Subliminal advertising in shooter games: recognition effects of textual and pictorial brand logos

CM Nuijten, A. De Regt, L Calvi, AL Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


An array of studies has shown that games can be suitable for marketing communication - but that not all game genres can be expected to be equally successful in generating advertising effects. Since the game task in shooter games requests players to strictly focus on objects that can pose a threat, that game genre seems especially problematic for in-game advertising. Subliminal communication can theoretically be expected to overcome (part) of that problem. Therefore, our experimental study (N = 143) focuses on marketing communication effects of subliminally presented brand logos. We aim to find out (i) whether subliminal marketing communication causes recognition effects and (ii) whether pictorial logos differ from textual logos in the size of the effect they generate. This way we can shine a light on the message processing mechanisms that are foundational to subliminal message effects. The results of our study show that subliminally presented brand logos do have a communicative potential: the recognition effects are significant. Besides, our study indicates that pictorial logos have a greater propensity to subliminally communicate than textual logos.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Arts and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Brand logo
  • Effect study
  • Experiment
  • Shooter games
  • Subliminal advertising


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