subliminal messages2


Topic: Subliminal Messaging in Video

Myth and conspiracy has it that hidden images in film or pictures has an effect on an individual’s mental desire. For example, if a hungry person sitting in a movie theatre was to be exposed to a subliminal image of fried chicken they are likely to eat fried chicken after the movie. The supposed reason for this is because a human will associate their hunger with the first food they can think of, which in this case was the imprint of the fried chicken image.

 Intervention description:

Individuals will be asked to watch a five minute video that contains subliminal messages in the form of images. The aim of the video is to persuade the viewer to desire McDonald’s. The individual/s would then be asked three questions that would conclude the outcome to weather the subliminal messages really worked.

 Intended message:

To prove that subliminal messages can in fact affect the short term desires and decisions of a person.


The experiment will not work on every participant, but a select few should surely be affected by the imagery they receive.


The intervention is intended to put some closure on the topic of subliminal messaging and to see whether it really has any effect on a person’s decision making.

– The experiment will act as food for thought for its participants since they will find out first hand that images can slip under their visual radar without notice.

-The intervention will hopefully shed light and raise awareness on the power of imagery and its subliminal uses.   

 Intervention Title


Dates: 15-16 January 2013

McSub is a visual experiment that is fully intended on persuading people to eat McDonald’s.  Images of double-cheese burgers, sodas, and the famous McDonald’s Golden Arches logo are placed in a five minute clip composed of five different movies. The images are in plane site for a fraction of a second at specific locations in specific scenes.

A total of 26 Golden Arch Logos, 5 Burgers and 2 sodas were secretly bombarded at the 30 Individuals who partook in the experiment. All viewers had no idea what the video was for, they were merely asked to watch.

Each individual was asked three questions at the end of the clip.

They were:

1. What would you eat at the present moment?

  1. A.      Pizza
  2. B.      Hamburger
  3. C.      Hot dog

Follow-up question

What kind of burger and from where?

(if B. was chosen follow up question would be asked)

2. If you had to chose something to eat right now what would it be?

3. Did McDonald’s or hamburgers cross your mind at all?

The outcome was quite interesting.The numbers in the pie charts represent the viewer count with their respective percentage. (Based on thirty views)





Overall Outcome

The statistics clearly show that just less than half of the viewers, at 43%, were affected in some way by the subliminal imagery.

 Two individuals became hungry after the experiment, whilst one actually ordered McDonald’s.

All the participants did not notice any of the images during the video. It was only until after the experiment did the viewers start noticing the images after the second time of watching the clip. Therefore one can conclude that an individual is not fully aware of what images they are absorbing, unless they specifically look for it.


The remaining 17 individuals were not influenced by the images in the clip, however, two of the participants were vegetarian whilst three did not like McDonald’s and two do not eat fast food.

A few participants had already eaten before viewing the video, halting their decision making in the question phase.

Therefore one can conclude that even though the video did not affect 17 people, there were specific reasons beyond control that effected the decision making process.


The experiment proved how subliminal images can effect a human’s short term decision to a certain extent. The very fact that 33 foreign images went unnoticed by the viewer’s raises questions to how much we actually perceive from what we see.  If even what we don’t see has an effect on us to a certain extent, one can comprehend the power of imagery in its boldest visibility. The experiment also portrayed a human trait of seeing the world through personal filtered lens; we tend to see what we want to see.


Try it Yourself and See if you spot the hidden images.


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