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The effects of subliminal advertising on consumer recall.

Byrne, Caoimhe (2000) The effects of subliminal advertising on consumer recall. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

The issue of subliminal advertising has been a bone of contention for years between advertising agencies and sceptics. Since the notorious Jim Vicary experiments in 1957, ( which were subsequently refuted as fraudulent) , the advertising industry has been accused of 'brainwashing' the public1 consumers into making decisions regarding purchase, and in the case of this study, buying products that they simply do not need or even want.
Through the use of subliminal advertising, preying on the sub-conscience of the consumer, it is argued that advertisers engage in the practice of embedding images, words or sounds in print, video or audio advertising media, so that they are not consciously seen or heard, in order to help sell their products. Although no formal research or concrete evidence has indicated that the subliminal embedding of images has any effect on consumer behaviour, it is claimed that 3/4 of the U.S. public believe in its' existence. The writings and frequent public speaking presentations of author and college professor Wilson Brian Key ( 1972.1976, 1980, 1989) have indeed added fuel to the flames by further aggrandizing the concept of subliminal advertising . His theories, although widely discredited
by academicians, are still seen as credible by a large proportion of the public. In response to these claims, deemed preposterous by the accused industry, advertisers are increasingly using subliminal messages in a satirical manner. The author has observed while carrying out research that the majority if literature on the subject area of subliminal stimuli, memory and recall relates to visual or auditory images. It has already been ascertained that if one can see or hears stimulus it is not subliminal. It has also been established that regardless of visual or auditory information being high imagery provoking or low imagery provoking it still does not warrant being classified as
subliminal in any sense of the word. The level of sensitivity of the olfactory nerve is so astute that when triggered by an odour a memory is evoked that is more emotionally intense and stimulating than any other type of sensory cue. In this study, the author endeavours to ascertain the link between subliminal advertising and memory and how, if used, it would facilitate recall.
In order to do so, an indepth research on the aforementioned
subjects was necessary. While there is no apparent reason to question the accuracy in the findings of numerous researchers and academicians on the subject of the use of subliminal advertising, (research has indicated a unarninously negative response from advertising agencies to the notion), the author finds the subject area beguiling and feels that it indeed is due further scrutiny.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications > Broadcasting Media
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in European Business and Languages
Depositing User: Aisling Gorby
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2010 10:25
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2014 09:22
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/98

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