The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'subliminal'
A study in Singapore has shown that the sight or smell of appetising food can compel people to make impulse purchases, or else compromise their ability to judge risks and payoffs:
Similarly, another experiment used a cookie-scented candle to further gauge whether appetitive stimulus affects consumer behavior. Female study participants in a room with a hidden chocolate-chip cookie scented candle were much more likely to make an unplanned purchase of a new sweater -- even when told they were on a tight budget -- than those randomly assigned to a room with a hidden unscented candle (67 percent vs. 17 percent).The researchers make the further claim that "the presence of an attractive woman in the trading room might propel an investor to choose the investment option providing smaller but sooner rewards".
(via Boing Boing)
The Mind Hacks blog has a report of an interesting study on subliminal influence:
You go to the supermarket and stop by some shelves offering French and German wine. You buy a bottle of French wine. After going through the checkout you are asked what made you choose that bottle of wine. You say something like "It was the right price", or "I liked the label". Did you notice the French music playing as you took it off the shelf? You probably did. Did it affect your choice of wine? No, you say, it didn't.
That's funny because on the days we play French music nearly 80% of people buying wine from those shelves choose French wine, and on the days we play German music the opposite happensThe study in question used stereotypical examples of national music (French accordion music and German "oom-pah" band music), yielding the results mentioned, and is effective primarily due to its subtlety. It would not be enough to make someone not intending to buy wine buy some, but is enough to influence the choice of wine.
What would be the effect, I wonder, of having someone stand by the shelves saying to the customers as they passed "Why don't you buy a French wine today"? My hunch is that you'd make people think about their decision a lot more - just by trying to persuade them you'd turn the decision from a low involvement one into a high involvement one. People would start to discount your suggestion. But the suggestion made by the music doesn't trigger any kind of monitoring. Instead, the authors of this study believe, it triggers memories associated with the music - preferences and frames of reference. Simply put, hearing the French music activates  ideas of 'Frenchness' - maybe making customers remember how much they like French wine, or how much they enjoyed their last trip to France. For a decision which people aren't very involved with, with low costs either way (both the French and German wines are pretty similar, remember, except for their nationality) this is enough to swing the choice.
Faced with a ban on tobacco advertising, cigarette companies are turning to increasingly subtle forms of marketing, such as redesigning bar decor to subliminally suggest their brand identities:
These 'installations', as they were called, created lounge areas by placing comfortable red sofas in front of video screens showing scenes redolent of Wild West 'Marlboro country' to convey the essence of the cigarette brand while circumnavigating sponsorship bans.
'All that former advertising money has to go somewhere,' said one industry insider. 'The tobacco firms are looking to create extensive "design languages" in bars and clubs and other venues through the use of particular types of furniture or material which will make people think of their brands.'
I went to see Derren Brown's show, Something Wicked This Way Comes tonight, at the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden. It was pretty interesting.
For those not familiar with him, Brown is a mentalist whose act includes reading and influencing people using various psychological techniques. In this show, which went for about two hours and was in two parts, he did things including influencing volunteers to select specific cards/envelopes and "guess" things, presumably from suggestions he had subliminally planted. He also did an act in which he determined when people were lying. Five volunteers drew balls from a bag, and the four who got white balls (which was unknown to him) were told to lie in answering a question; Brown then determined who was lying by observing their body language.
During the second half of the show, he started off with a few fakir-like acts of physical endurance (hammering a nail into his nose and walking on broken glass). The best part was at the end, where he successfully "predicted" a word selected seemingly at random; and then, using video replays, demonstrated how he had done it. All I'll say is: pay close attention.
Derren Brown is performing until Saturday or so, and is (IMHO) well worth seeing.
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)
Canadian American woman was feeding her baby when she noticed
subliminal messages coming from a toy on the infant's crib.
The Wal-Mart toy, which makes soothing sounds and music to fall asleep to, was also saying "I hate you", in a very quiet, childlike voice.
The toys have since been removed from stores; where the message came from remains unknown.
(via New World Disorder)
A piece interviewing Mark Mothersbaugh, former member of Devo, SubGenius minister, and film-score composer:
To resolve some of the contradictions between his earlier band and his current line of work, Mothersbaugh said that for a while he would slip subversive messages into his advertising music. He claimed to have inserted a subliminal voice saying ``sugar will rot your teeth'' into a commercial for Gummi Savers. He said he also added ``avoid conspicuous consumption'' to a campaign for BMW and ``biology is destiny'' to a cosmetics commercial.
(He's now making ring tones for Nokia?)
A Russian television station has been suspended over subliminal advertisements. The single-frame ads, appearing as only a flash, read "sit and watch only ATN".