Who Says Subliminal Advertising Doesn’t Work

This will be a short post today because I rambled on longer than intended with yesterday’s post about Dr. Robert Heath and how we process advertising. Today I wanted to share an amazing example of how subliminal suggestion can work.

Popular UK mentalist Derren Brown games two UK ad agency types (who doesn’t love screwing with these agency wanks) by turning the tables on them through the power of subconscious priming. It’s from a popular TV show, so you have to take it with a grain of salt, but even allowing for some manipulative editing, the clip is startling.

My plan was to analyze the reasons why this worked after you had a chance to watch the clip, but to be quite honest, Steve Genco over at Intuitive Consumer Insights does such a good job of this, I’d only be repeating him. So, you might as well go right to the source. I highly recommend reading Steve’s analysis after you have a chance to watch the clip.

One thought on “Who Says Subliminal Advertising Doesn’t Work

  1. You offer this as “an amazing example of how subliminal suggestion can work”
    It feels amazingly facile to need to mention this, but – Derren is a conjurer. You talk about treating the film with “a grain of salt” But the reality is, this is a conjuring trick. We’re not talking about “some manipulative editing”; what we have here is a conjuring trick., This film says as much about advertising as a ‘cut and restored person’ trick says about surgery.
    This film has no relevance to how advertising works. If it did, you would not need to rely on a conjurer and his conjuring tricks to achieve the result.
    I’m not at liberty to explain the trick, which was developed by a friend of mine. But, if this was genuine; how did Derren manage to eliminate the effect of the hundreds of other images those guys saw prior to the filming?
    The fact that this one, ten year old, conjuring trick still gets tripped out time and time again in support of the idea of subliminal advertising can only leads to the conclusion that this “Robert Heath”” approach to advertising has little substance.

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