By Rex Hammock, CEO

In 1957, unemployed magazine editor Vance Packard spent two months writing a book about advertising titled The Hidden Persuaders. He was not an expert in advertising, and much of the content of the book came from interviews and the writings of others.

The book is primarily remembered today for its mention of a concept that would come to be known as subliminal advertising. This technique was supposed to increase sales during movies by flashing messages like “Eat popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola” on the screen at a speed so fast they couldn’t consciously be seen. Advertising experts dismissed the book and the concept of subliminal advertising—but the public loved it and bought 3 million copies.