Subliminal advertising as defined by Duncan and Ouwersloot (2008: 431) is a message that is received subconsciously, below a person’s perceptual threshold, causing a desired response. Shimp and Andrew (2013: 264) sad that the word subliminal refers to the presentation of stimuli at a speed or visual level that is below the conscious threshold of awareness, that is in a simple word could be said as a send of messages or stimulations that we received below our consciousness or unknowingly got into our mind. Pratkanis and Greenwalk (1998) identify 4 types of subliminal stimuli that could be used; there are sub-threshold, masked, unattended, and figurally transformed stimuli.
A sub-threshold stimulus is where the messages are to quick to be caught or too subtle to be detected, so the message was only passed by without any catchy stimuli to let it be caught. A masked stimulus is where it is hidden by other presentation or quickly covered by another strong stimulation, as how the intended message was quickly covered by another captivating stimuli that let divert our attention. The unattended stimulus is where the intended message was camouflaged or concealed within the environment to let it be tough to distinguish. For the last stimulus the figurally transformed stimulus, is where the messages was made to be indistinguishable.
Subliminal advertising can be considered as a controversial subject, as people can see the advertisement as fraud, deceiving or even misleading because it is subtle and does not deliver the intended meaning in a clear way, yet they just subtly deliver the message in an indirect way that might cause misunderstanding or even get percept differently by the people who said it because there is no explanation about it. It is frail to misinterpretation if not delivered carefully.