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I rest my case.
Going "Sure!" is not an informed, evidence based argument.
> From: Richard Brodie
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 18:45 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Subliminal advertising
> FYI, here is the section of _Virus of the Mind_ in which I briefly discuss
> "subliminal advertising":
> Scares have abounded in recent years about so-called "subliminal"
> advertising. The idea is that unscrupulous marketeers have put hidden
> images, voices, or symbols into their ads for the purpose of manipulating
> people into buying products that they otherwise wouldn't buy. The story
> that one liquor company had an artist airbrush the word "sex" into the
> random arrangement of ice cubes in a glass, or that a cigarette
> hid the word "death" in a waterfall, or that a seemingly innocent
> arrangement of random objects secretly formed a likeness of a naked and
> seductive woman.
> This all raises a lot of questions, whether you see these images when you
> peer intently at the suspect ads or not.* But supposing subliminal images
> exist: how did they get there? Are there really evil geniuses
> cackling over their airbrushes, manipulating and enslaving our minds? Or
> the presence of these images nothing more interesting than Charlie Brown's
> looking up at the clouds and seeing a duckie and a horsie?
> Of course, I don't know. But if we get stuck on that question, we're
> into the biggest trap of all in understanding cultural evolution. It's the
> trap that conspiracy theorists fall into, and the same trap that people
> pooh-pooh conspiracy theories fall into. It's the mistaken belief that
> anything complicated must arise out of conscious intention.
> Complicated things arise naturally out of the forces of evolution. No
> conscious intention is necessary.
> [There's a cartoon here in the book making fun of subliminals-RB]
> Does subliminal advertising work? Sure! Ads can have parts that you don't
> become consciously aware of, but that draw your attention unconsciously.
> the ad pushes more of your buttons as a result of the subliminal content,
> you will pay more attention to it. Paying more attention is the first step
> toward paying more money. It can work in reverse, too: some fast-food
> restaurants paint their walls orange because they believe it creates
> subliminal discomfort. You'll want to spend less time lingering there, and
> your leaving opens up tables for new customers.
> But don't think subliminal ads are the only problem: as should be obvious
> everyone who has watched the evolution of television programming for more
> than a few years, efforts to attract your attention are not limited to the
> The television is screaming at us day and night with all the greatest
> button-pushing memes there are: Danger! Food! Sex! Authority! We don't
> have to believe it's real for it to attract our attention. Remember "I'm
> a doctor, but I play one on TV"?
> Not only commercials but also programs are evolving to command a greater
> share of your mind, and to say they were doing it subliminally would be an
> almost humorous understatement. As I write this, the first naked female
> breasts on American broadcast television have appeared on the program NYPD
> Blue. Baywatch, a show with little plot but lots of bare skin, has become
> the most watched television show in the history of the world. Female
> breasts, naked or otherwise, tend to command men's attention and hence in
> the very efficient evolutionary medium of television they tend to
> proliferate. A casual observer will notice that the inclusion of breasts,
> not to mention the rest of the female anatomy, in much male-oriented
> advertising is far from subliminal.
> Advertisers have learned to push your buttons. They also have learned a
> deal about programming you with all kinds of memes. It's not the
> that we need to be concerned with-it's that they now have the knowledge to
> unleash full-blown designer mind-viruses through their advertisements. And
> the effects of that are unpredictable and frightening.
> * Personally, ever since I first read about subliminal advertising I've
> the word "sex" in every glass of liquor on the rocks-now I've got a
> distinction-meme for it!
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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=============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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