Hyundai Uses Hypnosis in Super Bowl Commercial

08th February 2011

Have we been hypnotized to believe compact cars are good enough?

This is the slogan subliminally used for Hyundai's special new Super Bowl commercial. Such a reference on it's own poses many questions, but add to that the obvious hypnotic nature of the actual commercial, and this becomes very interesting indeed.

Watch the full Hyundai Super Bowl commercial video below and see what you think about the slightly 'different' nature of this ad.

Upon first glance the perfectly timed flashing visuals and ambient music definitely makes you feel drawn in to watching this commercial. Then the flashing slogan, also perfectly in time with the music, adds another element of intrigue. Is this just a clever commercial or is it another more blatant form of mass manipulation through TV?

Analyzing The Commercial From a Hypnotic Point of View

1. The slogan itself suggests the use of hypnosis in how people view compact cars. This suggestion automatically creates an association central to the essence of the commercial leaving the viewer to consciously question, "hang on... have I just been hypnotized too?"

2. The music, for the most part of the commercial, is played at about 100BPM. This is representative of the Theta brainwave activity measured at 5Hz. This means theta brainwaves predominantly cycle 5 times per second or 300 times per minute, which is in a 1/3 ratio with the 100BPM music. This has the effect of promoting theta consciousness through brainwave entrainment.

3. The actual music is played backwards in an unusual yet soothing manner. It produces somewhat of a 'wave' approach where the two main notes are played backwards in a unison fashion. As the commercial builds up, other 'off key' notes are played, further distracting the conscious mind of the viewer. Hypnosis directly used conscious distraction techniques to help instate trance, even over such a short period as in this ad, there is definitely a hypnotic effect happening.

4. The way that everything is in time with the music; the flashing lights, spinning wheel, windscreen wipers, hand tapping etc., visually reinforces the hypnotic effect. As the different shots instantly cut into the next, this produces a very stimulating and instant effect as the information from the eyes to the brain is constantly being processed quickly.

5. The way that the slogan is flashed quickly, word by word, is a form of subliminal visual messaging. This ensures that the message Hyundai are trying to get across is subconsciously cemented within the viewer.

6. Towards the end after the 'build up', the words "Snap out of it" flash up. This is very much like a hypnotic awakening and instantly breaks the slight trance and brings the ensuing section of the ad to the attention of the conscious mind. This leaves a short amount of time for the viewer to consciously process what they have just subconsciously experienced.

Effectiveness of the Commercial

All points considered, this is a very very clever advertisement. It is well produced and most likely was the brainchild of a creative marketing group working in alliance with a psychologist of some sort. It works on every level and will most probably leave a lot of people watching the Super Bowl waking up in the morning going, "why do I want to buy a compact Hyundai car" (scratching their heads).

A 100% thumbs up from us for the innovation of this advertisement, but should this type of advertising be allowed?This is the question and we would love to hear what you think by leaving your comments below. The jury is open...

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