Introduction: is ethically correct to grab the consumer

Introduction:

 Subliminal messaging is a very interesting
phenomenon, which gives the organizations and brands to play with their ideas
and portray their brands as different from another brand. In this world paced
environment where the laggards will be left behind if they are unable to cope
up with the pace. Consumer’s motivation towards the indulgence of monetary
benefit through subliminal messaging is one of the phenomenons that are
observed in the past (Liane et al). Consumer tends to have certain
characteristics that may change his/her behavior pertaining to any particular
tactic used by the brand. Marketing ethics area is another prospect where the
impact of subliminal messaging is important, whether the tactic used is
ethically correct to grab the consumer attention or what is the demarcation of
advertisement done by the brand or a company in that prospect (Magdalena &
Bodo. B). Persuasiveness of targeted messaging is another aspect that was seen
in the past has the effect on the narrower group of people (Hersh & Brian)

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An
experiment is conducted by James Vicary in 1959 to increase the sale of
coca-cola and popcorn in cinemas through the use of subliminal messaging. He
flashed the messages “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Eat Popcorn”
for 1/3000 of a second every five seconds over the movie Picnic.

He
claimed that as a result 58% of the sales of coke increased and 18% of popcorn
sale also increased.

 

Ralph
Haber Norman wanted to know about the consumer behavior on subliminal
messaging, for which he has conducted a survey in which 324 respondents were involved.
41 percent of the respondents were aware about it and in which half thought of
it as unethical. He thought of it as the technological advancement in the field
of advertisement.

Subliminal
messaging opens avenue for the businesses to face the current challenges of
globalization and fierce competition. It provides them with the opportunity to
sustain their competitive advantage and stay in the game. In current scenario
of business world, subliminal messaging in advertisement and otherwise will
give firms and organizations a platform to convey their message in an impactful
manner, that will stay in their consumers mind, so that they can achieve the
desirable results regard to their sales and consumer base.

Thus
subliminal messaging holds a great importance in terms of increasing sales of a
product or a service and my study will reveal the results that will back this
whole notion or gives the opportunity to future researchers to work upon this
knowledge area.

Problem Statement

It
is the need of western clothing brands and industry to know the impact of
subliminal messaging and techniques in order to enhance their sales. I; through
my study will cater this demand of impact on sales of different brands by
subliminal messaging.

Research Questions

1.     
What is the relationship between
subliminal messaging and sales of western clothing brands?

2.     
What is the relationship between
Promotional offers and sales of western clothing brands?

3.     
What is the relationship between culture
and sales of western clothing brands?

4.     
What is the relationship between
advertisement and sales of western clothing brands?

 

Research Objectives

·        
To explore that how subliminal messaging
affects the sales of western clothing brands in Pakistan (Multan)

·        
To find the impact of cultural factors
on sales of western clothing brands, whether they are positive related or
weakly related to each other, this way a brand will have a focus approach to
design its communication technique among the target market.

·        
To check the impact of subliminal
messaging in promotional techniques to see its affect on sales of western
clothing brands, whether the promotional campaigns with a particular subliminal
or targeted message has the impact on sales or not.

·        
To explore the impact of advertisement
if used with regard to subliminal messaging and its affect on sales of western
clothing brands in twin cities.

 

Significance
of Study

The research paper will study the
effect of subliminal messaging on sales of western clothing brands in twin
cities of Pakistan, it will also keep the factors i.e. cultural, promotional,
advertisement in line to see the effect on sales of the western clothing brands
in Pakistan.

The significance of this study is
that different brands will adopt the outcomes and findings of the research and
design their strategies to communicate their message in the market accordingly.
It will give the current cut throat competition a fire as well as relief of
going the way which is never been used before in a designed manner. Companies
and brands will know the value of targeted subliminal messaging and will
increase their sales by a considerable fraction if targeted in the right
manner.

In a world we are living in where
almost every brand is in neck to neck competition the need of new techniques to
tempt consumers towards a product or service is needed. For that need my study
will be a stepping stone in terms of introducing subliminal messaging as an
effective tool in relation with the increase in sales of western clothing
brands in Pakistan (Multan).

In the future where the industry in
discussion; clothing industry will face more competition with better offerings,
Use of Subliminal messaging to attain a certain edge from the competitors is
the key objective of the study. 

In Pakistani market where cultural
factors has an impact on the choice of clothing and otherwise, targeting in a
right direction with a certain subliminal message will allow clothing brands to
narrow down their consumer base and make the product accordingly and in result
increase their sales. The other aspect is advertisement, if the message is
conveyed in the right way the sole purpose of increasing the sales can be
achieved.

This study has significance in
multi direction and can be used by future researchers to work upon the impact
of subliminal messaging in different industries and settings.

 

 

Literature
Review

       I.           
Subliminal Messaging

 

Consumer behavior has been affected
by many factors, whether it is advertisement, targeted messages or different
tactics used to enhance the productivity and efficiency of a product or a
service. (Laran et al. 2011). There are certain tactics that can be used and
the consumer cannot control the affect of it, subliminal messaging is one of
those tactics used in the past to discover new opportunities in order to
enhance sales and brand image.

Targeted messages and use of
tactics is always been a forte of different industries including clothing
industry. In todays world consumer posses a skeptical nature, where different
tactics used by the industries will go through the thorough observation and
then opted for, marketing tactics can induce a stimuli which may or may not
observed/accepted by the consumers (Dimofte,
Forehand, and Deshpande, 2003)

Persuasion in a certain limit can
or cannot be resulted in a consumption pattern change by the consumers, so
persuasion used through different messaging techniques should be put under the
research tab for the researcher to work upon.

Work on subliminal advertising is
been done in the past where the effectiveness of the advertisement used haven’t
been measured correctly and they are not clear. (R.N. Haber, 1959). The
research also revealed that many of the respondents in Habers Study thought of
it as Unethical but they are not willing to leave watching TV. They are
inclined towards watching TV whether the ads are ethical or unethical, that
gives me the gap to analyze the factors lying behind that particular behavior
of the respondents in Pakistani setting.

 

    II.           
Promotional Offers

 

In
certain conditions subliminal messages used are resulted in increase in
different consumer behaviors, whether its emotions arousal or hunger increase,
it has affected the behavior of the consumers. (Del Hawkins, 1970). There is a
concept of Subception is also discussed in the study of Hawkins,that talks
about the subliminal perception and the three thresholds related to it.

It’s
been observed Cuperfain and Clarke (1985) study that graphic representation of
the message has more impact than the written decoding of words,if used combined
they can create something that will entertain the marketers.( Sharon and
Hawkins1989)

The
skepticism shown by the Pakistani market needs to be answered correctly and for
that legal and ethical advertisement practices should be adhered to. With the
rise of skeptical nature in our society the effective use of subliminal
messaging will allow the brands to lessen the queries and grab a certain
position in the mind of the consumers so that they value your brand with
regards to other.  ( Ross and  Craig, 2008).

 

 III.           
Cultural Factors

 

Certain factors regarding choice of
the product and the culture associations with the dress are important in our
culture, It is been studied that subliminal perception plays a vital role in
determining the change in certain behaviors of the consumer Packard (1957).

In our society where critics and
skeptic nature prevails the use of subliminal messaging will be very important
for the clothing industry. It has been studied that people will get skeptical
about different advertisement and massages’ shown to them through TV but are
more persuaded by the messages which are shown to them by other mediums, here
is the gap that our study will look into the other mediums of approaching
consumer’s perception and grabbing their attention by the targeted covert
messaging.( Ross and  Craig, 2008).

 

 IV.           
Advertisement

 

The advertisement industry is
growing massively in the local market, and the need of effective advertisement
is on the rise in the Pakistani market. The impact of subliminal messaging can
be observed through advertisement if the investment will be done in this regard
only, further fact finding of Habers study will explore the hidden behavior of
people regarding subliminal messaging.(R.N. Haber, 1959)

In 1957, James Vicary carried out
an experiment in a Ft. Lee, New Jersey, movie theatre to stimulate the sale of
Coca-Cola and popcorn through the use of subliminal messages). Vicary
superimposed the messages “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Eat Popcorn”
for 1/3000 of a second every five seconds over the movie Picnic. Vicary claimed that Coke
sales increased 58 percent and popcorn sales rose 18 percent. (Block &
Bruce, 1985).

It is also used by the owners of
computer for the pop up messaging to remind them about their physical health
and addictions like smoking to quit from, this has been done in intervals to
keep poping the windows to consumer so he/she should administer its affects.

 

Hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1

H1:
There is a positive relationship between subliminal messaging and sales of
western clothing brands

Hypothesis 2

H2:
There is a significant relationship between Promotional offers and sales of
western clothing brands

Hypothesis 3

H3:
There is a significant relationship between Cultural Factors and sales of
western clothing brands

Hypothesis 4

H4:
There is a positive relationship exists between Advertisements and sales of
western clothing brands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theoretical Framework:

Subliminal
Messaging

Promotional Offers

Cultural Factors

Advertisement

Sales of Western
Clothing Brands

Independent
Variables

Dependent
Variable

 

Research Design
And Methodology                 

 

 

 

Research
Type

It will be an empirical research paper where direct
and indirect observation will be done. It will be done according to the use of
data collected quantitatively and qualitatively through evidences. Primary and
secondary, both the data types will be used.

This
study is designed to assess and analyze factors behind Impact of Subliminal
Messaging on Sales of Western Clothing Brands in Pakistan (Multan). Research
strategies will be both quantitative and qualitative known as mixed method of
data collection. For quantitative, I will be doing research through
questionnaires and online survey’s, data collected will be analyzed through
SPSS and Google form. For qualitative I will be doing observatory research only
as I believe that behavior of consumers possess key importance to my research
objectives and will give me more accurate results.

Questionnaire
will be used to collect the data quantitatively. It is composed of 10 different
questions, which were designed according to the variables of the study in hand.
It will be filled by 300 recipients from Multan.

In
observatory research, I will be visiting different shopping malls and retail
stores to see the behavior of consumers on a particular message on its impact
on sales of western clothing brands in Pakistan (Multan), it will give me the
clear idea of the change in behavior recorded in normal and with message.

My
research will use the data collected from the market of Multan, as these are
the better representatives of the research in hand. It will help me to achieve
the desired outcomes according to the nearness of results to the reality.

 

Sample
Design And Frame

I
will be using stratified random sampling in which different sectors of the
market will be the strata. It will decrease the selection bias and will
increase the equal representation from all groups of the
target population. The sampling frame is defines as follows: 

–         
Sampling size:  144

–         
Multan

–         
Sampling technique: Probability sampling
(Stratified random sampling & Convenient sampling )