Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Direct and Grammar Translation Methods

Grammar Translation Method
Sometimes also known as the Classical Method, this is a traditional teaching technique that was used to teach Latin and Greek and was particularly in vogue during the 16th Century.
The focus at this time was on the translation of texts, grammar, and rote learning of vocabulary. There was no emphasis on speaking and listening comprehension because Latin and Greek were taught more as academic subjects rather than a means of oral communication.
This teaching method is still common in many countries and institutions around the world, and still appeals to those interested in languages from an intellectual or linguistic perspective. However, it does little to improve your ability to use the language for oral communication.
Direct Method
This approach, also known as the ‘oral‘ or ‘natural‘ method, originated around the 1900s as an alternative to the traditional grammatical translation method. At this time teachers were starting to experiment with teaching and educational models as previous techniques were failing to improve spoken communication.
The focus is on good pronunciation, with spontaneous use of the language, no translation, and little grammar analysis.
The Direct Method is based on the direct involvement of the student when speaking, and listening to, the foreign language in common everyday situations. Consequently, there is lots of oral interaction, spontaneous use of the language, no translation, and little if any analysis of grammar rules and syntax.
The focus of the lessons is on good pronunciation, often introducing learners to phonetic symbols before they see standard writing examples.
The Direct Method continues to provoke interest and enthusiasm today, but it is not an easy methodology to use in a classroom situation. It requires small classes and high student motivation, and in the artificial environment of a classroom it is difficult to generate natural situations of understanding and guarantee sufficient practice for everyone.
However, variants of this method have been developed where the teacher allows limited explanations in the student’s native language and explains some grammar rules to correct common errors a student may make when speaking.

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe - The novel’s protagonist and narrator. Crusoe begins the novel as a young middle-class man in York in search of a career. He father recommends the law, but Crusoe yearns for a life at sea, and his subsequent rebellion and decision to become a merchant is the starting point for the whole adventure that follows. His vague but recurring feelings of guilt over his disobedience color the first part of the first half of the story and show us how deep Crusoe’s religious fear is. Crusoe is steady and plodding in everything he does, and his perseverance ensures his survival through storms, enslavement, and a twenty-eight-year isolation on a desert island.
Friday - A twenty-six-year-old Caribbean native and cannibal who converts to Protestantism under Crusoe’s tutelage. Friday becomes Crusoe’s servant after Crusoe saves his life when Friday is about to be eaten by other cannibals. Friday never appears to resist or resent his new servitude, and he may sincerely view it as appropriate compensation for having his life saved. But whatever Friday’s response may be, his servitude has become a symbol of imperialist oppression throughout the modern world. Friday’s overall charisma works against the emotional deadness that many readers find in Crusoe.
The Portuguese captain - The sea captain who picks up Crusoe and the slave boy Xury from their boat after they escape from their Moorish captors and float down the African coast. The Portuguese captain takes Crusoe to Brazil and thus inaugurates Crusoe’s new life as plantation owner. The Portuguese captain is never named—unlike Xury, for example—and his anonymity suggests a certain uninteresting blandness in his role in the novel. He is polite, personable, and extremely generous to Crusoe, buying the animal skins and the slave boy from Crusoe at well over market value. He is loyal as well, taking care of Crusoe’s Brazilian investments even after a twenty-eight-year absence. His role in Crusoe’s life is crucial, since he both arranges for Crusoe’s new career as a plantation owner and helps Crusoe cash in on the profits later.
The Spaniard - One of the men from the Spanish ship that is wrecked off Crusoe’s island, and whose crew is rescued by the cannibals and taken to a neighboring island. The Spaniard is doomed to be eaten as a ritual victim of the cannibals when Crusoe saves him. In exchange, he becomes a new “subject” in Crusoe’s “kingdom,” at least according to Crusoe. The Spaniard is never fleshed out much as a character in Crusoe’s narrative, an example of the odd impersonal attitude often notable in Crusoe.
Xury - A nonwhite (Arab or black) slave boy only briefly introduced during the period of Crusoe’s enslavement in Sallee. When Crusoe escapes with two other slaves in a boat, he forces one to swim to shore but keeps Xury on board, showing a certain trust toward the boy. Xury never betrays that trust. Nevertheless, when the Portuguese captain eventually picks them up, Crusoe sells Xury to the captain. Xury’s sale shows us the racist double standards sometimes apparent in Crusoe’s behavior.
The widow -  Appearing briefly, but on two separate occasions in the novel, the widow keeps Crusoe’s 200 pounds safe in England throughout all his thirty-five years of journeying. She returns it loyally to Crusoe upon his return to England and, like the Portuguese captain and Friday, reminds us of the goodwill and trustworthiness of which humans can be capable, whether European or not.

An Analysis of the Novel Road from the Elephant Pass

The Road from Elephant Pass is a novel by Nihal De Silva. It won the 2003 Gratiaen Prize for creative writing in English. This novel is nominated as a selection for the Sri Lankan Advanced Level Literature examinations. It has been given the themes of war and survival. The book is a great resource for the learning of survival techniques and for handling situations in a complicated relationship. The characters Wasantha and Kamala fall in love even though they belong to completely different races and liberation organisations. The novel was subsequently made into a film with the same name.
The Sinhalese name for this novel is Alimankada. (Kada which means 'far-edge' or 'boundary;' and Mankada means 'checkpoint' or 'bottleneck pass'). Alimankada was recorded by the Dutch as the Northern border of the Kandyan Kingdom.
This novel battles with diverse situations including ethnic conflicts and birds. Both of these issues are given equal importance and veracity by the writer. Reflecting the writer's activities as a keen bird watcher,the pied  kingfishers, hawks, eagle-owls, blue-faced malkohas, paradise flycatchershornbillsbrown-headed barbets, hanging parrots, rose-ringed parakeetslapwings are among the many birds mentioned in this novel. The plot of the novel centers around Captain Wasantha Ratnayake and a woman named Kamala Velaithan, who is a member of the LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), venturing through a dense and luscious Wilpattu forest in northern Sri Lanka. Kamala Velaithan volunteers to offer help to the Sri Lanka Army regarding the provision of some useful information. Kemala is handed over to Wasantha, who picks her up to take her in for questioning. Meanwhile, on the way to their destination, an ambush by an LTTE gang results in their driver and an Army lady dying in a hail of bullets. The two survivors, Kamala and Wasantha are forced into a mutually co-operative situation which later broadens and deepens to the extent that they find it hard to operate without each other. The novel focuses on the relationship which grows between these two people, who, at their first encounter with one another, were enemies. Together, they survive poachers, elephants and the extreme dangers of the jungle. These intense experiences, which force them into mutual co-operation, eventually evolve into an unexpected love affair. The story depicts them spending about 12 days together, each chapter of the novel intertwining with the others in unique forms of complementarity which serve to provide the novel with a richness of style in the progress and development of its plot. After they reach Colombo Army Headquarters, Kamala reveals to Wasantha that she had lied to him and that they are, in fact heading into a trap. But it was too late. The ending is tragic and the lovers end up being separated one from another. However, the film, though based on the novel, has a different ending.
Elephant Pass’ here is an ellipsis for the novel‘The Road from Elephant Pass’written by late Nihal de Silva and published by Vijitha Yapa, Colombo, first in September 2003. It is a novel with a mission. Its reading and rereading can bring immense light to some of the ethnic issues underlying the conflict and misunderstandings in Sri Lanka, and could help bring reconciliation in the present context, more than ever.
When the 2003 Gratiaen Prize for creative writing in English was awarded for the novel, the reviewers said, among other things, that the novel convincingly demonstrates “that resolution of conflict and reconciliation of differences are feasible through mutual experience.”
This ‘mutual experience’ is something that people need to seek today for reconciliation at work place, farmland, neighbourhood, and places of worship. It should also be sought in organized manner in social work, development efforts, in politics and in Parliament.
Ilankai Tamil Sangam in a review in August 2004 said “Recognize, however, that The Road is not an unbiased narrative. The author works hard-especially in the leading chapters-to establish firm anti-LTTE credentials. However, farther into the novel de Silva apparently does his best to present reasonably objective perspectives from both sides of the conflict.”
“Objective perspectives from both sides of the conflict” is another thing terribly lacking today for ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
The Story
The story begins at Pallali check point, North of Elephant Pass, the strategic area dividing the army controlled Jaffna Peninsula and the then LTTE controlled Wanni, when an army Captain was assigned to bring an LTTE woman cadre, who had apparently turned an ‘informant,’ safely to Jaffna. She is supposed to have vital information that can change the war in the country’s favour.
Written in the form of a story of days’ happenings, spanning for thirteen days, Wasantha Ratnayake, the Captain, and Kamala Velaithan, the LTTE operative, are the two main characters. One is a man and a Sinhalese, and the other is a woman and a Tamil. Both are young with strong views on the ethnic divide.
The story is narrated by the Captain, so the so-called Sinhalese view is prominent in addition to the army one. As he initially says, “But there was no denying the Tiger’s audacity and determination. Their cadres, especially the women, had perfected the art, or science, of suicide bombing. They hated us, the Sinhala majority, with a ferocity that I would not have comprehended had I not seen and experienced it on the battlefield. I hated them back with equal intensity.” That is how the story starts.
“The woman was late,” so the attempt to reach Jaffna fails as the LTTE launches a massive attack cutting the road to Jaffna from Pallali. Two women soldiers escorting Kamala, and the driver Piyasena, also get killed in a landmine and the two protagonists become isolated depending on each other.
The Captain cannot abandon the mission as the information Kamala has – an exact date and time of the LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s presence in a particular location - is vital that could change the cause of the war. But she would not reveal the information unless to the Military High Command in Colombo in exchange of a passport and passage to Canada. It is apparently a deal on her part. The story appears credible, Kamal’s one, and the Captain has to follow her insistence in crossing Wanni towards South.
The Wanni was crossed in two days with many odds and then comes the Wilpattu jungles where they come across many challenges, both of humans and beasts.
The army deserters and poachers were the main menace. It is the interdependence of the two for survival and protection that builds a mutual human relationship between them seemingly transcending ethnicity. They both are bird lovers as well that brings some additional affinity.
In crossing Wanni, the Captain has to depend on Kamala; likewise Kamala depends largely on Wasantha for protection and care in crossing the Wilpattu jungles. Two adversaries at the beginning, Wasantha and Kamala become close friends if not incipient lovers at the end.
When in Colombo, at the brink of meeting the High Command in revealing the ‘vital information,’ Kamala admits to Wasantha that the information was a ploy to discredit the government by prompting an air-raid on a visiting Indian dignitary ostensibly as the place of Prabhakaran’s visit.
At the end, it was left to Wasantha to twist the story and protect Kamala from obvious reprisal of the Sri Lankan army if the ploy was revealed. Wasantha’s twist works and Kamala is saved. The captor of Kamala, the Sinhala army Captain, becomes the defender of her for human reasons.
The story has a sad ending, unlike the movie produced later by Chandran Rutnam based on it, when the Captain goes back to the battlefield and reported missing.
The fate of Kamala is not revealed, however the following was their last encounter.
“I forced myself to speak calmly.
‘Once you get to Canada, will you write to me care of Pali? Promise me that at least?
She hesitated and finally nodded.
‘Yes,’ she said. ‘I promise.”
The Narrative
The story has an impressive narrative with quite stimulating dialogues. That may be the most positive aspect of the novel. As a thoughtful blog on popular literature, Chasing Bawa, posted by Sakura said (16 February 2010), “As soon as I landed in Colombo, my father spoke excitedly about a book he had read recently, a book which one of my good friends had said I must read. My father, who likes to read books slowly, said he finished it in two days. And being jet-lagged and un-acclimatised to the tropical heat, I began to read it that night and finished it in 4 hours.”
The most sophisticated is the manner in which the male-female relationship between Wasantha and Kamala is handled in the narrative. It is almost exemplary and instructive (also funny) until Wasantha’s friend Pali comes into the scene. The respect of dignity and privacy of each other and constant communication, irrespective of being bitter adversaries in the war, is the basic feature of this relationship perhaps that brought final ‘reconciliation’ between the two.
Kamala and Wasantha had to spend a night in the abandoned Murunkan station.
This is how it is narrated. “We cleared out two corners to sleep in and shared the newspapers to spread on the ground. Velaithan [Kamala] selected the corner furthest from the one I had selected, but still stayed in the same room.” When eating, “We sat on the newspapers on my side of the room, our backs to the wall.
Velaithan placed the parcels of food and the bottle of water between us.”
Then in the following morning: “The sound of rustling newspapers woke me from an exhausted sleep. There was just enough light to see Velaithan gather her clothes and leave the room. I knew she had gone down to the stream and wouldn’t want me around. I dozed off and woke again when she returned.”
It might be possible for serious literary critics to find some weaknesses in the publication such as grammar, punctuation, typos and formatting. It shows perhaps the lack of proper editors and/or proof readers for such publications in Sri Lanka (I think this is something Yasmine Gooneratne said). But there is no argument that the work is a compelling read and the message and the approach is most persuasive.
The story also has all hallmarks of an adventure novel where the author’s knowledge of the Wilpattu jungle terrain that the story unravels and his love for wild life and particularly the birds were pertinently, and sometimes excessively, utilized in the narrations. After Nirupama Subramanian of The Hindu interviewed Nihal de Silva in April 2005, she noted the following.
“Modest to the point of sounding embarrassed by the success of his first book, de Silva even asks if the birds were "a bit much" and, almost shyly, says they were his way of showing common ground between the Sinhalese and the Tamil.”
When he wrote the novel, Nihal de Silva seemed to have a clear vision on the ethnic conflict and told Subramanian that "When we talk of the conflict, we always seem to focus on the differences between the Sinhalese and Tamils, which is mainly the language. But we also have a lot of things in common.” He further said, "I feel strongly that the road to settling our problem is for people to interact and that their humanity has to do the rest."
It is extremely unfortunate that De Silva is now dead and gone and it was ironic that he succumbed to the injuries of a landmine in May 2006, with some Sinhala and Tamil friends when they were touring Wilpattu, the areas that he narrated in the novel. He was born and bred in pre-conflict Sri Lanka with friends from both communities and could have further contributed immensely to ethnic reconciliation in the country through his creative skills and writing if he were living today.
Apart from a rare occasion that Kamala and Wasantha encountered in their career, one as a LTTE operative and the other as an army soldier, the ordinary life of different communities in different parts of the country are full of common ventures although the conflictual political culture of the country does not properly allow those experiences to come into the public focus.
The common tragedies that the Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims had to undergo during the Asian Tsunami were such a mine field with rich encounters and experiences. There are many actual stories about Tsunami where the different communities mutually cooperated and worked together. These are yet to be told and depicted in artistic form to bring positive light to ethnic reconciliation.
‘Sinhala’ Point of View
It is possible for one to argue that the book gives, by and large, a ‘Sinhala’ point of view on the ethnic question. But it would be difficult to deny that it is not a chauvinistic one. Among many of the sorts, the following could be quoted for clarification from pages 121-22.
“We will pass a number of water holes today. If we make good time in the morning, we can rest up at Manikepola and get to another villu, further on, for the night.’
‘They are all Tamil names,’ Velaithan observed quietly. ‘Kalivillu, Manikepola.’
‘What about it?’ I asked.
I knew where this was going. The Tamils claimed about one third of the land area of the country as their ‘traditional homeland.’ Some of the evidence they used to justify their claims, and to demarcate boundaries of the so-called homeland were, to my mind, dubious to the point of absurdity.
That was why we were at war.
She said: ‘So maybe all this land was occupied by Tamil-speaking people in ancient times.’
I’d heard this kind of argument before and it always made me angry. How could anyone say, ‘my people were here a thousand years ago, so this land belongs to us.’ Someone else would have been there earlier anyway. Even if one race or tribe lived there in ancient times, what of it? They moved and someone else lived there later. Those who made these claims often had ‘evidence,’ based on selective research, to support their position. But I always came out poorly in these arguments, especially in my undergraduate days, because I didn’t know my facts well enough and because I got angry as a result of that.
When I began to get the worst of it I would rely on some facetious remark to divert the discussion or else offer to punch my opponent’s face in. But that didn’t mean my position was wrong, just that I was not familiar with the facts.
I stopped walking and turned to face her.
‘There may be a Tamil word to describe the moon,’ I said with unnecessary heat. ‘It will take more than a name to claim title to it.’
‘That’s a frivolous argument.”
There were many arguments between the two. They argued about Mahavansa, an ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, the coming of Vijaya and more recent matters like the Black July 1983 or massacres by the LTTE. Sober conversations at times turned into bitter ones. The following was another.
“Are your parents still alive?’
‘My mother is. My father died seven years ago.’
‘I’m sorry,’ I said automatically.
‘You should be. Your people killed my father,’ she lashed out suddenly angry.”
The above is from page 115. Then they argued about ‘Homeland’ again and 1983. The following was again a ‘point of view’ on the question of homeland.
“But the Sinhala do not claim exclusive rights to the entirety of this land,’ I pointed out. What we say is that every citizen should have the right to live and work in any part of it. It is the Tamils who want to carve out a part of the land and say, ‘This is exclusively ours’…How can you possibly justify that position,’
‘There are many, many justifications.’ She sounded detached as if reading a lesson. “The history of violence and cruelty towards our people is the primary reason’….
She paused and then continued: It is only by having a ‘homeland,’ a place where our rights are both primary and unassailable, that our nation can live with dignity.”
There are many more sections or quotations of the book that would shed light to the disputes between the two communities from both points of view. Even in an extensive review like the present, all are not warranted.
Future Use
There are several editions of the book and it has been accepted as a reader for English Language at the GCE (Ordinary Level) examination. To the credit of the author, the book has won several national and international prizes and accolades.
But over time, and perhaps as a result of the untimely death of the author, enthusiasm for the book has slightly waned. This is unfortunate.
There is a popular Sinhala movie called ‘Alimankada’meaning Elephant Pass with English and Tamil titles remaining the same in full. The word ‘Road’ in the title is extremely significant. It could symbolise the ‘road for ethnic reconciliation.’ But there are no English or Tamil versions of the film except subtitles.
As it was mentioned before, the movie has a happy ending with Kamala and Wasantha having a baby in Toronto, Canada. It has become a ‘love story’ between a Tamil and a Sinhalese. That might be called a distortion of the novel, although it is a good movie on its own.

There are unfortunately no Tamil or English translations of the book yet. As the book might portray largely the ‘Sinhala’ point of view, although moderately, it might be a good reader for the Tamils to understand the ‘others’ point of view. It is equally good for the Sinhala readers to sober their extreme points of view, towards more moderate ones.

The High Chair

The story we focused on was the title piece, a reflection on issues of caste, mobility and modernity, as the narrative dealt with two young persons from a Lankan village — a “high caste” boy and a “lower caste” girl — caught in the abyss of caste politics. 

Phonetics and phonology

Phonetics: In order to produce sound humans use various body parts including the lips, tongue, teeth, pharynx and lungs. Phonetics is the term for the description and classification of speech sounds, particularly how sounds are produced, transmitted and received. A phoneme is the smallest unit in the sound system of a language; for example, the t sound in the word top.
Various phonetic alphabets have been developed to represent the speech sounds in writing through the use of symbols. Some of these symbols are identical to the Roman letters used in many language alphabets; for example: p and b. Other symbols are based on the Greek alphabet, such as θ to represent the th- sound in thin and thought. Still others have been specially invented; e.g. ð for the th- sound in the and then. The most widely used phonetic script is the International Phonetic Alphabet
Phonology: Phonology is the term used for the study of the speech sounds used in a particular language. The distinctive accents that many learners of English have are due to differences between the phonological system of their language and that of English. From birth, and possibly before, we learn to recognize and produce the distinctive sounds of our own language. We do not need to give any thought to how to have the lips, tongue, teeth, etc. working together to produce the desired sounds. The physical structures of parts of the sound system are adapted to produce native-language sounds.
English has some speech sounds (phonemes) that do not exist in other languages. It is no surprise, therefore, that native speakers of those languages have difficulties producing or even perceiving such sounds. This is particularly true for speakers from language families other than the Germanic one to which English belongs.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What is Business Communication?

The sharing of information between people within an enterprise that is performed for the commercial benefit of the organization. In addition, business communication can also refer to how a company shares information to promote its product or services to potential consumers.
Business communication encompasses topics such as marketing, brand management, customer relations, consumer behavior, advertising, public relations, corporate communication, community engagement, reputation management, interpersonal communication, employee engagement, and event management. It is closely related to the fields of professional communication and technical communication.
Media channels for business communication include the Internet, print media, radio, television, ambient media, and word of mouth. Business communication can also refer to internal communication that takes place within the organization. Business communication is a common topic included in the curricula of Undergraduate and Master programs of many colleges and universities.
There are several methods of business communication, including:
·         Web-based communication - for better and improved communication, anytime anywhere ...
·         video conferencing which allow people in different locations to hold interactive meetings;
·         Reports - important in documenting the activities of any department;
·         Presentations - very popular method of communication in all types of organizations, usually involving audiovisual material, like copies of reports, or material prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Flash;
·         telephone meetings, which allow for long distance speech;
·         forum boards, which allow people to instantly post information at a centralized location; and
·         Face-to-face meetings, which are personal and should be succeeded by a written, follow up.
·         Suggestion box, it is mainly for upward communication as because some people may hesitate to communicate to management directly so they can give suggestion by drafting suggestion in suggestion box.

Effective business communication

A two way information sharing process which involves one party sending a message that is easily understood by the receiving party. Effective communication by business managers facilitates information sharing between company employees and can substantially contribute to its commercial success.


Face-to-face communication helps to establish a personal connection and will help sell the product or service to the customer. These interactions can portray a whole different message than written communication as tone, pitch, and body language is observed. Information is easier to access and delivered immediately with interactions rather than waiting for an email or phone call. Conflicts are also easily resolved this way, as verbal and non-verbal cues are observed and acted upon. Communicating professionally is very important as one is representing the company. Speak clearly and ask questions to understand the needs and wants, let the recipient respond as one resolves the issue. Decisions are made more confidently during a face-to-face interaction as the recipient asks questions to understand and move forward with their decision.


When using email to communicate in the business world, it is important to be careful with the choice of words. Miscommunication is very frequent as the reader doesn’t know what non-verbal cues one is giving off, such as the pitch, tone, or expressions. Before beginning an email, make sure the email address one is using is appropriate and professional as well as the message one is going to send. Again, make sure the information is clear and to the point so the recipient isn’t confused. Make sure one includes their signature, title, and other contact information at the end.


When making a business call, make it clear who is on the line and where one is from as well as one's message when on the phone. Smile and have a positive attitude as the recipient will be able to read the caller and that will affect how they react. When leaving a message, make sure one is clear and brief. One should state their name and who they are and the purpose for contacting them. If replying to a voicemail, try to respond as soon as possible and take into consideration the time of day. Don't call too early or too late, as it is important to respect other's time. Also be mindful of where one is and the noise level as well as the people one is around when trying to reach someone by phone.
If one is calling and leaving voice messages, include time of availability for callbacks. There is nothing worse than a callback coming to one when one is not available. Use the telephone as a great communication tool. Be polite and always put oneself in the other person's position. For more tips on making business calls and leaving enticing messages see Harlan J Brown's book on Telephone Participation.


When listening to another employee or customer speak it is very important to be an avid listener. Here are some obstacles that you might have to overcome:
·         Filters and Assumptions
·         Biases and Prejudices
·         Inattention and Impatience
·         Surrounding Environment
A good way to overcome these factors is by using LOTS Better Communication method. This method includes four steps in order to produce good listening skills and the ability to respond with an educated statement. The four steps to this method are:
1.   Listen
2.   Observe
3.   Think
4.   Speak
Doing all of these things while showing good eye contact and body posture will assure the speaker that he/she is getting full attention from the listeners

Choosing Communication Media

When choosing a media of communication, it is important to consider who are the respective audience and the objective of the message itself. Rich media are more interactive than lean media and provide the opportunity for two-way communication: the receiver can ask questions and express opinions easily in person.
1.     Face-to-Face Meeting
2.In-Person Oral Presentation
3.Online Meeting
6.Phone Call
7.Voice Message

Subliminal method of communication
Subliminal perception refers to the individual ability to perceive and respond to stimuli that are below the threshold or level of consciousness, which proved to influence thoughts, feelings or actions altogether or separately. There are four distinct methods of communicating subliminally. These are visual stimuli in movies, accelerated speech, embedded images in a print advertisement, and suggestiveness which is not normally seen at first glance. Focusing on Subliminal Communication through visual stimuli, Marketing people have adopted this method even incorporating it films and television shows. Subliminal method of communication first made its debut in a 1957 advertisement, during which a brief message flashed, telling viewers to eat popcorn and drink Coca-Cola. Since that time, subliminal communication has occupied a controversial role in the advertising landscape, with some people claiming it's omnipresent, while others emphasize it's not real. As of publication, there is still an ongoing scientific debate about whether subliminal advertising works. Subliminal messaging is a form of advertising in which a subtle message is inserted into a standard ad This subtle message affects the consumer's behavior, but the consumer does not know she's seen the message. For example, a marketer might incorporate a single frame telling consumers to drink tea in a movie. In print media, advertisers might put hidden images or coded messages into ad text.
Arguments for Effectiveness
A 2009 study at the University College of London found that people were especially likely to be affected by negative subliminal communication. For example, a cosmetic advertisement conveying to a consumer that she is ugly might be more effective. Subliminal ads "prime" the brain to seek out stimuli that match the message in the advertisement, according to a 1992 study published in "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin." This can affect behavior, particularly when a message addresses an individual's insecurities or behavioral tendencies and when a consumer is in a context that allows her to act on the ad's message.