Mastering the Subliminal Ad

As with many other endeavors, in the world of marketing there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.  All too often, small businesses and professional practitioners focus too much on the direct message, the in-your-face advertisement.

Postcards, social media posts and follow-up letters frequently include a blatant ‘buy now’ message and little else of value.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for call to action messages in your marketing materials, but don’t overdo it.  In the immortal words of the brilliant Oscar Wilde, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Enter the subliminal message. Your customers, clients and prospects will appreciate receiving a note from you that doesn’t slap them across the face and beg them to buy.  They will begin to think you care about them.  They may even save or share the message, or post it on their bulletin board or Facebook feed.  But how does this help you grow your business if it doesn’t sell anything?

Check out the attached image.  This was a birthday message sent to me by an attorney I know in Tampa.  He knows I live in Atlanta now, but he still sent a birthday card.  How will this help him professionally?  Take a closer look at the image before I respond.


OK, have you committed the image to memory and analyzed its every detail?  GREAT!  Now you are one more person who knows what Dale Appell does, how to find his website, and [in a cartoony sort of way] what he looks like.  When I received it, I immediately posted it on my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles as well as through other social media outlets.  In all, over 10,000 direct connections and countless others were exposed to this image.  I’d say that was definitely a worthwhile investment in the initial creation of the artwork, wouldn’t you?  I am willing to bet that you will remember him more than the guy who stuffed a random ‘buy now’ flyer in your mailbox or under your windshield wiper.

Contact a marketing professional in your area to help you create the kind of marketing materials you need to stand out from the sea of competitors.  You’ll be glad you did.

More info on this and other business topics can be found on my website at 

BTW, I did contact Dale and verify that he wasn't going to sue me for using his image in this post.  He assured me [in  
 writing] that he would not!

See or for examples of simple animated banners and slideshow ads. Or contact me at or for additional information.
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