A subliminal message is a hidden message of words, sounds, or images. Subliminal messages can be found in television or radio commercials, printed ads, recorded music, movies, and television shows. The whole point of a subliminal message is the fact that you will not be able to recognize the message for what it is if you were to see or hear it. Subliminal messages can be ignored by the conscious brain because it is beyond the level of conscious perception.
The Subliminal Theory
The subliminal theory is that you perceive subliminal messages through your subconscious or your unconscious mind. Your conscious mind has no time to analyze or rationalize the subliminal messages that you might see or hear. By targeting consumers through the subconscious mind, they may be able to accept the intended message more easily. For example, Target(R) uses a slight form of subliminal messaging. You may have noticed that the company uses the colour red for every commercial. Since red has nothing to do with the actual company, the idea is that whenever a person sees red, he or she will think of Target(R). By thinking of Target(R), he or she may want to shop there.
A Disagreement over Subliminal Messages
Many people tend to disagree on how subliminal messaging is understood, used, and accessed. Subliminal messaging was created in the late nineteenth century. By the twentieth century, it became a commonly used thing. For example, visual messages would show an image that would flash on the screen for a second. This could convince a person to act a certain way. After a while, people became afraid that subliminal messages would be used to brainwash other people. In the 1970s, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission banned the use of subliminal advertisements in order to qualm the fear of countless people. However, the ban that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission put on subliminal advertisement only went towards television advertisements, audio advertisements, and printed advertisements. It is not illegal to use subliminal messaging in television or music.
Subliminal Messaging in Music
There is no real proof that subliminal messages could cause a person to do incredible acts. However, hundreds of people believe that rock music has subliminal messages that force others to act a certain way. The common misconception about rock music is that there are subliminal messages in rock songs that speak about the Devil.
People also believe that artists record messages of words or phrases backwards as a part of subliminal messaging in order to corrupt youth. This is known as back masking. Although there are a few artists that feature back masking in their songs, it is still not as many as one would have you believe. The band Judas Priest recorded a cover of the song “Better by You, Better than me”. In 1990, the band was sued after two young men killed themselves. The families of the two young men claimed that the men committed suicide because “Better by You, Better than me” stated the words “do it” when played backwards. The band won the case after stating that the words “do it” does not actually tell others to kill themselves. Other bands, such as Bloodhound Gang or Mindless Self Indulgence, have made fun back masking.
Subliminal Messaging in Film
The more famous forms of subliminal messages are the messages that can be found in Disney films. For example, many people say that there are adult related subliminal messages found in films such as “The Lion King”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Aladdin”, and “The Runaways”. For example, you can find an image of an adult film in the background of a scene in “The Runaways”. Disney claims that this is a result of disgruntled artists.
One of the more obvious forms of subliminal messages would be product placement. For example, in the film “Spider Man”, you can see ads placed along buildings during the action sequences.