My new book is called Subliminal Persuasion: Influence and Marketing Secrets They Don't Want You To Know. The book won't be available until April but you can find out more about it and pre-order here. Over the next year I'll be exploring the use of subliminal persuasion with you and teaching you things about marketing the general public, big advertising and the Fortune 500 don't want you to know. First so you are aware and second so you can determine what is most effective and ethical for you to adapt and use in your own business.
Outright attempts to influence and persuade still work but their impact is diffused by so many competing messages. Here is how some people are getting heard this Christmas. I'd love your thoughts about these kinds of efforts in the comments of this blog and please forward the link on to anyone you think should know about these techniques.
This Christmas one of the hottest forms of advertising (and anti-advertising) was shopdropping. Shopdropping is reverse shoplifting. You take goods into the store and leave them there. Shopdropping was first developed to take back some of the visual space taken up by advertising and do what was referred cultural jamming. Guerrilla street art was also a form of cultural jamming. The idea is to put unexpected messages in expected spaces. For example, photos on soup cans with messages and the barcodes left intact then placed back in stores. You can learn more at www.shopdropping.net.
Shopdropping is one of the most effective and most tolerated forms of Guerrilla Marketing. It is a way of getting your message into the marketplace without spending great deals of money while causing a reaction in a targeted group of people. Some people take shopdropping to a whole new level by creating stickers for their cds for example indicating that the designer label jeans company in whose back pocket the cd was discovered and the store that you shopping in endorse the band. While there is a strong ethical question behind outright lying, the shopdropping method is effective. You can even take classes on how to shopdrop.
While not overtly subliminal shopdropping does have some subliminal qualities as most people will make an assumption about the person's photos seen on a can of Campbell's soup for example not understanding or knowing that the label was removed and replaced by someone other than the manufacturer. The assumption will most likely be that Campbell's is sponsoring an up and coming artist or doing at take off on Andy Warhol.
A more interesting form of outright subliminal marketing is beaming messages directly into your head. Using technology designed for the military and security use, advertisers are able to send highly directed messages into an area and when the sound waves connect with an object (like your skull) you can hear the voice literally in your head. Take a look at this technology in use here and in this video showing A&E using the technology (click the link and then the triangle in the middle of the screen to start playing) and in the video here (windows media file).
The most effective forms of influence and persuasion are those that you don't even recognize or know are occurring. How can you leverage that idea for your benefit? One way I'll be using shopdropping is to place my books in airport bookstores to stimulate buying. When they see the book at the register but don't see it in their system they'll enter it, sell it and likely reorder since they only had one in stock. In what other ways can you see me shopdropping? I'd love your comments.