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Passing off opinions as fact…
So what is it?
information, ideas, or rumors
deliberately spread widely to help or
harm a person, group, movement,
institution, nation, etc.
Where do we encounter
With your partner, come up with a
2 minutes
The caption: "The Jew: The inciter of war, the
prolonger of war." German poster from WWII.
American poster from WWII.
WWII German poster. “Long live
American poster from WWII.
But propaganda can also seem
quite harmless…
This is propaganda…
This is propaganda as well…
This is propaganda as well…
So is propaganda always evil?
NO!! It is often used for very devious
purposes (during wartime, to spread
dangerous ideas), but it is often
present in everyday ads and
Propaganda is simply trying to
pass off an emotional message as
a logical thought.
Though the message “looks” logical,
the message actually plays to the
audience’s emotions, prejudices, and
Propaganda techniques
Name calling: using charged
names to label a person,
whether the info is true or not.
The president could be called a
“hero” or a “war monger”
depending on differing political
opinions. Both are names that
suggest very different attitudes
toward the president, but
neither are necessarily backed
up with facts. They evoke
Propaganda techniques cont.
Transfer: Using a symbol or idea
that is unrelated to your message to
make people think better of you.
EXAMPLE: All American Plumbing.
Does it really make you a better
plumber if you are an American?
The positive feelings of being
American are supposed to transfer to
your choice of a plumber…
With your partner, give 2 examples
of transfer.
1 minute
Propaganda techniques cont…
Glittering Generality: using vague,
positive words to create positive feeling
without specific support for the words. The
key is that the words are VAGUE and
Example: New Crest toothpaste is new
and improved. It whitens better than ever.
This gives a vague picture why the
toothpaste is supposed to work.
Propaganda techniques cont…
Bandwagon: The feeling that
everyone else is doing something, so
you should too.
“Don’t be late.” “Supplies are
limited.” “Join the millions who
already have ___________.”
Propaganda techniques…
Plain Folks appeal: Where
someone who is more powerful
or privileged that the rest of us
tries to act like they are just
like us.
Politicians use these all the
“Look at me, I’m John Kerry
and I like to hunt just like
you do!”
Propaganda techniques cont…
Testimonial: the use of athletes,
movie stars, or anyone else famous
or powerful to endorse a product,
even though that product is not
responsible for their success.
With your partner…
Give two examples of testimonial
1 minute
Propaganda techniques cont…
Card stacking: Highlighting positives
while downplaying or ignoring negatives in
a persuasive message.
DRUG COMMERCIALS and cigarette ads
are the best examples. (They show happy
people, and include tiny print that warns
of dangers and disgusting side effects)
Card Stacking
Hot woman, gambling,
sex appeal… What’s not
to love?
Oh yeah, the small print
that tells us that
smoking kills us. (It is
stacked at the bottom of
the deck, so to speak.)
Ticket out the door…
Fully define propaganda (including
both the formal definition and the
more general version).
List and give examples of your two
favorite specific propaganda
ANSWER THIS: Is propaganda only
used for evil political purposes?