Subliminal Advertising

So the other day in my English class, the professor asked us what we thought of the business use of subliminal advertising.

Some people consider subliminal advertising to be unethical because people are not always “aware” that they are being appealed to and do not have the option of turning off the TV or walking past the billboard.

However, I think that subliminal adverting is an essential part of the free market, and  I do not have a problem with businesses subtly advertising to my senses, urging me to buy products I had no intention of purchasing.


Because, simply put, that is the freedom of capitalism.

Businesses make a lot of money by direct advertising to their shoppers, but direct advertisements only work to a certain extent.

For instance, Sam’s Club is known for its sampling booths where food is prepared and served to shoppers free of charge, It is amazing how tasting food in a store can motivate you to actually purchase that food. Had I simply walked by the frozen shrimp and cocktail sauce, I would not have given it a second thought; but when I walked by and smelled the cooked shrimp, then actually tasted it, I swallowed the sales pitch – hook, line, and sinker.

The same would apply to the large fragrance warehouses that provide small sample bottles for you to take home for free. Yes, that particular brand or scent may be a little unknown to you, but wear it for a few days, receive compliments on it, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to return and buy a bottle of the same fragrance.

By appealing to consumers in a tangible way, businesses are able to “get inside the heads” of their shoppers in a way no sign can.

Businesses that use subliminal advertising are able to increase sales, while the shoppers feel pampered.


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