Friday, February 22, 2013

Philosophy Wire: Subliminal advertising, Death, Sex…

Philosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2013-02-22]:

The word "SEX" is used all to often in subliminal advertising. Take a look at the examples below.


Black Swan 2010Black Swan 2010

But what is really interesting is that the notion of DEATH is used the same as often in ads! (see the sources of this article for analysis)

subad6b Revlon_1

This happens for a variety of reasons (especially in cigarette ads, but also in alcohol and even cosmetics advertisements):

  • Smokers were believed to have had an unconscious death wish maybe because they feel they need to be punished by death for smoking. [1]
  • Most smokers know that they are going to die if they smoke and their subconscious creates some sort of death wish. (!!!) [2]
  • Perhaps it's got something to do with Freudian concept of death wish or death instinct. Or maybe defying death, even subliminally, may enhance a drinker's (or a smoker's) self-image of masculinity and virility. [3]
  • Death is a very uncomfortable topic for western populations, and that we are taught from infancy to repress thoughts about it. This is what marketing experts use to stimulate the subconscious and generate interest into a product. [4] Unconscious perceptual sensitivity appears most acute when the stimuli involve a cultural taboo related to reproductive behavior (sex) and death.  [5, 6]

Once more, reading and exercising philosophy as depicted in Harmonia Philosophica (where not only I am not afraid to mention Death, but I have made it one of my basic subjects!) is proved to be good for you... This time in a very practical manner! :)

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