It has been 50 years since Vance Packard wrote about psychoanalytical techniques employed by the advertising industry in The Hidden Persuaders. This book, published in the post-World War II consumer boom, exposed a mass audience to motivational research at a time when advertisers used new techniques and a new medium. Yet The Hidden Persuaders was highly criticized and became a scapegoat for purportedly promoting subliminal techniques. Nonetheless, the book helped shape public opinion, advertising regulation, and advertising research and practice. This paper provides a historical approach to Packard's contribution and ideas in the context of recent theoretical insights into psychological processing and new persuasion practices.