Subliminal advertising - subliminal information in a new form

Service Business

You've probably heard about something like subliminal information more than once. The first association is subliminal advertising, which has been formally banned. Recently, however, native advertising has become more frequent. It raises a debate as to whether it is not the little sister of banned subliminal advertising and whether its use should also be prohibited. Find out what native advertising really is and what mechanisms it uses.

Subliminal advertising and the first subliminal messages

In order to understand the meaning of the information, the subliminal message, it is necessary to explain briefly what subliminal perception is.

Subliminal (or subliminal) perception occurs when the human brain is unaware of perceiving the message that affects it.The subliminal message can be a visual or an auditory stimulus. When does the brain not consciously register these stimuli? First of all, when they are too short or when they accompany other, much stronger stimuli.

The first descriptions of the use of advertising based on subliminal messages (the so-called subliminal advertising) date back to the end of the 19th century, but more began to be said about this method in the 1950s. James Vicary then described an experiment conducted on cinema viewers in one of the American cities .

On the film strip, next to the “normal” images, individual frames with the words “Are you hungry? Eat popcorn! " and “Are you thirsty? Drink Coca-Cola! ”. Vicary himself stated that the ad increased the sales of popcorn and Coca-Cola in stores near the cinema by 57% and 18%, respectively.

Subliminal advertising - facts and myths

A year later, in 1958, a special commission verified the results of Vicary's experiment and accused him of cheating. The media and the public, however, had a different opinion about subliminal advertising. It has been argued that subliminal advertising is a conspiracy of big companies that want to manipulate people's minds and unconsciously influence them. Panic was sown over subliminal advertising messages. In Poland, subliminal advertising is prohibited under the Broadcasting Act.

However, research by psychologists confirms that the power with which subliminal advertising affects human minds is largely a myth. This was confirmed, inter alia, by Bogusław Kwarciak's experiment from the Jagiellonian University, based on the method previously used by Vicary. However, ice on a stick was shown in the additional frames of the film. It turned out that after the end of the ice-cream session, only 4% of the subjects of the experiment felt like it.

While subliminal advertising, and more specifically its incredible effectiveness, is fantasy, the phenomenon of subliminal perception is absolutely true.

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is a term that appeared on a larger scale in Poland 3-4 years ago. What is native advertising? Generally, it can be said that this is a response to the annoying recipients of advertising and a consequence of the use of AdBlock programs by Internet users. To reach customers, advertising specialists had to overcome this barrier, and more specifically - use a ruse.

It is difficult to find an unambiguous and consistent definition of native advertising, but for a better understanding of its essence, we will point out its most important features and give a few examples.

Features of native advertising

Each native ad should have a set of specific features. There may be more of them, depending on the specific type of native ad we are going to analyze. Above all, however, they should be distinguished by:

  1. nativity, i.e. a specific adaptation to the environment, the space in which it appears. Good native advertising should resemble a chameleon;

  2. unobtrusive - native advertising cannot irritate the recipient and attack him, as is the case with pop-ups. The purpose of native advertising is to attract and attract attention;

  3. usability - it must bring some added value to the recipient. It is to appeal to him and stimulate his imagination.

Native advertising - examples

As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, native advertising should feel like a chameleon. To some extent - after all, the advertiser does not care that it goes unnoticed. It just has to blend in with the environment, adapt to it, and at the same time make its presence visible, albeit subtly.

Good examples of native advertising may be product placement in television programs and social media, sponsored article (well balancing the proportions between advertising and journalistic text) or sponsored post in social media. Native advertising also exists in public space and is primarily based on a good concept.

Subliminal advertising and native advertising

Does anything connect subliminal information (message) with native advertising, and if so, what? We mentioned that opponents of native advertising emphasize its roots in subliminal advertising. However, is this a valid presumption? Much depends on the intentions of the advertiser, who has the choice of presenting the product ethically and unethically attacking the customer's mind without his awareness. Both advertisements, by their nature, try to reach the recipient indirectly, largely bypassing their awareness.

However, native advertising can be considered a milder version than subliminal advertising - it does not use an automated message focused on manipulation (as in Vicary's experiment), but it scrolls more subtly among stronger stimuli and is possible to be picked up by a capable eye (e.g. in product placement, about which he is informed in television programs).

Regardless of how it is assessed, there is a bright future ahead of native advertising. It is increasingly used on the web and in the real world. In Poland, its market is only in the initial phase, but it is developing very fast and bodes well for the future.