posted on Sep, 27 2004 @ 04:07 AM
Originally posted by Ezekial
A classic Subliminal message was from the 50's I believe is the Coca-Cola advertising campaign in the cinemas. During the interlude flashes of
'Drink Coke' or similar were projected onto the screen.
"It was James Vicary who coined the term "subliminal advertising." Vicary had conducted a variety of unusual studies of female shopping habits,
discovering (among other things) that women's eye-blink rates dropped significantly in supermarkets, that "psychological spring" lasts more than
twice as long as "psychological winter," and that "the experience of a woman baking a cake could be likened to a woman giving birth." Vicary's
studies were largely forgettable, save for one experiment he conducted at a Ft. Lee, New Jersey movie theater during the summer of 1957. Vicary placed
a tachistoscope in the theater's projection booth, and all throughout the playing of the film Picnic, he flashed a couple of different messages on
the screen every five seconds. The messages each displayed for only 1/3000th of a second at a time, far below the viewers' threshold of conscious
perceptibility. The result of displaying these imperceptible suggestions -- "Drink Coca-Cola" and "Hungry? Eat Popcorn" -- was an amazing 18.1%
increase in Coca-Cola sales, and a whopping 57.8% jump in popcorn purchases. Thus was demonstrated the awesome power of "subliminal advertising" to
coerce unwary buyers into making purchases they would not otherwise have considered.
Or so goes the legend that has retained its potency for more than forty years. So potent a legend, in fact, that the Federal Communications Commission
banned "subliminal advertising" from radio and television airwaves in 1974, despite that fact that no studies have ever shown it to be effective,
and even though its alleged efficacy was based on a fraud.
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's duplication of his original experiment produced no significant increase in popcorn or Coca-Cola sales. Eventually 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." Source: Rogers, Stuart. "How a Publicity
Blitz Created the Myth of Subliminal Advertising."