In 1957, James Vicary of Subliminal Projection Co., Inc. announced special equipment that would place subliminal messages in the advertising industry. He cited as a success story, the now infamous New Jersey Theatre that superimposed the messages “drink Coca-Cola” and “hungry? Eat popcorn” on the movies screen during a showing of the movie, Picnic. Vicary claimed up to a 58% increase in relevant sales following the presentations.
Although the use of such techniques, whereby an advertiser attempts to convey information to the viewer by transmitting messages below the threshold of normal awareness, is not permitted, I can’t help but wonder if those techniques are being use by members of the media today. Or perhaps subliminal perception marketing is known by another name—“Branding.” How else can we explain some of the irrational spending habits of a large population of consumers? Consider Black Friday for example. The idea that people would sit in line for hours, some for days, to purchase items that many cannot afford and most do not need baffles me. Watching people trample over each other to buy Christmas gifts for their loved ones in celebration of a Man whose life represented the epitome of modesty and humility is hypocritical at best.
I have to assume that the people who engage in such madness are being controlled by an unseen hand; or perhaps the hand is not so unseen. Maybe the simple act of suggestion is sufficient to lead an entire society on the path of materialism via debt. The attainment of the American Dream suggests that the acquisition of a house, car, and other material possessions equals success. Never mind the fact that the path to those ends often results in debt, stress, poor health, dysfunctional family and social relationships, an a myriad of other ills.
Does mass media play a role in leading so many to abandon their own desires to pursue an elusive Dream? Could the allure of expensive homes, luxury cars and other material items be so powerful that many look past the long term implications of student loans, mortgages, car loans, and credit card debt to become a slave to Corporate America?
I believe each of us must travel our own unique journey to pursue a greater purpose; a purpose much greater than the accumulation of material possessions. Some wake up to this truth in their early years but the pressures of society force them back onto the road often travelled. Some wake up to this truth in their later years; some as a result of a catastrophic event and some never uncover their life’s purpose.
I don’t think it’s ever too late to start dreaming. I would encourage each of us to replace the images that have been planted by society via mass media, with our own images. Images that represent our own subliminal cues or suggestion that will ultimately put us back on a path to our true destiny.
Although a little intimidating, I’ve been documenting my journey on my new path of self discovery via a You Tube Channel I created called “Empress Diaries.” Please check it out and share your comments, then start a channel to document your journey. I’d love to follow you. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=empress+diaries