The subliminal sales pitch given with a sledgehammer.

Roger Summers
Roger Summers

Years ago, in a college class, I was introduced to something called subliminal advertising.

As I understood it, an advertiser would insert a sales pitch into a movie, for example. The sales pitch – such as “Drink Coke” – would only appear for a split second on the screen. Indeed the sales pitch would be of such short duration that the viewer would not be fully aware he had seen it. Had something to do with the subconscious.

I thought of that recently when a friend who is contemplating a trip to England e-mailed me asking for tips on traveling in England.

Always being glad to oblige regarding requests about England – my wife and I being longtime Anglophiles – I sent him some suggestions.

And, since I am at the moment promoting my eBook of short stories on Amazon – Heart Songs From a Washboard Road, as I know you’re anxious to know– and since two of the book’s short stories are set in England, well, I decided to try my hand at subliminal advertising in print.

Below is what I sent my friend, all in one long paragraph, which made it easy to insert some subliminal advertising.

Washboard RoadSee if you catch the subtlety of my sales pitch:

Dear Friend,

Reserve some time to get out into the countryside . . . Rent a car, drive the country roads — called B roads — and stop and go walk-about, as they call it, in a village or two or three. . . Try negotiating a roundabout . . . Stop and rest in a layby . . . Spend at least one night in a bed and breakfast owned and operated by real Brits . . . get to the Cotswolds . . . visit the Lake District . . . get to York and have hot tea and split a Fat Rascal at Betty’s of York Tea Room. . . ride the Tube in London . . . ride cross country on a train . . . eat bangers ‘n’ mash as well as fish ‘n’ chips . . . remember the beer is hot, not cold . . . don’t ask for English muffins, they call ’em Yankee splits . . . don’t ask directions to the elevator, they call ’em lifts . . . and flashlights are torches . . . eat out of a bakery . . . have an English fry-up for breakfast and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for dinner, especially on Sundays . . . in each town, go first to the information center, designated on signs with an “i,” for an abundance of information . . . read The Times on a park bench . . . don’t let the little wife catch you looking at the gals on Page 3 of the tabloids . . . take a canal ride, plus a boat ride down the Thames . . . take a poll and ask the Brits how many of them have bought and read my e-book called Heart Songs From a Washboard Road on Amazon, pointing out to them that two of the eleven short stories in the book are set in England . . . and then you can go to Snitterfield, just outside Stratford, and see for yourself the setting for one of my short stories, the one entitled “The 9:19 From Snitterfield . . . and then you can review the e-book and send the written review along to Amazon, thus boosting my standing on the book charts. . .  and if you run out of things to do just e-mail me and I will send you another list of exciting things to do in England, maybe along with an excerpt from my next book . . .  And, whatever you do, be appreciative of all that the Brits sent our way all those many years ago — from the law to the language. HAVE FUN. — Cheers, Your friend and your travel guide, Roger


Was I subtle enough?

Please let me know – yes or no.

And, by the way, while we are on the subject of my eBook, why not review Heart Songs From a Washboard Road and post it on Amazon


Real quick like.

Before it goes completely off the charts and sells out.

And, remember now, “Drink Coke.”

Roger Summers is a journalist and essayist who spends time in Texas, New Mexico and England and in a world of curiosity and creativity. He can be reached at

Please click the book cover to read more about the short story collection on Amazon.


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