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Printed Words are Subliminal Messages

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posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 03:23 PM
Driving down the highway, walking through any major population hub, you see them. Billboards, posters, magazines, t-shirts, all medium on which our language is printed, all prominantly displayed to get your attention. The coporate ad mongers call our excessive use of advertising "clutter", it's this clutter that they seek to break through, each product fighting for your attention. This is a theory I've been mulling over in my head, that printed words, such as those on a billboard, are in fact subliminal messages.

The classic image of a subliminal message is a few frames of video or film in which a message is displayed. The classic example is that of the concession stand advertising hidden in movies. However, we as humans are trained to recognise order amid disorder. We can pick out our friend's faces from a crowd of strangers, we can recognise our familiy's voices in a noisy room. These recognitions are so instantanous that we hardly notice them happening yet they are a complex subconscious equation that, mrore often than not, illicits some form of conscious reaction.

One day I found myself walking through the streets of Manhatten when I noticed that my eyes would naturally gravitate to the words on awnings, posters and people's clothing. I also noticed that I need only look at the poster for a split second before I comprehended, and formulated a reaction to, whatever words were displayed. It was then that I realized that the enitre process had been subconcious, despite whatever conscious reaction they may have produced.

This may not seem like a very though provoking theory until you take into account the massive amount of printed words you see in your everyday life. When I speak of printed words I don't mean a newspaper or book you may be reading since reading is an active conscious action. As far as I can tell my theory only holds to a small amount of words, maybe one to three words, that your subconcious can process like an image. When these words are placed over a picture, take for example a sexy, half naked model, we are more inclined to process the slogan because the words have become part of the over all picture.

Take this for example, you find yourself in a major city, standing on the corner waiting for the Don't Walk sign to change in your favor. The light changes and you step into the street, you look to your right to check for on coming traffic. In that one second you turned your head you saw three or four billboards and posters. Even though you may not have thought about them your subconcious mind has already processed them. The speed with which you turned your head created a subliminal message by displaying the slogan for a split second. This is almost how speed reading works, by training yourself to look at the words on the page and allow your subconcious brain to process them you retain the general idea but lose the specifics. In this example it would be akin to forgetting the color of the model's hair but still remembering what company the ad was for. Coincidentally this is known as "product recognition" by the ad agencies.

Granted, my theory is anything but scientific but I do believe it's sound and holds true at least for myself. I'm still unsure of the implications, I suppose there is fairly little harm in someone shopping at the Gap and not knowing why. Unless you value your control over your own mental faculty. Regardless of how you react to the message, someone else has caused you to think somthing, in many cases, whitout you realizing it. That is the deffinition of a subliminal message.

Well, that's one of many theories that spill from my over-active brain, I'd love to hear what others think of my theory.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 03:53 PM
I just can see anything being obvious and yet subliminal like that.

An alternative might be to say that grammatical structures and the like can have a subliminal effect, that is an affect that you aren't aware of. Such as the various poetic forms and the like.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 03:56 PM
I do think you have something here. Something to think about further would be that as time goes on, people get de-synthesized to these mechanisms, and therefore these subliminal messengers, the advertising agencies, have to up the anti, meaning that it's only going to get worse, but there is hope yet.

You seem to be awakening to a world outside yourself, while still allowing for yourself to observe your mental states. Keep this up because you seem to have stumbled upon an idea that many an enlightened individual also stumbled across.

This act of taking notice of the outside world and your own internal states is the faculty that everyone on this planet needs to develop. Over time, the subliminal messages will no long have power over you.

Those who don't enhance this ability will be more likely to fall victim to these messengers, and are also the individuals with the least amount of self awareness, and personal development.

Think for yourself, Question Authority.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 04:11 PM
This should not strike you as out of the ordinary or a "conspiracy." Of course these advertisements are subliminal. Of course they appeal to your subconscious. Of course they must be brief, (1-3 words with a graphic). There are thousands of people who work round the clock devising new ways to get into your head. They are called marketers, and they rely heavily on psychology, consumer feedback, and all kinds of design gimmickry to get your moolah for their product.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 04:34 PM
I didn't intend to state my theory as a conspiracy but rather an observation I made. It's hardly a well hidden conspiracy that more money is spent every day to get you to adhere to a certain product. I wasn't writting it as a warning per se.

I do, however, believe that there is an inherant danger in being so open to exterior influence. Granted, all our senses are there to record and process exterior stimuli, but a written word is much different than a color or a car horn.

Words are probably the most easily and quickly recognized image. We know the letter A is an A, we need not stare at it for hours, measuring the lines and angles to determin it's meaning. We become so used to seeing a letter, or a set of letters comprising a word, that we don't think anything of it.

We may have transcended beyond pictographic writting, however our alphabet is still pictographic. The letter A is little more than a collection of lines we have determined to mean the sound "Aaaahhh". When you see the word CAT you see the letters, determin the meaning and begin thinking of fur, meows, claws, the smell of cat food, whatever may be your subconcious association to the word "Cat". I'm sure there are very few of us who look at the word "Cat" and actually see a picture, a collection of lines. Take for example the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, or Arabic writting, to the vast majority of us those words are little more than lines, we can appreciate the artistry in the Arabic calligraphy but we do not see the words. To translate Arabic writting we would first need to look at the lines, determin they are the words we think they are, and then attach a translated meaning to them.

When I call words a subliminal message I mean to say that the word "Cat" makes you think of a cat as much as "jkhlkhjajhdlhkghcatlkhlkhlkht" will make you think of a cat.

I'm not proposing that there is someone behind the messages other than an ad agencie. Nor am I suggesting that if there was a billboard proclaiming "Kill yourself" that no one would notice and that suicides would increase. I suppose to understand my theory from my point of view you need to question the very fundementals of what you've grown to appreciate as "reality" and realize that your reality is, in fact, the collected perception of exterior stimuli, set at certain frequencies and wave lenghts and translated by a set equation of synaptic firings.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 11:35 PM
People have learned how to get into your head by placing thoughts in your mind. Is called as the op said "Subliminal Messageing". If you want to see the full affect as to what the meanings behind the graphic and picture mean? Read a Graphic Design book.
Posters, Billboards, Ads etc. All designed to get you "the person" seeing it to think of what you saw and what you will think about in the future. For Example: "ARMY: Be All That You Can Be". You might see it and say oh ad for the army. But then something might click on and say "hmm what should I do?" Join the Army and "be all that you can be." When most people think about ARMY, they probably picture the ARMY ads in the US. The ARMY has now implanted a thought about their product into your mind. It will never go away. Soda ads are like that, magazine ads, internet sites. All disgned to keep the consumer coming back or moving on for more. Thus generating support and money.
If any of you aggree with me on this, then hey you think outside the box.

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