iiNet advertisement banned over alleged subliminal advertising

  • Ad deemed manipulative
  • Guides viewers to iiNet website
  • Operates on a subconscious level

An iiNet Naked DSL advertisement featuring their well-known character Flinn, has been banned from our TV sets due to its supposed subliminal advertising which draws viewers to the iiNet website to claim their free gift.

The industry self-regulatory body governing television commercials has banned the advertisement because there are several frames within it that urge viewers to visit a link where users can claim a free gift from the broadband provider. Subliminal advertising is banned from our networks due to its “manipulative” nature.

Subliminal advertising usually operates through unconscious perception, however for a viewer to understand the message which is only contained in a few frames, they would need to consciously pause the advertisement and read the URL, rendering the act of engaging with the message meticulously deliberate – more so than if the URL had been displayed for at least a few seconds.

iiNet’s sales and marketing manager, Matt Dunstan commented on the advertisement in his blog post:

“We did it because we wanted to do things differently to how others are doing it,” he wrote. “We did it because we believe in having fun and because we want to have real engagement with our customers, rather than just preaching to them via traditional, one-way advertising.”

 “We love the fact that we can now have ongoing dialogues with our customers. This was just another way of doing that. We will, actually, we PROMISE to continue to do things differently to the other guys and to find ways to show that at iiNet we’re passionate about what we do and that there is a better way (and sometimes it’s even fun as well!).

He added: “You’re going to watch the next iiNet ad more closely now, aren’t you! PS – there is no subliminal message contained in this blog post… or is there?”

It’s apparent how much effort iiNet are putting into their advertisements with most viewers almost certainly being able to recognise iiNet’s main character, Flinn on the street. In the advertisement you’ll also notice a strategically-placed RRR community radio sticker, which supposedly fits in with iiNet’s cool, alternative personality (which is contrived in their advertising materials).