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January 28th, 2011 at 10:23 am

How Advertisers Try to Control Your Mind

gilberts gin ad

The famous “sex spelled out in ice cubes” gin ad.

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Facebook has rolled out a new ad system where people’s updates get converted into “sponsored story” ads fed to their friends. But this is hardly the first time advertisers have tried to feed us ads stealth-style. (videos)

 

Let’s get subliminal

Before we tackle this latest Facebook social media apocalypse, let’s consider the history of stealthy high-tech advertising. In the 1950s, ad agencies started reading Freud and tried to create ads that appealed to our subconscious minds. Vance Packard’s great book The Hidden Persuaders details the secret history of psy-ops advertising during that time. It’s this era that gave us the famous “sex spelled out in ice cubes” gin ad, as well as commercials that supposedly flashed words at you so quickly that they’d zoom right into your unconscious mind.

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