For instance, in the Apple vs IBM test, 341 subjects were presented with a split screen and asked to push either a right- or left-hand button when they saw a box flash. What they didn't see -- and couldn't possibly have seen in just 30 milliseconds -- was the flash of the Apple or IBM logo while the box was on the screen. Afterward, the subjects were given a creative challenge: Write down as many uses for a brick as you can think of, besides creating a building. The researchers then asked an independent group of judges to rank the answers for creativity.
The results: The group that had been subliminally primed by the Apple logo came up with 15% to 30% more uses for the brick than the control group. And the independent judges more often rated them as more unique and creative.
Various other brands were tested and the results were said to be consistent and replicable.
Gavan Fitzsimons, professor of marketing and psychology at