up with and outdo those next door. This is not necessarily a bad thing but as consumers, we need to be aware that it is ultimately up to us to protect our environment and pass on the values that we hold dear. The businesses do not have our best interests at heart. They exist to make money, period.
Thanks for the great site!
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PRESIDENTIAL SUBLIMINAL ADVERTISING
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000
From: William Dean
Organization: The Holistic Sanctuary
Dear Mr. Bruce,
Your articles on Subliminal Advertising got me thinking about the Presidential Campaigns. The Bush Campaign is currently running an ad declaring McCain as anti-environmental. The press, of course, looked at the ad and scoffed that it was basically untrue, and was funded by "Republicans for Clean Air," which does not exist as an actual organization - it is basically a post office box.
So - here's the interesting part. The ad starts with McCain?s head in the foreground, a picture of his face in a frowning pose - superimposed over the sight of factory smoke stacks billowing black smoke. The smoke is in fact coming out of McCain?s head! (Message: McCain is SCARY - he blows his stack - he has black smoke pouring from his skull!) The ad states "John McCain voted against clean air." The next shot is the name "Bush," with the letters hollowed out to allow blue sky and clouds to blow through in the background. (Message: Bush is FRESH, CLEAN). The next shot is the same factory with NO smoke and no McCain, yet it touts Bush as being for clean air (Message: Bush can make McCain GO AWAY). The next shots show people with canoes, (Message: Bush likes canoes -he's a FRIEND of the environment) and the next shot shows - and this is the best one - a bird sitting on a post. They bring in a shot of Bush's face, and it is the most bland, eyes squinting smile the candidate can muster. It slides in next to the bird, which is now singing on the post (Message: Bush is so GENTLE, he wouldn't disturb a bird!). The last shot is once again the name Bush hollowed out to show the silhouette of children holding hands walking in a line and dancing (Message: Bush is INNOCENT - Children love him!).
I have seen the ad here in Virginia on cable, and saw it run in NYC last week. What gets me is that it is the most effective subliminal messaging I have seen in a political campaign. It completely shows graphically what the Bush campaign can't articulate. I'm very surprised that McCain's camp hasn't raised a flag over this one. McCain has been in favor of environmental legislation, so that part of the ad is TOTALLY wrong, and Bush is the Governor of Texas, which includes Austin - recently named as the city with the WORST quality air in the nation! So, hand it to the Bush Campaign - they've got the brains and the moxy to hit their opponents below the belt and the public below the cerebral cortex!