Subliminal advertising is a form of marketing that uses very intentional messaging, sounds, or visuals to get a specific point across to those viewing the ad. The goal of subliminal advertising is to make the audience walk away from the ad with a specific message in their mind that they didn’t consciously receive from the ad.
If you recall from a Saved By the Bell episode, Zack Morris used subliminal messaging on an audio recording to make his crush, Kelly Kapowski, want to partner with him for an upcoming dance. Zack adds his own voice behind music for Kelly to listen to, hoping that she’ll get the message.
It’s classic subliminal messaging. Is it sneaky? It can be. But not all subliminal advertising is meant to be used for less-than-ideal circumstances, like Zack’s antics. Much of it is simply to make consumers feel a specific way about the product or service being advertised. After all, it is a business’s job to sell, and subliminal messaging is one way to do it.