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Subliminal Seduction Mass Market Paperback – December 3, 1974


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Mass Market Paperback, December 3, 1974
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Signet (December 3, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451061489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451061485
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,288,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By zz top on February 27, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The perceptual threshold can be managed.

Eat Popcorn and Drink Coca-Cola,

This book is incredible it is dated but revels some of the secrets of Madison ave. I do not think this book is a hoax in fact I think such advertising methods have become worse.

Mr. Key claims subliminal sexual symbols (and images of death) or objects are often used to entice consumers to buy and use various products.

Subliminal messages bypass conscious recognition.
Here is a brief overview of some of the techniques discussed.

Subliminal Embedding

"One prevalent form of subliminal technique (Subliminal Embedding)
was described as the insertion of words or body forms (embeds) by the use of shadows or shading or the substitution of forms or shapes generally associated with the body. The consumer does not perceive them at a normal rate of awareness. And thus is given no choice whether to accept or reject the message as is the case with normal advertising."

Other methods mentioned
1 Figure ground reversals (synchronistic illusions)
2/ Embedding
3/ Double Entende
4/ Tachistoscopic displays
5/Low intensity light
6/Lighting and background sound

7/quick cuts
8/meta contrast
9/backward masking

Subliminal condition

Ad's use phrases directed at the sub level.
"I love Coke."
Beatty Crocker mmmmm moist.
Super moist
Hey hot shot aren't you coming?
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A. Davis on October 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book when I was about 12 years old, and I found it very intersting. The book shows blown up images of items used in commercials, etc. Shocking how advertisers play to the lowest common denominator (sex) in order to sell their products! After reading the book, I started looking for the little tricks advertisers use that our subconscious mind does pick up on. I remember sitting there with my mouth opened just amazed by it all. I'd love to read it again as an adult. I think it would be more interesting this time around. If you don't believe in the concept of subliminal seduction, you will after reading this book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By 30 cent on September 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My parents had this book many years ago which I read and wrote a junior high school paper on advertising using this book as research. I can clearly remember reading his book, then looking at pictures in print media and seeing the real hidden messages advertisers were placing in their ads. ( I wish I didnt throw that paper out.)
Today, after studying marketing and psychology in college, hidden messages in advertising are far more sophisticated and subtle yet still there. This book lays the groundwork for understanding advertising today, which is largely visual, but takes subliminal messages to the next level.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MacheteJason TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 27, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Subliminal Seduction is about the secret ways business-people arouse your desires to get your money. Overall the book does make some good points but has many flaws. Possibly the best part is that it contains 16 pages of ads illustrating the author's ideas. It you don't believe in the idea of subliminal messages at all you may as well avoid this title because the execution needs so much work. Key was a member of MENSA so despite the lack of style he does make some good points. His books were widely read at universities and he was a colleague and friend of Marshall McLuhan. The only problem is some of his theories reek of insanity and genius. He almost comes across as the Philip K. Dick of advertising. Legendary director Stanley Kubrick also read this book after making Barry Lyndon (as reported in the Room 237 documentary).

Where the book falters is the author's insistence in telling his story enveloped in a dry, academic analysis that only seems partly believable. It comes across as wordy and long-winded. I don't know if anyone would accuse Wilson Bryan Key of being a great writer but he isn't totally wrong about what he discusses. Writing sentences that are 6 lines long doesn't make for a pleasurable reading experience either. Certainly there have been subliminal insertions through images, words and sounds in ads. Many Disney movies not to mention The Exorcist provide a few examples. Perhaps it isn't subliminal at all but it does exist. I can't read Subliminal Seduction straight through because of all the jargon the author throws out but it did get me to question a few things. Perhaps that's the only point. Why does the book get 4 stars? Despite Key being attacked most of his life he is very intelligent, isn't afraid to hold back and gets you to think.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This poignant examination of print media advertising's subliminal selling techniques in the 70s comes from a time before digital enhancements and computers, and should definitely provoke anyone to ask "if they were that good then, what are they doing to us now?!?"
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