Nothing is free in this world. The ability to surf online and connect with one another globally is not a gift but a service for which we pay a high price; it is called commercial surveillance.

Reality is that we are not searching the likes of Google; Goggle is searching us. Through them, we give away personal information that is sold to those that want to sell us something that more times than not, we have no need for. The privacy of our consumer mind is being recorded and invaded 24/7 with psychological advertising techniques. Our defence is down because we have no clue what is going on.

Subliminal (below our conscious threshold) advertising plays a big role in how we make irrational consumer purchases – decisions we question after the fact without understanding why we made them.

We will instead try to come up with a reason from our rational mind to justify it. Advertisers are our hidden persuaders. They are armed with sophisticated techniques while telling us of the many benefits in personal disclosures. 



The advertiser’s seduction of our subconscious mind is done through our emotions. An emotional influence works on us without us even being aware of it and bypasses the logical and rational thinking of the conscious mind. 

Advertising with high emotive and creative content is much more effective than the message itself. The subconscious mind is much more powerful than our conscious mind and that is why psychological techniques are constantly being played on it. It is being emotionally influenced daily by 1000s of marketing messages in a fleeing moment with colours, words, images, music and subliminal messages; which are especially effective. This emotional seduction or trickery explains why we keep consuming products that we know are bad for us – even if they carry a “Warning” on the label. The subliminal messages we receive are often sexual. Studies show that advertisements containing sexually subliminal Images, will result in a stronger subconscious association for a particular brand or product. 

Sex sells and you must therefore look closely to see if something is accidental or carefully put together.


The most effective advertising evokes an emotional response instead of providing information. This is done through images because they cause stronger emotions than words and are also noticed first.

The most powerful communicator of emotional expressions is the human face. Over 85% of our decision making is made by our subconscious mind. 

In his book, Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard explains how often advertisers use psychology to reduce our ability for rational purchasing. This leads us to make decisions that are impulsive and even self-destructive.

Martin Lindstrom is a marketing expert and author of Buyology. In his book, Lindstrom explains how fear overrides any other purchasing behavior. We see this often implemented in advertisements because by instilling fear, urgency is created and urgency makes someone less likely to process information rationally. Emotional advertising is fueled by strong emotional language like “Warning,” “Save,” and “Stop.”

Colours are also used to trigger a broad range of desirable emotional responses. Strong colours like red are used to evoke urgency and appetite, while other colours like blue are calm, grounding and used to evoke trust in a company brand. 

A plethora of products are created to meet fabricated needs, remove fears and make us feel happy and content. Unfortunately, all they are selling is hope and an empty promise. These products will at best give us only a fleeing moment of happiness. 



Children’s consumption is now a huge source of revenue for companies. Children have become the main target for the advertisers’ psychological techniques to which children are much more susceptible. As such, they have created clever exploitative advertising that makes children want junk food as well as the latest clothing, toys and gadgets.

Targeting children also has the benefit of creating consumers for life as they turn into adults. Marketers are aware of the fact that children will nag their parents who will eventually give in or feel like bad parents; despite knowing full well that something like junk food is not good for their health.