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7 Types of Propaganda Techniques Advertisers Use

  • April 15, 2024

It is very common for advertisers and influencers to use propaganda techniques to get their desired outcomes from other people. You must have felt being manipulated to buy something that was originally not a part of your shopping list. This is where advertisement propaganda comes to play its role. It is very easy to exploit human beings by using emotional tactics because humans fail to think rationally when they are driven by emotions.

There are many real-life examples of propaganda advertisement if you observe closely. Advertisers use various types of propaganda techniques for their personal gains. In this article, we will describe the seven most common propaganda techniques advertisers use to manipulate your buying decisions.

However, for many readers, propaganda advertisement might be a new term. So, let’s learn about advertising propaganda first.

What is propaganda advertisement?

Propaganda advertisement refers to the way of presenting information in a way that persuades a customer to think, act and feel about a product in a certain way. The main motive of propaganda in an advertisement is to motivate a potential consumer to buy a particular product or service. Almost every person has experienced this.

So, how it is done?

Below we will enlist 7 significant ways of propaganda advertisement that will tell you how advertisers get their desired outcomes by playing with your mind.

Types of Propaganda Techniques

Here, we have given a quick rundown of some major propaganda techniques.

  1. Bandwagon Propaganda
  2. Card Stacking Propaganda
  3. Glittering Generalities Propaganda
  4. Plain Folks Propaganda
  5. Name Calling Propaganda
  6. Testimonial Propaganda
  7. Transfer Propaganda

Bandwagon Propaganda

Ever heard of the phrase “Jumping on the bandwagon” or “follow the herd”? That’s the mentality, this technique aims to exploit.

Trying to fit in is one of the innate desires of human beings. We feel good about ourselves when we become a part of the ongoing trend or the new cool in society. Bandwagon propaganda is all about exploiting this human nature for personal gains. It works by forcing the target audience to take any action if they do not want to feel left out.

For example, Dunkin Donuts has this tagline, “America Runs on Dunkin.” By reading this line, you will feel the urge to try them even if you don’t like donuts. You will buy them to join the crowd and see what’s so special in these donuts that all of the Americans are eating them.

Card Stacking Propaganda

It is the most common type of propaganda technique used by advertisers. They deliberately omit certain details about the product and present all the positive facts before the audience to fool them. You would have seen companies speaking high of their products and making them appear better than they actually are. Advertisers will not mention the details that can negatively influence their product like any hidden charges and will try to trap you will all the plus points.

For example, Burger King claims to offers fries with 30% fewer calories and 40% less fat but they will not tell you that fried food is still bad for your health.

Glittering Generalities Propaganda

In this type of technique, advertisers use emotional appeal and vague statements to lure you. As the name indicates, glittering generalities propaganda involves using fancy and glittery words to describe a service or product that results in a positive response from the customer. Brands and advertising agencies use such attractive slogans that customers do not challenge their authenticity. You will find words like ultra, best, powerful, brand new and finger-licking etc.

For example, KFC uses the slogan “It’s finger-lickin’ good” and McDonalds describes its iced mocha as creamy, dreamy, icy and chocolaty. All these fancy words can easily tempt a customer to buy a product.

Plain Folks Propaganda

Plain Folks Propaganda is an effective technique that you would come across nowadays. General public prefers real experiences which is why brands are now using common people to promote their products. The idea behind this strategy is to show how a certain product is useful for everybody and can add value to their lives. The audience has now become very skeptical about the paid endorsements done by celebrities. Therefore, advertisers employ plain folks propaganda to convince buyers.

For example, Subway is a famous eatery that has used plain folks propaganda technique to promote its sandwiches. In one of its ads, Jared Fogle (a common man) has been conveying a message that subway sandwiches have helped him in losing weight. It convinces the regular public to buy subway sandwiches thinking that if he can do it, they can too.

Name Calling Propaganda

Name Calling propaganda is the opposite of glittering generalities propaganda. It involves calling out other brands by passing derogatory remarks about them. Advertisers will create a negative image or opinion about a certain product or brand to promote their product. Like an organic food company will criticize fast-food chains to promote their products.

For example, you might have seen famous brands like Coke taking a jibe at Pepsi or Burger King ridiculing McDonald’s Big Mac.

Testimonial Propaganda

It is a very commonly used propaganda technique in which advertisers hire renowned personalities to endorse their products. When a celebrity vouches for a product, the audience is more likely to buy it because they consider the popularity and credibility of that celeb. Brands cash that trust, people have on superstars to promote their products. Also, it boosts the reputation of a brand. In addition to superstars, advertisers use doctors, engineers, athletes and other field specialists for testimonials.

For example, Revlon has used Halle Berry to endorse their cosmetic products and Pop Chips made Katy Perry their new face. Also, you might have seen Taylor Swift endorsing Coke.

Transfer Propaganda

It is a bit confusing technique to understand. In transfer propaganda, advertisers relate the good and bad feelings you have for a certain thing or idea with their product. For this purpose, they can use different symbols, songs or ideas.

For example, a few years ago Coca Cola made an advertisement where a soldier was shown holding the drink with a statement, “Militant men drink Coca Cola.” Now the audience will automatically develop a love for Coca Cola because it has been related to soldiers and army. This is how feelings of patriotism are transferred to the soft drink.

Mentioned above are the seven major types of propaganda technique, advertisers use to promote their products and boost their sales. We hope now you have a clear understanding of all the marketing practices and tactics used by marketers to manipulate you. Therefore, be careful and shop wisely!