Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Can You Program Listeners As Well As Your Radio Station?

Want listeners to think of your call letters each time their phone rings?

All you need to do is play the sound of a phone ringing and immediately say your call letters after it time and time again.

Wouldn't it be nice if subliminal advertising was that easy?

The "Ignore This Message" website puts it all in this slightly tongue-in-cheek context:

Subliminal advertising doesn't exist.
But if it does, it doesn't work.
But if it does, it's not a problem.
But if it is, it doesn't matter.
But if it does, ignore it. debunks the long-standing rumor that secret cues inside a Coke commercial got movie-goers to buy more popcorn.

Here in Seattle, UW Prof Tony Greenwald has been skeptically studying "Subliminal Influence" for almost five decades: "I think unconscious cognition is a pretty dumb but fast processor that scans sensory input and directs our attention."

Thus, he is at odds with followers of Freud, who contend the unconscious is a very smart and powerful entity that protects a person from psychic threats, such as knowledge of a fatal illness or personal incompetence, that are too anxiety-provoking for the more fragile conscious mind.

So, associate your brand with a ringing phone if it makes you feel diabolically clever, but don't count on this tactic to increase your ratings in any consistent and measurable way.

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