Subliminal Marketing: An exploratory research in Lebanon
Marketing advertising is one of the fundamental activities performed by all businesses. Millions of dollars are budgeted to attract new customers and to retain current customers. However, there has been a continuous debate among marketers about the use of subliminal messages in advertising. Many believe in the power of the subconscious and propose that subliminal messages are hidden in ads and are addressed to that hidden part of the brain. Although researches in this field have not proven that subliminal messages affect human behavior per se, results of the studies that examined the effect of subliminal messages have been contradictory; there is no clear evidence as to how this concept works. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the dilemma of subliminal messages as used in Lebanese marketing advertising. A sample of MBA students has been exposed to a selection of examples of such messages; the results of these experiments are analyzed, tested, and then analyzed throughout the paper.
This research is exploratory in nature and uses two research techniques, namely a survey research to quantify findings, and a qualitative research to conduct an in-depth literature review that is supported by structured interviews with selected figures from the Lebanese market. The outcome is an assessment of the respondents’ literacy and attitude towards subliminal messages. Results help shed light on the topic in question as applied in Lebanon and guide marketers to the advantages and disadvantages of subliminal messages in ads.
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