Propaganda Information

Definition: Publicity intended to spread ideas or information that will persuade or convince people to do or not do something.

Relies on being transmitted to large numbers of people in order to achieve its goal of attitude manipulation.


1. Bandwagon: You are either with us or against us; idea that appeals to an audience to join the majority of public opinion; do it because everyone else is. Appeals to nationalism and loyalty. Used in political ads, 4 out of 5 dentists, food products.

2. Euphemisms: Making something not sound as bad as it is. Smoking, health problems, personal health products, cleaning products.

3. Fear: Motivating people because they are afraid to do or not to do something. Can be used as scary or funny.
“I better watch out, because this could harm me.”
Communism, terrorism, crime, disaster, disease, overpopulation, discrimination, invasion of privacy

4. Glittering Generalities: Use attractive, but vague words that sound good, but in really say nothing in particular.
 Usually appeal to emotions. (dignity, freedom, fame, integrity, justice, love and respect.)

5. Name Calling: Linking a person to a negative action, idea, or product in order to ruin the product or the person. Used in political ads, product comparisons.

6. Testimonials: The use of personal experience, either a regular guy or a celebrity, to convince someone to do or buy something. Jeff Gordon - Pepsi, George Foreman - grill, Jessica Simpson - Pizza Hut; infommercials for exercise and diet products.

7. Plain Folks: Using simple words and situations that appeal to regular people.
-walking the dog
- playing with the kids
- going to the grocery store

8. Emotional words: Words and images used that make you feel strongly about someone or something.
Puppies and Babies – warm fuzzy feeling
Attractive Models – sex appeal, desires, wants
Hitler – hatred
Mom, grandma - love

9. Transfer: When one image, symbol, or word reminds you of something else, either good or bad.
Symbols are often used – flag, cross, Uncle Sam, McDonalds M, Nike swoosh, Walmart smiley face, heart - love

10. Repetition and Alliteration:
Repeating the name of the product at least four times throughout the advertisement; use of the same sound to start each word in a phrase. For example: Meow Mix Cat food, Bumblebee Tuna, Budweiser Frogs.

Activities to complete:
Activity 1:Select a product that you would like to advertise and fill out the activity one information based on that product. It can be one already in existence or one you make up.
On the page with the blocks, story board out an idea for a commercial for your product.

Activity 2: Using the internet, we will look at several websites and talk about why and who advertises there.
You will choose a website that you might visit and answer the questions in your booklet. Be sure to write down the web address and use complete sentences and more than one word answers.

Activity 3: Come up with a picture (draw, cut, glue, whatever) that represents each technique. You can cut it out of the magazines in class, newpapers, etc.; any source.
Use the center page for a magazine or billboard advertisement for your product. You can do it anyway you choose that you think would make the consumer want to buy your product.