Week 6 Concepts

Visual communication techniques in ads that trigger involuntary responses

By: Shelly F.

Visual communication techniques are messages that are interpreted by the eyes usually, but not always, accompanied by appropriate auditory stimuli.  Involuntary responses are reactions made by the person or persons viewing the messages which are instinctive and usually undetectable to the person or persons making them unless the response is pointed out.  A good example of a visual communication technique would be a subliminal message.  A subliminal message is a visual or auditory stimulus inserted into an ad that is picked up by the subconscious part of the brain, but is unknown to the conscious part.  These messages result in involuntary responses such as like/dislike or want/avoid feelings.  Advertising agencies use them to make people like their product.  I hate to ruin a good Disney movie, but the Lion King has the most famous one.  Notice what word the dust makes as it flies away.

(The image is courtesy of http://www.subliminal-video.com/subliminal-movies/.)

Regulators of the advertising industry: FDA, FTC

By: Shelly F.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both place regulations on the advertising industry (and by extension public relations) because both involve the realms of business and trade.  An example of this would be the current battle over labels.  More specifically, this debate is about whether or not the FTC and/or FDA should require the companies who produce foods which contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to label the foods as containing GMOs.  This, aside from being a controversial national issue, is also an international debate.  Many countries in Europe require labels on foods containing GMOs.  As a result, many exported American goods cannot be shipped to those countries until they meet that requirement. 

(This image is courtesy of http://wakeup-world.com/2012/02/10/vermont-introduces-monumental-gmo-labeling-legislation/.)

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