How to Put Subliminal Messages on a Video
By Rick Paulas
Updated October 03, 2017
Items you will need
Editing equipment (such as Final Cut)
A subliminal message in a video is an image shown for an extremely brief period of time in order to send a message to the viewer without him knowing he has received the message. For example, during film screenings in the 1950s and 60s, theaters reportedly placed subliminal images of various concessions in movies to make theatergoers hungry for more of them. With simple editing equipment, you too can insert your own subliminal messages into videos.
Find the image you want to use for the subliminal message. If your message is to try and get the person watching to drink something, look for an image of a beverage. If the message is to quit smoking, look for an image of something that will remind someone to quit smoking, such as a damaged lung.
Bring up the video in the editing program. If you are using an editing program, you may need to digitize the entire video in order to edit it on your computer. When the video is in the program, find the location where you want to place the subliminal message.
Edit the image down to a clip that is less than 30 milliseconds in length. This should be short enough that the viewer does not realize she is seeing the image, while long enough that the image theoretically registers in the viewer's subconscious.
Insert the clip into the video where you see fit. Because the image is onscreen for only 30 milliseconds, you can simply copy and paste over part of the video instead of inserting in between two sections of the video. Because it is copied and pasted over such a small section, the viewer will not sense an interruption in the video itself.
There is no scientific proof that subliminal messages affect the thoughts of individuals watching the video.
Another way to insert subliminal messages is by placing images in the background of shots, like product placement.
There are a lot of ethical questions regarding putting a subliminal message onto a video that someone else is watching. Many people, however, have tried to use subliminal-message techniques on themselves to get them to either learn a subject or quit a bad habit.
Rick Paulas is a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles. He has been writing professionally since 2005. He has previously written for "McSweeney's," ESPN.com, "Vice Magazine" and "Radar Magazine," and has worked as an editor for "The Coming," "Duct Tape & Rouge," and "TSB Magazine." Paulas holds a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications and advertising from Michigan State University.