The use of cognitive bias in marketing is a common feature. In fact, most marketing strategies are wrapped around that feature. The subconscious mind is a powerful thing – fully understanding it can unlock amazing possibilities for you. In this article, I want to talk about subliminal marketing and I will give some interesting examples. I not only want you to find it interesting but l also want you to learn so that ultimately you can use the same approaches in your marketing. First off, I will explain some basic definitions.

Some Definitions

The term subliminal means below the threshold of conscious perception. No wonder I briefly mention the subconscious mind. When something is subliminal this means it will be picked up by your subconscious mind. This is something that actually happens unawares because in essence your conscious mind will be blinded to it. However, it is interesting to note that once it is picked up by the subconscious mind, it will ultimately make substantial impressions on the conscious mind. This means you will at some point make conscious decisions and probably never realize that it is based on something your subconscious mind picked prior. The subconscious mind is a fascinating subject, one of my favourites. Anyways, so what is subliminal marketing?

Subliminal marketing is the use of videos, audio, and image that carry a message that is meant to be subconsciously picked by an individual to steer them towards a particular conscious brand perception or purchase decision. It is a very scientific approach and can be very powerful if properly understood and applied. Let me get into some relatable examples that can show you how remarkable subliminal marketing can be.


Most of you are familiar with the Toyota logo, right? Have you ever stopped for a moment to closely look at it? If you do you might notice something interesting you probably never noticed. Here is the Toyota logo:

If you juxtapose it with the word, Toyota, you will notice that the letters in Toyota can all be made out of the actual logo. It is as if letters in Toyota were all superimposed to come up with the blueprint for the logo. You see it, right? What this does is that it solidifies the Toyota brand. When you see the logo alone, you will see Toyota. When you see both the logo and the inscription Toyota in one frame you get a double emphasis. At the end of the day, it makes the Toyota brand authoritative and will stick in your mind.


This is yet another one that is not so obvious for many but the moment you realize it you will wonder why you never noticed it. So here is the FedEx logo:

Do you notice anything interesting? Well, look at the final two letters. Upon closer inspection, you can actually see that there is an arrow between the two letters. That letter gives an illustration of focus and speed which are central to great service on the part of FedEx. It is a simple thing, so it seems, but it primes your mind to see FedEx being an efficient and fast service provider. Even the tip of the arrow can be interpreted as a play button which would illustrate the action.


The third example is the Amazon logo. The logo has two key messages that it communicates but that most people have never actually noticed. One, notice how there is that arrow at the bottom pointing from A to Z – that speaks of how fully comprehensive their product and service range is. Then again when you consider how that arrow is positioned you can actually make out an illustration of a smile symbolizing satisfied or happy customers. Here is the logo:

These are just 3 examples all of us can relate to and with a specific focus on logos. The same principles can also be used in packaging marketing material and marketing messages. As you build your brand and come up with marketing material and campaigns you must be cognizant of subliminal marketing. Do not just settle for a logo or some message simply because it seems nice or appealing to the eye. Business is all about sales, and sales require some form of persuasion or convincing people to buy. If you can tap into their subconscious minds you can influence their buying decisions a great deal.