The Null Device
Advertisers have a new weapon in their arsenal to make you buy and think it was your idea: hypersonic advertising, which beams almost-inperceptible sound directly at the listener:
The first Soda machine equipt with hypersonic sound was in 1996 in Liverpool. Upon passing the machine, faint sounds (hardly even perceptible via audio) of soda being poured, words saying, "You are thirsty", and sounds of people trying to salvate their dry mouths were administered. This would send the "customer" into a psychological frenzy, consumed by a compulsory "need" to be hydrated.
Apparently hypersonic advertising works so well that even the sharpest observers have a hard time determining whether their senses are being affected, and thus telling whether the impulse to buy was externally triggered. And it's completely legal (outside of the private home).
Ways to avoid being manipulated.
(1) Whenever you're shopping, avoid all impulse
(2) always prepare a shopping list before you leave the house
(3) wear headphones playing consistent, thorough music (not love songs or really slow songs)
(4) Don't shop at all
(via the LJ Adbusters group)