100% support for subliminal advertising

Picture_4 We should all become subminal advertising artists.  Every single one of us.

I don't care that in 1974 the FCC issued an order saying that anyone knowingly carry subliminal ads was operating "contrary to the public interest."

I don't care that they've proven that the infamous 1957 "drink Coke" movie theater story is a urban legend.

I don't care that some people allege that the Disney animation classic The Lion King has a seen where the word SEX is written in the clouds.  (Not sure who that's advertising for!)

I don't care that some people have seen the word RATS in a commercial George W. Bush ran during his campaign for President against Gore.

When a store owner makes a customer feel like they're the most important person in the room, that's subliminal advertising.  When an on-line help desk staffer takes an extra three minutes to write a personal comment in a "we've fixed your problem" e-mail, when a customer service rep hops in the car to hand deliver a part that a client desperately needs…that's subliminal advertising.

When a Disney cast member whose job is sweeping up popcorn stops to give a little boy a sticker…that's subliminal advertising.  When a lube drive through shop checks a worried woman's car, makes a minor repair and then refuses to charge her anything…that is subliminal advertising.

We can consciously deliver our brand through marketing messages, signage, and consistency.  But all of that pales in comparison to creating a customer experience that delights and surprises someone. 

That kind of subliminal advertising gets people to not only buy what you sell but to talk about their buying experience.  That kind of subliminal advertising transcends loyalty and moves to love.

We should all be that kind of advertiser.


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25 comments on “100% support for subliminal advertising

  1. Lewis Green says:

    Drew,

    I can’t argue with that logic. Began the post thinking that I might need to set you straight. As it turns out, the opposite happened.

    Good post!

  2. I never thought about those little things as being subliminal, but they sure are. It would follow, then, that the opposite is also true. Things like a surly cashier and those damnable recorded “your call is important to us” messages also speak. If it isn’t already, this would make a great addition to Marketing and Business courses.

  3. Mike Thomas says:

    Hello,

    We would like to do an interview with you about your blog for
    http://www.BlogInterviewer.com . We’d like to give you the opportunity to
    give us some insight on the “person behind the blog.”

    It would just take a few minutes of your time. The interview form can
    be submitted online at http://bloginterviewer.com/submit-an-interview

    Best regards,

    Mike Thomas

  4. Art Dinkin says:

    If that is subliminal advertising, then I am guilty of subliminal marketing. Please forgive me and may my business see perpetual triple digit growth…

  5. Chuck says:

    I never disagree with you but the problem with your analogy is that subliminal messages are only picked up by the subunconscious and they have been proven to not work. We are highly conscious of great customer service and we remember it and tell our friends.

  6. well, be polite and caring! this is subliminal advertising!!

  7. Loved the message and your post. I hate to say it, though–the times that I, personally, get excellent,note-worthy customer service are few and far between. And, when it happens, it’s noticeable. My mind, heart and wallet remember.

  8. Just browsing the internet, very interesting blog.

  9. Cam Beck says:

    Interesting way to look at [drink Coke] subliminal advertising [buy popcorn], Drew.

  10. John says:

    I agree with that thought. Customers deserve that kind of experience. It’s a great way of showing them that they are valuable to the company and that they are always welcome.

  11. Lewis,

    You know me….I love a twist at the end of a good story. I thought the headline might get a couple people’s goat.

    And I figured my ethical friend Lewis would be in the front of the line!

    Drew

  12. Jody Johnston says:

    I can not agree more. Subliminal advertising= customer service.
    I work a job in retail right now and everyday the boss says “We’re here for customer serivce. Remember how you want to be treated when you are shopping, and treat the customer that way.” Good customer service makes a happy customer, which in turn brings in more customers from word of mouth. And in the long run that means more money. If your company makes more money, you make more money.

    If only more retail workers would do their jobs that way.

  13. Carolyn,

    It’s basically the same mindset as we all get into when we have company in our house. We put on the good manners. Shouldn’t we do the same when a potential customer or customer is in our “house” be that our store, website or on the phone?

    Drew

  14. Hi Mike,

    It looks like your form is going to take some time to fill out. I want to give it the thought it deserves, so I will get to it soon, I promise.

    Thanks for inviting me.

    Drew

  15. Art,

    I am sure it’s part of your success. With the subliminal advertising and the blog…you’re going to be making Buffet envious pretty soon! 🙂

    Drew

  16. Chuck,

    Well you may be right, the anology may have some flaws. But I do believe if we treat someone well and go out of our way a little — that subtle message begins to influence their buying decision.

    Drew

  17. Gia,

    Well, it is the Drew McLellan approved version of subliminal advertising any way!

    Drew

  18. Freddie —

    Thank you. I hope you’ll stop back often and jump into the conversations. As you can see, lots of smart people to learn from here. I glean something new from them every day.

    Drew

  19. Cam,

    Thanks! I figured [send Drew all your money] you’d have something [but not the kids or the dog] to say about it.

    Drew

  20. Suzanne,

    Maybe that’s why it is so powerful — because we don’t see it very often. Sadly, if everyone treated their clients/customers like kings & queens, maybe it would get to be so routine we’d stop noticing.

    So shhh, don’t tell too many people!

    Drew

  21. John,

    I agree. It speaks volumes to our customers. So why do you think most business owners/workers don’t get that?

    Drew

  22. Jody,

    You have a very smart boss. Most retailers should probably take some lessons from you and your teammates!

    Drew

  23. Nancy says:

    Now that’s real customer support. It’s has every reason to be great and both company and customers will be happy doing it.

  24. Francis says:

    Interesting post, but I actually think that this encompasses two kinds of “sumbliminal”. One is “concealed messaging” and the other is “total brand behavior”.

  25. Patrik says:

    Drew your “article” above is one of the few truly ingenious posts I’ve read about “Subliminal Advertising”. In regards to the traditional folklore that so many people seem to believe in I’d like to add the following:

    The “Subliminal way” is but an illusion and is not supported in neither advertising research nor consumer decision making research. If you are interested in the subject you can read this post:
    http://iloblog.stics.se/yard?Home&post=2

    Marketing has since long ago come to understand that there are way more efficient and liminal ways to influence consumers. Just like Drew is describing!
    //Patrik
    Stockholm Institute of Communication Science
    http://www.stics.se

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