The Evolution of Subliminal Advertising?

Advertising is everywhere. You cannot and will never be able to escape it.

The advertiser’s utopia of Los Angeles, as depicted in Blade Runner, is very much here and now (see Times Square below). If there’s an unoccupied piece of land, advertising companies will snap it up and whack an ad there.

times sq

Home-owners are even willing to offer out the road-facing side of their houses as a billboard, because it faces heavy traffic on a long commuter route. These selfless vigilantes are on a mission to help local businesses promote their products and services. An intention twinned no doubt, with an almost rabid thirst for cash.

Understandably, blanket advertising can get people’s goat. The characteristics affiliated with advertising are greed, lack of ethics, ruthlessness – typical fat cat traits that give the industry a rotten reputation.

Sure, brands like Coca-Cola and Tesco have practically monopolised their industries by pumping billions of dollars into their advertising campaigns. How do you compete against these monsters with this much financial clout? You can’t, leave them to it.

But what about the thousands and thousands of other companies, genuinely competing for custom? How do you persuade one person to buy Evian Water instead of Vittel? Bore them into submission with a few stats about minerals? Why not offer a new perspective. Does the advert have to be based around the springs at Lake Geneva? I’d love to have been at the meeting when the creative team had this idea:

Evian Babies

Brilliant! Babies dancing to Rapper’s Delight. I’m thirsty, might go grab an Evian…

Seriously though, this demonstrates perfectly the creativity and “outside the box” thinking which is becoming so prominent and practically unconditional in the advertising industry. This advert has achieved viral status, forwarded to colleagues, friends and family and has currently attained nearly 10 million views on YouTube.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Olympus created this stopmotion video. The PEN Story is a staggering piece of work by any standard. A 3 minute advert using over 60,000 pictures, 9,600 prints and 1,800 pictures had to be re-shot.

The artist is Mr Taijin Takeuchi

The PEN story

That companies are commissioning incredibly talented artists to create pieces like this, stretching their imagination and raising their profile simultaneously, is surely proof that advertising provides opportunity and pleasure.

Subliminal Advertising mentions must go out to Cadbury’s (yes, the drumming gorilla – seen it?), and perhaps the pioneer of the genre – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2VCfOC69jc.

Is this Subliminal Advertising by definition? Or is the term evolving?

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2 Comments

Filed under Advertising

2 responses to “The Evolution of Subliminal Advertising?

  1. Okay, that Olympus commercial BLEW MY MIND!

    I’ve seen similar ones that were pretty basic, but this one was just crazy insane.

    Very interesting post about subliminal advertising, exactly what you are saying about the drumming gorilla set to Phil Collins for Cadbury. The video has nothing to do with chocolate but is filled with this totally impactful video that is unique, original and entertaining, with the Cadbury logo displayed at the very end. Genius.

    • bigcatstrategy

      Hey Chris

      PEN story is awesome isn’t it?! The story is great too, as well as looking pretty.

      Cadbury’s have done a few ads which have left confused question marks hovering over people’s heads. Did you see the ads with the trucks?

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