Israel’s Green Leaf party has underhandedly turned to subliminal messages in order to gain votes ahead of the national elections next week, Globes reported on Thursday.
The liberal party, famous for calling for the decriminalization of marijuana and other recreational drugs, planted an extra frame in the campaign video, the report said.
During the 30-second video, three messages are listed on the screen: “Free cannabis users,” “Free citizens from excess taxes,” and “Free religion from the state.”
The extra frame, during the 27th second, shows viewers the party’s two-letter symbol, which is printed on ballots in the polling booth, along with the slogan “Say yes to freedom.”
Although in the past, large companies such as Coca-Cola used the method to install hidden information in movies and TV shows, subliminal messages have never been proven to influence users’ behavior.
“We’re a bit shocked by this ludicrous report,” the Green Leaf party wrote on its Facebook page in response. “A technical glitch that occurred while the video was being decoded became ‘subliminal message planting.’ How low will the media descend in their attempts to delegitimize the party?”
The ad was originally made for radio, rendering moot the question of subliminal visual information, the party said. “What were they smoking when they wrote this?”
Earlier this week, the ad was already found to be problematic, since it calls for people to fake a physical disability so that they would have an easier time voting, and was taken off the radio by the Central Elections Committee. The ad calls on students to vote, and encourages them to claim they aren’t fully mobile — because of a hangover or ingrown toenail — so that they can cast a ballot closer to their place of residence and not in their registered voting area.
“Don’t be afraid of the government,” the ad tells viewers who are worried that posing as a disabled person could land them in jail for up to six months. “The government should be afraid of you.”
The Green Leaf party is not predicted to pass the two-seat electoral threshold required to send representatives to the Knesset.