James Vicary in the 1950s claimed to increase the sale of branded drinks and popcorn in cinemas by screening subliminal adverts during films. This means that ‘Drink Coke’ and ‘Eat popcorn’ were presented on screen during the movie too fast for the audience to consciously detect.
These claims were found out to be a hoax but there has been recent research that has shown that subliminal messaging does really work. This of course raises ethical concerns that our behaviour in general can be influenced by subliminal messages. A new study has looked at how we can be protected from them; in this case by receiving a warning before exposure to the subliminal messages.
Take some time to have a read of this fascinating research and its conclusions.