Subliminal Advertising

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 1218

Definition: Subliminal Advertising

Advertising employing subliminal stimuli to influence consumers and hence affect buying pattern is Subliminal Advertising.

Subliminal stimuli are stimuli which are below an individual’s threshold for conscious perception although research has shown that such stimuli activates certain portion of brain without the person being aware. This then affects his mood and decision making.

Subliminal stimuli has been said to be used by marketers to affect consumer behaviour and buying pattern. There was once a study conducted by a movie theatre in which they flashed “Eat Popcorn, Drink Coke” for 1/100th of a second several times amidst the movie. It was observed that on those days when this message was flashed the sale of popcorn and coke was higher as compared to those days when no message was used.

Another such experiment was conducted where James Vicary superimposed two messages “Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Coca Cola” for 1/3000th of a second every 5 second in a movie. The results were surprising, Coke sale increased by 58% and popcorn by 18%.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Subliminal Advertising along with its overview.


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