You’ve possibly heard this story before…
During the hot summer of 1957, in a New Jersey movie theater the words “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Hungry? Eat Popcorn” were flashed on the screen of Academy award winning film ‘Picnic’ by Market Researcher James Vicary.
Undetectable to the conscious mind, lasting just 1/3000th of a second, in his press release, Vicary stated that 45,699 people were exposed to these subliminal projections and the reported results of this were increased sales of Coke by 18.1%* and popcorn by 57.8%*.
*notice how the decimal place makes it more believable…!
Outraged at this news the US and United Kingdom banned subliminal advertising.
However… in 1962 when challenged to repeat his experiment and failing to gain any change in sales, Vicary confessed, admitting that he hadn’t actually conducted the experiment at all.
In truth he invented the whole thing to attract business to his failing marketing agency.
“Subliminal messaging was deliberately concocted by a marketing agency for profit… and it hasn’t stopped people cashing in on it since.”
No, wait, dude hold on… you’re tellin’ me Subliminal Recordings aren’t real? But, but, but… millions are sold every year, in fact:
“I used subliminal recordings and lost 28kg in 30 minutes, my confidence grew back and I now feel like superman”
This kind of anecdotal evidence for subliminal recordings could be attributed to placebo… based on the fact that wily marketer James Vicary made ‘em up.
The Placebo Effect and how to make it work for you
Placebo is a well studied phenomena, almost all drugs are tested against placebos… there are two interesting things worth noting here.
1: the severity (or importance) of the condition
2: the type of placebo
Let me go sideways here for a moment… see, a headache or a life threatening condition are different. If the new ‘miracle’ drug (Placebo) doesn’t cure my headache… well, life goes on. The same cannot be said about life threatening conditions, right.
A person has way more invested in the drug/placebo working if it’s a life threatening, or super important condition, right.
How invested or how important it is to the person, increases the effectiveness of a placebo! Wild right? If you REALLY need it to work, it has a higher chance of working than if “it would be nice if it worked”… think about how this also translates to success.
Second, the delivery method. Tablets, capsules, injections… and even placebo surgery! Yep it’s a real thing. In that order they have more effect. A simple ‘cheap’ looking tablet is the least effective, whereas a ‘sham operation’ performed by a surgeon has the highest placebo effect.
This is again about value, this time its the value invested in the person giving the placebo i.e the Doctor.
My experiments carried out somewhere around autumn of 2015 confirm this. I offered a subliminal recording for more confidence… for free, as part of an experiment, all upfront and totally legit. They had nothing on them, other than some music.
The feedback I received from this ‘experiment’ was that almost every person commented about the positive effect on their confidence. Clearly demonstrating that the One (hypnotic or very Liminal) Suggestion “This recording will give you more confidence” at the beginning helped them more than hundreds of ‘subliminal suggestions’ that weren’t there!
Simply put, the expectation of becoming more confident coupled with the ‘procedure’ (relaxing and listing to an audio) created the desired effect they wanted.
Subliminal = Placebo
So how is this working…? and more importantly, what can YOU do to make it work for YOU?
Priming, meaning association or the ‘seeding an idea’. Priming is a very different thing altogether. A form of this you’ll know as ‘product placement’. Sometimes product placement is very obvious: Tom Cruise wore Ray Ban sunglasses in the film Top Gun resulting in the huge popularity and increased sales of the tinted eye ware.
“Monkey see, monkey do”
James Bonds heroic Aston Martin driving, hugely boosted the car sales. This lead to Don McLaughlan, (PR agent from Lotus) to hatch a cunning plan to get his brand of car in the films…
Knowing of preparations for a new 007 adventure, he parked a pre-series model of the Lotus Esprit directly in front of the Pinewood Studios in London.
Producer Albert Broccoli saw the car and instantly wanted the futuristic looking (this was the 70’s) vehicle in the movie. The film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ was a box-office success and the Lotus Esprit sold like hotcakes.
Another form of priming is…
Cat and _. Chances are you completed the sentience ‘dog’, or mouse (the point is you didn’t say balloon).
This is a very basic example of Semantic (meaning words) Priming. Priming can also be described as a ‘psychological phenomenon where the exposure of a certain stimulus, influences the behaviour of a person, even without the individuals awareness that the thing they got exposed too has influenced their behaviour’.
The eyes have it.
A “by your honour” collection jar was set up for shared milk in a lunch cafeteria, next to it was an image that showed a picture of a pair of human eyes staring at the person about to take a sip of bovine-bodily-fluid. On another day it was alternated with a picture of flowers.
The watching eyes have it, gathering more donations than the picture of nature finest art (Visual External Stimulus).
During another experiment people were asked to focus on a shameful thought (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic Internal Stimulus). Then they were told to fill in the blank letter: SO_P. The vast majority completed the word SOAP rather than SOUP. The conclusion was, feeling ‘morally dirty’ triggers the desire to cleanse.
Conclusion: Sounds, images, smells etc (external or internal) do effect us. Obvious right.
If the visual cortex, via the eyes, receives the information (although you didn’t ‘notice’ it), or the audio cortex, via the ears, registers the input, then the stimulus goes in and ‘Primes’ the mind.
Subliminal comes from the Latin. Sub meaning below and limen (or liminal) meaning threshold. Below the threshold of awareness.
If it’s there, even if you didn’t ‘notice’ it. Priming occurs.
If it’s there, but it’s hidden i.e. sub-liminal*. No Priming happens. *remember Vicary made it up.
Auto-liminal-Suggestion does work when the sensory gathering apparatus (eyes, ears etc) are receiving the information, even if the ‘conscious’ mind is distracted or doesn’t notice the stimulus.
DIFFERENT TO EYES-CLOSED HYPNOSIS
Nature Liminals: Pure Liminal Hypnotic Affirmations with Nature Soundscapes.
These are designed to be listened to while: reading, working, relaxing, stretching or exercising… you can listen to them while you’re writing, designing, creating, anytime.