Get Comfortable With Being Out Of Control
Reading words associated with the elderly such as old, lonely, traditional, bingo, forgetful and conservative has been found to cause people to walk more slowly afterwards (Bargh, Chen & Burrows, 1996).
Sound like the stuff of voodoo?
The prospect of being primed conjures dark images of consumers being manipulated by subliminal advertising and teenagers being brainwashed by heavy metal. These images are dark because they challenge fundamental – and flawed – assumptions that we are conscious, deliberate agents; in full control of our emotions, thoughts and behaviour.
This paper keeps a wide berth from the loaded topic subliminal advertising in canvassing examples of how brand-relevant information primes us constantly. Two lessons are offered to marketers operating in this reality.