Science Questions

Does subliminal advertising work?

Sat, 9th Oct 2010

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Neuromarketing - The Brain Basis of Buying Behaviour

Question

Kiren asked:

Does subliminal advertising work?

Answer

We put this question to Dr Andy Parton...

Andy -   That’s an interesting question.  I guess this comes back from the idea from the ‘50s of putting a single frame into a film and changing people’s behaviour.  There’s no real evidence that that actually works in that way at all and I guess the kind of things that we were talking about when we were talking about subliminally shifting attention, where I suggested it might work, is a slightly different thing because the notion is to get you to still look at adverts and you would still be processing the adverts and deciding consciously.   It would just be the process that made you look at it that would be unconscious but I think the idea of just flashing something up very, very briefly and that suddenly making you feel hungry or suddenly giving you a desire to go out and buy something, I don't think there was ever any real good evidence for that.

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