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Department of Political Science
Have the Propaganda Techniques Evolved?
Florian Hanel Susanne Puskaric
The following thesis is an attempt to test a hypothesis which states that the techniques of propaganda barely have changed over time. It also claims that the few adjustments that can be distinguished have occurred as a result of the fact that propaganda is considered dependent upon the medium in which it is conveyed, and changes in accordance to this and not because of a development of the techniques. We believe that the hypothesis is the result of an old and outdated propaganda framework, and consequently seek to construct a new and contemporary one. In order to do so we combine the techniques of propaganda along with the ones within the advertising domain. The relevance and applicability of the framework is then tested on the propaganda techniques of the US Army, and an additional question is hence if the propaganda techniques used by the empirical source have changed over time. Our results conclude that the techniques of propaganda have not changed significantly over time, and we also discover that our attempt to modify the propagandistic framework is somewhat problematic, and hence require further efforts. Another conclusion is that the US Army’s use of propaganda has changed, mainly in order to comply with shifting circumstances.
Key words: propaganda, advertising, techniques, propaganda framework, US Army
Table of contents
1 Introduction .............................................................................................................1 1.1 2 Hypothesis and Focal Points...............................................................................1
Methodology ............................................................................................................3 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Propaganda .........................................................................................................3 Advertising .........................................................................................................4 Modified Propaganda Framework and Questionnaire......................................4 Empirical Material ..............................................................................................5
Propaganda..............................................................................................................8 3.1 What is Propaganda ............................................................................................8
3.2 Techniques of Propaganda................................................................................10 3.2.1 Reaffirming...............................................................................................10 3.2.2 Credibility and Authority..........................................................................11 3.2.3 Facts and Science......................................................................................11 3.2.4 Groups and Norms....................................................................................11 3.2.5 Language ..................................................................................................12 3.2.6 Emotions...................................................................................................13 4 Advertising.............................................................................................................14 4.1 What is Advertising ..........................................................................................14
4.2 Techniques of Advertising................................................................................15 4.2.1 Identification and Participation ................................................................15 4.2.2 Rationality and/or Emotionality ...............................................................16 4.2.3 Recognition and Repetition ......................................................................17 4.2.4 Differentiation ..........................................................................................17 4.2.5 Credibility.................................................................................................18 4.2.6 Clarity and Decoding................................................................................18 4.2.7 Testing and Demonstrating.......................................................................18 5 Modified Propaganda Framework ......................................................................19 5.1 Comparing Persuasive Techniques...................................................................19 5.1.1 Reaffirming and Identification .................................................................20 5.1.2 Credibility and Authority..........................................................................20 5.1.3 Language ..................................................................................................21 5.1.4 Emotions...................................................................................................21 5.1.5 Recognition...............................................................................................22 5.1.6 Differentiation ..........................................................................................22 5.1.7 Repetition..................................................................................................22 5.1.8 Testing and Demonstrating.......................................................................23
Empirical Research...............................................................................................24 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 Recruiting Poster 138 .......................................................................................24 Recruiting Poster 187 .......................................................................................25 Recruiting Poster 219 .......................................................................................25 Recruiting Poster 73 .........................................................................................26 GoArmy.com: Home ........................................................................................26 GoArmy.com: About the Army........................................................................27 GoArmy.com: Careers & Jobs..........................................................................28 GoArmy.com: Benefits.....................................................................................29 GoArmy.com: Soldier Life...............................................................................30 GoArmy.com: For Parents............................................................................30
Discussion...............................................................................................................32 References ..............................................................................................................35
Appendix Varieties of Propaganda..................................................................................37
and the citizens that are exposed to these flows must constantly be aware of how to differ between information that is true and such that is not. 1. moves in a small circle. information that is conveyed. in order to make their ideas those that are not sorted away they must develop and employ different techniques. therefore. There is a relentless flow of new. Of any public event that has wide effects we see at best only a phase and an aspect […]. We wish to test this hypothesis. Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell state that “[…] contemporary propaganda techniques differ from past techniques mainly in the use of new media. In other words. information or opinions must try to do so within realms that are constantly threatening to drown them in information excess. man is dependent on that information he can observe in addition to that which others expose him to. Yet another consequence of this vast stream of information is that those who wish to portray certain ideas. We will identify these propagandistic techniques in our empirical material. among other. Inevitably our opinions cover a bigger space. and of these acquaintances knows only a few intimately. more or less true.1 Hypothesis and Focal Points In Propaganda and Persuasion Garth S. They have. premises the citizens structure their beliefs and their outlook on the surrounding society. Upon these. than we can directly observe. between facts that are fabricated and facts that are not. As Lippman so correctly observed more than half a decade ago. to be pieced together out of what others have reported and what we can imagine (Walter Lippman in Zaller 1992:6). Subsequently. New technologies must be taken into account. understanding the real message that is being communicated.1 Introduction Each of us lives and works on a small part of the earth’s surface. in order to see if the propaganda of today has changed in conjunction with the times. there are propagandistic efforts that can be difficult to distinguish and decipher for those exposed to it. or straightforwardly persuading the recipients. Considering the importance of 1 . a greater number of things. a longer reach of time. and one motive for this is that propaganda is vital and “[…] a necessary instrument in an atomistic society which from time to time needs to mobilize around specific issues” (Harold D. Among those who wish to portray ideas and information. in order to make the recipients take in the information without actually being aware of it. for the forms of media and how they are used have always been significant in propaganda” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:280). there are some who desires to do so in a more or less subtle and/or persuasive way. Lasswell quoted by Sundström 2005-10-06).
2 . Our aim is thus to test Jowett and O’Donnell’s hypothesis. and thus share the over all aim of persuading/convincing. but even without the technical evolvements one could believe that propaganda should have progressed in order to meet new demands in new surroundings. and hence we have concluded that we will focus our empirical efforts on the recruiting propaganda used by the US Army. Our motive for employing the advertising methods in this merge is that advertising can be seen as a sub category of persuasion. explanations and techniques used within the sphere of propaganda and then do the same vis-à-vis advertising. and a good way to do this is by adding the techniques used within the advertising sphere. if nothing else then to meet the requirements and desires of those trying to convince and persuade through it.propaganda it should have evolved. In our effort to test the hypothesis of Jowett and O’Donnell we will initially try to comprise the necessary definitions. Of course the mediums that are used to convey propaganda should have had considerable impact on the propaganda and the methods used within the specific realm. and also several techniques with propaganda (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:149f). In order to examine the propaganda of today. and examine if contemporary propaganda has evolved with regards to the techniques used by the propagandists. according to Jowett and O’Donnell. We recognize the hopelessness of embracing and comprising all vital elements and components within such an extensive realm. we think that one has to broaden the propagandistic framework. have not changed – the framework might be too old fashioned. and this might be one reason to why the techniques. Our reason for using both propaganda and advertising techniques is that the methods of propaganda found in the vast literature on the subject is somewhat old and presumably not up to date. We intend to examine if the US Army’s propaganda techniques for recruiting have changed since World War I.
com. but regardless of this we have decided not to include any of these in the thesis. These techniques are all accounted for in the literature. Subsequently there might be propaganda techniques that are not to be found in our thesis.com`. and furthermore illustrate the numerous and occasionally diverse definitions and explanations one can find regarding propaganda. Then we describe the different techniques one can find within the propagandistic realm. Subsequently we will try to make a sort of questionnaire that enfolds both new and old in order to examine the empirical material. The material itself will consist of recruiting posters from WWI1 and the US Army’s present-day web site `Goarmy. primarily because of the limited space. and could be applicable to propaganda. and then combine the techniques found there in a modified propaganda framework. 3 . Of course we are fully aware of the importance of that mentioned. The empirical examination will be followed by a discussion of our findings in relation to Jowett and O’Donnell’s hypothesis. 2. but we have to emphasize that our choice of literature might have had a limiting effect on which methods we have found.2 Methodology As we stated earlier we will examine and then compare the propaganda and advertising sphere. For example we do not account for or discuss any of the psychological theories or predispositions that. 1 All of the posters can be found at Firstworldwar. for the reason that we have not come across them in our study of relevant literature. that in other circumstances are to be considered central to this field.1 Propaganda To fully comprehend propaganda we initially discuss what propaganda is. Furthermore we do not mention any of the communication theories that are available. psychological. Seeing as we aspire to examine the techniques of propaganda we have knowingly left out certain features and vital aspects found in the discussion of propaganda. are vital for the success of propaganda (for a synopsis of these and several other theories see Jowett O’Donnell 1999:161202). according to some. and we also presume that several of the techniques have been developed with regards to cognitive. communicational and/or other relevant theories.
we do not discuss nor study the potential effects of the propaganda techniques that we examine. and this should also be applied to the propaganda literature. Concerning the advertising components in our thesis. and aspired to find similar information in several books in an effort to enhance the credibility of the stated information (Gustavsson 2005-02-07). or failure.Ehrenberg). of advertising (see for example Barnard . is that we employ second hand information.2 Advertising To get a satisfactory illustration of advertising we have examined the literature on the subject. and as such we cannot guarantee the trustworthiness of the material. In the literature on propaganda one finds that most of the 4 .3 Modified Propaganda Framework and Questionnaire The section called `Modified Propaganda Framework` has its origin in our aspiration to construct a propaganda framework that can be considered contemporary. depending on individual differences. the predicaments are similar to the ones relating to propaganda. and a variety of contingent third variables” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:161). the context in which propaganda take place. 2. Since we do not observe any long-term effects we cannot conclude if the propaganda techniques that we describe are successful or not. and tried to extract all that is important regarding the techniques that are applied. We have been concerned about the techniques found in the domain of advertising. The major discrepancy between the literature on propaganda and the one on advertising is that the authors in the first domain are discussing concrete techniques. and therefore we have not paid much attention to the predispositions for accepting advertising that some authors present as central regarding the success. and marked them as we have found appropriate. Other predicaments vis-à-vis the effects of propaganda is that these “[a]re highly conditional. and thus they can be found under a number of diverse headlines. Another predicament regarding the literature. 2. Consequently we have tried to uncover and bring to light all that is to be considered techniques. With the intention of reducing the probability of faulty or less objective information we have thus tried to remain critical towards the literature.In addition to the above mentioned. Under these circumstances we cannot include such an extensive study into our thesis in order to examine the effects of the propaganda techniques. This is to be contrasted to the advertising literature where the techniques are not often named or even labeled `techniques`.
or Metodpraktikan by Esaiasson et al). The chief component of the modified framework will consist of a questionnaire. and thus the normative discussion is missing. The central quandary regarding the framework is that it is solely applicable to propagandistic techniques. which includes the mélange of both advertising and propaganda techniques. 2. we will try to combine the existing ideas and techniques of propaganda with those in the field of advertising. Of course we are not claiming to be the new Lasswells of propaganda. Our central motive for choosing posters from WWI is that a majority of the authors within the field claim that the propaganda. in particular as we have not found literature that can support and guide us in our efforts.techniques are based on findings from the middle of the 20th century. On first sight this connection might seem suspicious to some. but we hope that our framework can be helpful to others in the future. and that they are necessary when 5 . Cunningham 2002:177). which fits more into today’s propagandistic efforts.com. In order to modify these techniques. The major incentive for constructing a modified framework. had a sort of initiating period during the WWI (see for example Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:161f.4 Empirical Material Using our questionnaire we will compare recruiting posters that the US Army utilized during the First World War with the US Army’s current recruiting website Goarmy. is that one can perhaps believe that the propaganda of the Army is specific to one realm – that of war – and thus our results cannot be applied to the propaganda in general. One of our motives for comparing only army material is that this should enhance the similarities between the objects and consequently the credibility of the study. and thus the merger of the two will substitute the foundation for our framework and empirical efforts. We will not exclusively draw on the features of these questions because our framework and questionnaire will be based on that which we have found in the literature. is that hopefully our framework can substitute a sort of elementary questionnaire for all that are interested in propaganda and the analysis of the same. Therefore we believe that the posters we have chosen are typical for early propaganda. as well as other central elements. the literature on questionnaires concerns questions made with regard to persons and not written material or pictures (see for example Samhällsvetenskaplig forskning by Tim May. A predicament with this though. The method of creating and using a questionnaire may perhaps be tentative. Regardless of this we have decided to employ such an inquisitive tool and to help us construct it we have studied questions composed to analyze propaganda and propaganda techniques – we have found such material on propagandacritic. or the hypothesis of Jowett and O’Donnell in specific. but we will certainly seek to apply some of them to our questionnaire.com and at the Milner Library. as we know it today. but we believe that advertising contains analogue patterns with propaganda (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:149f).
Goarmy. so the games and downloads are not relevant to our modified framework. Our aim is to examine the propaganda and advertising techniques used. Regardless of this we still wish to emphasize some of the main difficulties concerning the chosen mediums.com is a web site containing text and pictures as well as movies and games. becomes a sort of author him/herself. With this in mind it is likely that we will find evidence that our new framework with components of both propaganda and advertising is fertile. but this also means that the reader. In search engines. both at present and in the future (Burgess 1998). controlling your own environment also means your environment having a stronger commercial impact on you…” (Miller 2000:116). All these components contribute to make the examining of a web site somewhat harder and certainly more wide spread than that the examining of posters. and thus the content and the subject cannot be understood without examining the medium and the opportunities this contains. one has to consider the explicit intertextuality found within the borders of the World Wide Web – via the links the text becomes intertextual. Some even go so far as to state that the medium is the message. A web text is also characterized by the lack of linearity one is used to in other categories of texts. Another important aspect is to mention that we are only examining the contents of the web pages and the offered links are not so relevant to our focus on techniques. Elmfeldt 2003-11-23). Initially. and that if it does not then the same results should be found within other empirical material. offers a unique 6 . Once again we have to emphasize that we are not using the flash version of the web pages. The interactivity that is the base for the milieu found on the Internet and the World Wide Web means “[…] giving up more information to advertisers so that they can then better understand the user and what motivates him or her. and as such it encloses some specific components that are distinct for this medium. Another distinguishing feature of the Web and the texts found in it is the transient and temporary character of the contents (Wakeford 2000:33. and this because of the fact that it can sometimes be problematic to separate the medium from the message and vice versa. An additional advantage as a result of using a website when examining propaganda is that “[…] the Internet. when choosing links to follow. we wish to underline that the use of a web text found on the Internet might make our aim to combine elderly propaganda techniques with methods found within advertising within our framework more fruitful. and consequently we will try to disregard the medium and those components that are typical for the medium at hand. as noted previously. Hence we believe that our choice of material should reflect the development of propaganda techniques. Although the medium is of less importance to us. In order to emphasize the already mentioned compatibility between the objects we have also chosen to use a poster regarding a summer camp for teenagers (aiming at soldiery) with the web page `For Parents` because the intention and audience of these seem somewhat similar. and therefore the comparison with the posters should be more consistent. One must also keep in mind that we are not using the flash version of the web pages.comparing old propaganda with contemporary – such as can be found on the official recruiting webpage of the US Army.
is the time of their creation. when studying elderly posters and a modern website. and one of these is that this approach typically results in a situation with fewer objects that the researcher has to focus on. but we believe that our choice is sufficient for our examination of propaganda techniques. provides the ideal means in the `deliberate. We have chosen the comparative approach. and hopefully this will increase the reliability of the study. manipulate cognitions. Of course one can never find research objects that are completely similar and homogeneous. the ability to disseminate information. Although access to the World Wide Web is still severely restricted globally […]. apart from the different mediums. This method has certain advantages.opportunity to all propagandists. systematic attempt to shape perceptions. Esaiasson et al 2004:111). We think that the central differing aspect between the objects. and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist`” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:159). as in this case (Gustavsson 2005-01-25. Thus the researcher can study the objects more meticulously and detailed. seemingly without a concern for accuracy or the potential for damage. 7 . It is also a common approach when one aspires to test a theory or a hypothesis. and thus we should be able to see if the propaganda techniques have changed over time.
and not always portrays the propaganda itself – or more specifically a bias towards or against the goals of the propaganda. Besides these common attitudes Cunningham tries to tackle the phenomenon propaganda from a philosophical angle in The idea of propaganda – A reconstruction. In contrary to that earlier mentioned exists an approach. which defines propaganda exclusively as a communication tool. The core of the debate regards the intentionality and deliberativeness of propaganda. and thus neglecting the deliberative aspect (Thomson 1999:5). or somewhat more objective than subjective. However. on the basis that this is natural to them. Others agree with Cunningham. With this said. and instead of a definition he offers a description of propaganda (see Cunningham 2002:176ff). Henderson claims that “every propaganda process is at its source deliberate and intentional […] there is no unintentional propagandist” (Cunningham 2002:64).1 What is Propaganda The accentuation of the deliberative aspect of propaganda is a matter of disagreement in the literature.3 Propaganda In the literature on the subject there are several definitions that you can find on the word propaganda and all that this contains. and Dobb points out that “[…] a clear-cut definition of 8 . because of their lack of complexity. Apart from this the diverse definitions and explanations on propaganda can be categorized into three main groups: that of positive. Another approach assumes that people want propaganda. He criticizes all the hitherto definitions. or if it is the opposite: unintentional and undeliberate. which assume that all propaganda is intentional and thus deliberate (Jowett & O’Donnell 1999:6ff). nevertheless he is not able to deliver a satisfactory definition of his own. The most neutral definition at hand suggests that propaganda is to “disseminate or promote particular ideas” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:2). As an alternative he argues that the concept of propaganda covers so many aspects that it is not possible to offer a clear and broad definition. very few of these are to be considered neutral. Thomson claims that “[t]he human species is a natural propagandist with the basic instinct to propagandize” (ibid p 65). 3. we wish to emphasize that the terms negative and positive more or less seems to portray the normative grounds of those writing the definitions and explanations. negative and neutral propaganda. The deliberative feature is part of some definitions. claiming that a clear definition of propaganda is almost impossible. This is our impression after reading the literature on propaganda.
Leonard W. In addition to this. the greater masses (ibid). Combs and Nimmo highlight that propaganda is an essential component of communication and as such it is to be regarded as a “major form of public discourse” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:5). Tom Bryder describes propaganda in a more positive way than many of his fellow writers within the area.propaganda is neither possible nor desirable” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:4). They appear to believe that the main explanations for this impediment is that the immense amount and the complicated levels of propaganda that surrounds the citizens in their every day life causes the propaganda to be perceived as natural. one of the more prominent writers within the field. they are differing from Bryder in one main area. Lasswell claims that the main task for the propagandist is to intensify attitudes favourable to his purposes. In other words the element of persuasion and understanding are suppressed. which are mostly based on the self-interest of large organizations/groups. they focus on the difficulties of distinguishing propaganda from other forms of communication. Bryder emphasizes that propaganda often is to be regarded as an essential part of the policy-making processes that surrounds the citizens. Dobb describes propaganda as “the attempt to effect the personalities and to control the behaviour of individuals towards ends considered unscientific or of doubtful value in a society at a particular time” (ibid p 4). seem alluring to. and thus somewhat problematical to distinguish (ibid). and thus attract. and when this is done the receivers of the propaganda should “read their own private meanings into the messages conveyed by the propaganda content that is disseminated” (ibid). the goals or the normative grounds of propaganda and that it is to be considered unethical (ibid p 3). He continues to express the opinion that the main goal of the propagandist is to make less appealing goals. Lasswell. Qualter says that we need to look upon propaganda “in the neutral sense of a general description of an activity which can be directed to good or bad ends” (Cunningham 2002:64). Instead one should view propaganda as a means to emphasize. He thinks that the use of propaganda as a mean to promote certain matters and objectives within the political sphere is to be regarded as standard procedure. With this Bryder indicates that propaganda is not to be confused with “other forms of more or less forced compliance”. and thus under those circumstances it should not be regarded as a tool to deceive (Bryder 2004:i). be it towards the techniques. defined propaganda as “[…] the technique of influencing human action by the manipulation of representation” (Lasswell 1934:13). 9 . which contains components of secrecy and above all a severe lack of logic and suitably founded argumentation. Sproule is one of the authors who consider propaganda to be a form of persuasive communication. and he points out that propaganda can be found in every society (ibid p 14f). As we earlier stated several authors within the field of propaganda have a more or less negative view of propaganda. Source Watch (a project of The Center for Media and Democracy) continues to emphasise the components of deception and confusion that seems to guide the propagandists. and he emphasizes the basal component of voluntarism (experienced by the recipient) within propaganda. Harold D. However. explain and promote those ideas one thinks are of use.
systematic attempt to shape perceptions. viewpoints and feelings. and of course an effective propagandist should know how to use them to be successful. and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:6). the propagandist voices the 10 . they define propaganda as “[…] the deliberate. or. “Rather than try to change political loyalties. beliefs. racial and religious attitudes.com).1 Reaffirming There are certain means to seek to emphasize the impact and outcome of the propaganda.to persuade the undecided – and therefore a central goal is needed as a catalyst for the propagandist (ibid p 18). and this regards the lack of propaganda control and he states that “[t]he propagandist in fact operates on a jury without a judge and frequently without the cognizance of the jury” (ibid p 21). They accentuate the meaning of ‘deliberate’.2 Techniques of Propaganda To be an effective and successful propagandist several methods and techniques are available. Lasswell identifies one crucial predicament though. The Institute of Propaganda defines propaganda as “the expression of opinion or actions by the individuals or groups deliberately designed to influence the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups with reference to determined ends” (propagandacritic. and this is also done by Jowett and O’Donnell. and then either relate these to the new information. 3. in a far more undemanding and fluent approach. The main reason for using these methods is to influence the behavior and the thoughts of people. In other words “[m]essages have greater impact when they are in line with existing opinions. and those interested can find a summary of these in the Appendix. It is this final definition that we will be guided by in our work with propaganda. manipulate cognitions. Apart from definitions and explanations the literature also describes different varieties of propaganda. For this purpose the propagandist must recognize and understand the receiver’s principals. and subsequently employ these. A fundamental method is to arrange the propagandistic information according to the information the receivers already believe to be accurate and factual and perceive as true. The technique can be illustrated with the propagandist identifying the receiver’s values. In this chapter we want to explain and demonstrate how these methods and techniques work.2. and a reason for this is that we believe that when testing Jowett and O’Donnell’s hypothesis we should apply the same definition as they do. beliefs and attitudes. reinforce the old beliefs via the propaganda. and dispositions” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:290). and other deeply held beliefs. 3.
propagandee`s feelings about these things. for they seem to be coming from within the audience rather than from without” (ibid).com for testimonials).2 Credibility and Authority The credibility of the source is of the utmost importance concerning the prospective success of the propaganda. but in truth there are no appropriate arguments or verification for that which is stated. A factoid can be explained as some sort of information that is stated as accurate and factual. It is similar to the construction of factoids.2. with the necessary ability to eliminate whatever problems or threats they are confronted with. 3. as well as propagandacritic. 3. Within the realm of this technique we also wish to incorporate the use of pseudo-science. expert opinions or sometimes statistics as references and sources. by transferring positive feelings and respect aimed at a subject/person on to another subject/person. Messages appear to be resonant. Once a source is accepted on one issue. another issue may be established as well on the basis of prior acceptance of the source” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:291) (see also Bryder 2004:184. and the pseudoscience can be described as the propagandist referring to non-existent or very questionable science in order to strengthen certain statements. A further approach is to portray already existing or upcoming leaders as knowledgeable and competent.4 Groups and Norms 11 . By means of this they tend to take the role of authorities (Bryder 2004:177). the propagandist attempts to generate approval and/or an image of authority and credibility (Sundström 2005-10-06. propagandacritic. The central motive for this is that “[p]eople have a tendency to look up to authority figures for knowledge and direction. 3. Generally one can claim that this technique is employed when the so-called fact is false or there is no evidence for it (Bryder 2004:178). Taking this into account the propagandist must give the impression that the propagandistic information originates from a credible and respected source. Transfers are too frequently utilized within this sphere. Expert opinion is effective in establishing the legitimacy of change and is tied to information control. Anderson 1999 about sources.2. The propagandists often refer to pseudo-science that in reality is fictional or to be considered unproven.com). the propagandist aspires to depict authorities.3 Facts and Science Every so often the propagandist turns to the constructing of factoids to further an objective. and thus not credible as a source (Möijer 1994:48f).2. Consequently.
When the receivers acknowledge the terminology as the same as teachers. 3.. gods or other authorities use. and this operates somewhat like a foundation for the propagandist in his/her efforts to persuade. 12 . and the receivers only have these two choices. membership in a certain group contributes to create and/or uphold certain values and attitudes that constitute the group norms (ibid) (see also propagandacritic.] Abstract categories of human beings make it easier for us to abuse them.com for war propaganda).2. potential or actual. The propagandist uses stereotypes or insignificant labels to associate the citizens into a group or associate other persons into a group considered negative. The propagandist often make use of the actuality that people “[w]ill go along with the group even when the group makes a decision contrary to privately held beliefs and values” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:292f). they subsequently ascribe the same authority to whatever subject or person that the expressions portrays. The propagandist creates a situation where the world is divided in black or white. Such a group is referred to as a grandfalloon. This method allows the propagandist to portray a person or an issue as someone/something originated from the people for the people (Sundström 2005-10-06. they are at times to be considered as rather ad hoc. left or right et cetera. We also wish to mention the `plain folks-technique` under the section of groups and norms. This is composed of strangers which are considered to be a group through the propagandists’ efforts.5 Language and Image There are different manners in which a propagandist can make use of the language to further his/her objectives. One of these techniques is to attempt to produce the impression of power. propagandacritic. The polarization creates or establishes a situation where the subtleties and nuances are covered by the two combatant flanks. Although these groups can be cultural. professional or social. and the propagandists constantly opposes these two to enhance the extreme situation and limit people’s choices (Möijer 1994:31). or as resembling animals. The..com for bandwagon). we can label him or her with a pejorative label. […] When we can picture the enemy subhuman. and this “[c]an be achieved by diabolizing the enemy. The technique of polarization includes the method of grouping with one of two attitudes/ideas/persons. [.People have a tendency to conform to other citizens’ thoughts and behavior. and this can be accomplished through using language that can be related to the vocabulary or specific words that different authorities use. both symbolically and in actual behavior” (Bryder 2004:177f) (see also propagandacritic.com).
13 . in a best-case scenario. information (ibid). These glittering generalities are often not aimed directly at a person or an idea. emphasis. Within the propagandistic sphere it is also common to use the language in order to portray the opponents in a less appealing manner – the method of namecalling. intensification and understatement. rhetoric threesome. all from direct heckling on to words that might not be so plainly negative.com).Exaggerations. among others (Möijer 1994:41-44). slogans and the use of innuendo are often found as fundamental tools for the propagandist2 (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:294ff. allusion. propagandacritic. but the literature does not mention it. Sourcewatch. metaphor. This method helps the propagandist to cover unpleasantness behind a verbal veil of. antithesis. paradox. rhetorical question. Furthermore the propagandist can employ the name-calling for quite the opposite purpose – that is to create positive connotations and attitudes towards the person/issue/idea at hand. negative labels and terms. more or less.com). Through this the propagandist can associate a person or an idea to something negative. vagueness.2. but their connotations are (ibid). and thus try to make the audience focus on the connotations of the name-calling instead of other. oversimplification. alliteration. heaping. We assume that other emotions should be included under this passage. pleonasm.com). synonyms (Sundström 2005-10-06. 2 The propagandist can also make use of: allegory. personification. relevant. instead the propagandist tries to frame the person or issue with whatever connotations that are sought (ibid). In addition to these euphemisms can be utilized as a technique whereas the propagandist manipulates language to further his/her agenda. 3. irony. This technique encloses a wide scope of different.6 Emotions By using the technique of producing or generating fear in the population the propagandist can “hope to redirect attention away from the merits of a particular proposal and toward steps that can be taken to reduce the fear” (propagandacritic. hyperbole.
it’s a well-organized. perceptions. They go one step further in asserting the issue that an advert is a catalyst for our actions “[a]n ad asks us to go somewhere. The character of advertising is obvious. The main aim of advertising is to sell the idea or product through persuasion. Also. the practice of advertising would have to be included. It’s the widespread promotion of ideas. Jowett and O’Donnell also emphasize the relation. Advertising is essentially about effectiveness and success. vote.com). wellplanned attempt to influence the attitudes. 11). Symbols and statements deliberatively designed to influence the receiver of the message toward the point of view desired by the communicator and to act in some specific way as a result of receiving the message. we live in a world filled with advertised products. 4. social class and lifestyles (McKee 1993:10). or merely maintain a memory. and actions of a targeted audience. whether it is to purchase. More specifically. Anderson very clearly identifies the most obvious associations between propaganda and marketing/advertising. but that does not make it any less influential when trying to change or influence behavior or thoughts (ibid p150). Unfortunately they stop at the acknowledgement. or as Campbell and Jamieson argue in their description of the actual situation “[i]n other words. often the presence of one of these products rather than another in our lives is determined by the effectiveness of the campaign for competing products” (Campbell – Jamieson 2001:190). Both the propagandist and the advertiser/marketer must have knowledge about the social and cultural background of the target audience: gender. Sounds a little like marketing” (Anderson. buy something. Advertising is a series of appeals. do something. advertising is not always in the best interest of the receiver of the message” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:149). ages. hold positive or negative views. They claim that “[t]here is little doubt that under any definition of propaganda. Propaganda is a form of communication. accept some single idea. Source Watch takes it a step further and claims that: “[…] advertising and PR can be said to be propaganda promoting a commercial product” (Sourcewatch.4 Advertising Advertising is considered an instrument of marketing (Fill 2002:6. try something. add a new word – generally a product’s trade name – to our 14 .1 What is Advertising According to Jowett and O’Donnell advertising is a sort of institutionalized propaganda. income levels. Chris 1999). and as such it is included in the following quote: “[m]arketing has a good deal in common with propaganda.
The base of an ad is always persuading on the part of the producer. After this act the message is transformed into an ad. “When the people selling the product pay for time or space to enable them to bring the message in a specific unalterable form to that audience. and he claims that advertising is “a non-personal form of mass communication and offers a high degree of control for those responsible for the design and delivery of the advertising message” (ibid p 15). But he cannot make sure that the message will be received in a correct way. and for this the advertisers employ several different techniques. just as with propaganda. and comparative advantages.1 Identification and Participation When the advertisers generate an image to the audience/receivers.2. men or women. inducing a dialogue. and finally positioning brands (Fill 2002:487). When this is not possible or desired the advertisement should be addressed to a specific focal group. price. in order to attract each and everyone. 4. Making that information known is advertising’s central function” (Campbell – Jamieson 2001:157). 4. Fill ascertains that advertising’s main aim is to change the attitudes and perceptions of the audience. we call the message advertising” (ibid p 193). And thus we cannot escape from the influence of advertising (ibid p 192). encouraging them to enter into a dialogue and relationship” (ibid p 23). For Fill the main task of advertising is “to communicate with a specific audience” (Fill 2002:486).2 Techniques of Advertising Fill claims that the main task of marketing is communication. adults. and thus advertising. To be successful advertising depends on a good-working. This explains why special 15 . Therefore he has to pay for space and time. The advertiser has to guarantee that the message of the product will be shown correctly. He emphasizes the importance of building awareness. To be effective the communicated message has to be easy and understandable (ibid p 192). where his message can be spread to the audience. is “[t]o generate and transmit messages which present the organization and its offerings to their various target audiences. for example children. Now the question emerges how the advertisement will attract the target audience. “The advertisers single out their market by customers preference for certain sorts of activities” (Campbell – Jamieson 2001:208). He also defines advertising as a tool for marketing communication. The producer assigns the advertiser to utilize this persuading in an ad. effective communication. this image should be as approachable and wide as possible. their location. Jamieson and Campbell stress the task of advertising as follows: “[…] we need to get information about available goods and services. however.vocabulary and associate positive images with that word” (ibid p 191).
music and fantasy (ibid p 519ff). and thus use the same product and so forth. Yet a further technique to persuade a person is through participation. funny and enjoyable. Such persuasion can be realized through a demonstration of a solution or through a comparative approach (Fill 2002:517f). When the advertiser.advertising is showing on special programs. for example advertisements for sports wear during a soccer match (ibid p 209). Fill asserts that “[i]ndeed. Consequently. wishes to convince the audience through the employment of emotions. advertising should hold the right balance between information and entertainment. As a base for this method one can identify the motto that the customer wants to be like celebrity XY. the advertiser has to utilize techniques like rhetorical questions. such a strategy can enclose several different possibilities: for instance the use of fear. visual images and almost certainly wrong claims (ibid p 223ff). they distinguish between high and low 16 . sex.2 Rationality and/or Emotionality If the advertiser wishes to persuade the audience through information. and thus not accept them or the product/message. One of the main approaches in this realm is the integration of celebrities in advertising. which is based upon rationality and emotions. more people will distinguish it in the jungle of commercials and ads. When Rossister and Percy formulate such a technique of advertising. or rationality and emotions (ibid p 509). as well as new. animation. otherwise the audience would never identify them in the sought manner. the advertising tactics are shaped by this differentiation between information and emotions. Another main technique is the employment of stereotypes in advertising. humor. or the imagination of how your wedding could look like. identifiable and provide some information about the merchandise (ibid p 510). 4. the first shave of a boy is used in advertising for shavers. The vital aspect to consider and apply is that good/efficient advertising must contain a fusion of both.2. given that it is unachievable to present a detailed character in a 30 second spot the advertisers use stereotypes as a substitute. A second approach to the central participation factor is the use of important moments of lives in advertising. this is done using hard facts and logical/rational arguments. If advertising is entertaining. on the contrary.g. The advertisers seek to make the audience a partner to help spread the message. The last aspect of participation focuses on the role of the audience. “Stereotypes are powerful means of reinforcing societal attitudes about groups of people because the process of stereotyping involves the receiver in creating the message” (ibid p 211). and therefore the advertising has to be amusing. Undoubtedly these stereotypes should be constructed with great care. e. most advertisements contain a measure of rational and emotional arguments” (ibid p 523). However. To accomplish that. The willingness to change purchase behavior depends on if the receiver likes the merchandise a lot.
packaging and slogans. the main task for slogans is to summarize the content of the product in a short message that everyone can remember. As a final point the employment of slogans is an important technique when the aim is recognition. there are still some that play with fear (ibid p 218f). Hence advertising seldom limits itself to merely one medium. and thus it is generally spread in several different types of media (ibid p 229).g. Although most slogans are fearless. the Coca Cola bottle. The second aspect focuses on the packaging of the product. and occasionally the name of a trademark replaces the name of the product. fact that a special advertising should differ from another. the persuasion has to act on a very personal level (Fill 2002:500f). and this differentiation consists of two main aspects. 4.involvement. e. The highly involved audience calls for plentiful of information.g.4 Differentiation A central technique is the differentiation of the product from other already existing products. and convincing the audience of the product’s quality (Fill 2002:500f).Jamieson 2001:221). aspirin (Campbell – Jamieson 2001:216f). emphasizes the positive or desirable experiences one can have consuming a special product “[t]hat experience must be one we would like to share. Thus the main tactic is to show that a product is better than a comparable one (ibid p 491). for example the product can be identified through the special packaging. 4.2. The use of trademarks helps identifying the producer. e. and one of these is product recognition. In favor of this the advertiser is even allowed to adopt advertising from a similar product and use the same approach (Campbell . association. Another aspect regarding recognition and repetition is that the redundancy of ads stresses the fact that advertising is only successful when it is repeated often enough. whereas the low involved audience is shaped by emotions (ibid p 526f). 17 .3 Recognition and Repetition Since persuasion is one of the main motives of advertising the advertisers have acquired and developed several ways to persuade people. The more often you hear or/and see a message the better you will remember it. The recognition is stressed through the use of three approaches: trademarks. and the experience portrayed must be different from and better than that promised by competitors” (ibid p 222). When it is a matter of a new brand. The first is the.2. already mentioned. The second aspect. Andrew Ehrenberg states that the main undertaking of advertising is ensuring that the customer will not forget to buy your brand (Ehrenberg 1997:1).
4. The constant danger lies in the problem whether or not the chosen person is the right one for the advertising strategy (ibid p 517). This practice gives the impression of being a show. The customer can sample and evaluate the merchandise. the more able the receiver will be to decode the message successfully” (Fill 2002:34).7 Testing and Demonstrating There are some techniques within the advertising sphere that embrace a somewhat hands-on approach. The decoding depends on the experiences. and hereafter decide if they want to buy it. The decoding aspect implies the right understanding of the symbols as well as the message behind them.2. and “[t]he more the receiver understands about the source and the greater his or her experience in decoding the source’s messages. The credibility also implies that the source should try to change attitudes and behavior through logical and coherent reasons (ibid p 35ff). values and norms of the target audience. also known as ‘Homeshopping’ broadcasting. Another manner within this realm is the infomercial. One of these is the technique of free sampling. Therefore advertisers often use spokesmen representing the quality of the product. The advertiser. and these are ideally experts (ibid p 31ff). This also indicates that the source in the ad has to fulfill the standard of credibility. in which people will be persuaded to buy something (ibid p 203).5 Credibility Credibility is one of the main foundations for good and effective advertising. 18 . This feature also links with the role of the receiver. As a good example one can look at the `try and buy`-stands in the supermarket where customers can test new products (Campbell – Jamieson 2001:198). as well as his objectivity towards the target audience (ibid p 20).6 Clarity and Decoding The advertiser has to ensure that the intension of the message is clear and understandable.2. has to show his neutrality and trustworthiness. but in reality it is essentially a long ad. 4. it is absolute vital that the message is credible for the audience (Fill 2002:514ff).2. 4. as a source.
We will also state the questions that will be submitted to our questionnaire.5 Modified Propaganda Framework In this section we will combine the old propaganda techniques mentioned in the propaganda chapter with those techniques we have found as central for the advertising realm. Nevertheless. the same. and our reason for doing so is that we want to be as explicit as possible regarding our motives for the questions. 19 . the incorporation of the old techniques is essential as well. 5. In the following sub sections we will try to identify these along with the differences we have discovered. roughly. which according to us should be integrated as propaganda techniques in order to get a propaganda framework appropriate to contemporary propaganda.1 Comparing Persuasive Techniques As earlier stated there are several similarities between the techniques of advertising and propaganda. Subsequently we will construct a sort of questionnaire that we can utilize on the chosen empirical items. Seeing that we want to construct a somewhat new framework. The modified framework will include both the new advertising and the old propaganda techniques. Evidently a number of the techniques found under each type are. or old ones that have been further developed. After this we will transform the techniques into questions that we will apply on the empirical material. found within the advertising realm that are not mentioned in the literature on propaganda. Our raison d'être for this is essentially that advertising is considered a sub category of propaganda (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:149f). and thus we think that the methods for advertising also should be included within the propaganda techniques. Another reason is that some of the techniques are mentioned in the literature of propaganda. To make the framework comprehensible we will initially discuss what. is to be considered old (equivalent to the propaganda) and new (differing from the propaganda). regarding the advertising. but are revised in the advertising literature. and thus relate them to the different techniques. Those questions that we find to be new in regards to the old propaganda techniques will be written in italics. despite this there are some new techniques.
1. Is anything mentioned/showing about a certain group.1 Reaffirming and Identification Both the propagandist and the advertiser strive to identify what the predispositions of the receiver or the audience are.2.2. The literature on both propaganda and advertising mentions the significance of a seemingly credible source. and aimed at supporting a better understanding on the part of the receivers? 3.2 Credibility and Authority Both credibility and authority are of utmost importance to the propagandist and the advertiser. emphasizes a sort of credibility that is aimed towards the neutrality and trustworthiness of the advertiser (see sections 3. the propagandist can make use of false authorities. The difference seems to be in the word seemingly. and the main purpose is to use this information in order to manipulate the new information to suite the old. factoids and pseudo-science to enhance his/her objectives.1) Questions to ask in relation to reaffirming and identification: 1.1). Are stereotypes employed? 5. The literature on both propaganda and advertisement mentions the importance of knowing the audiences predispositions to enhance the possibilities of successful propaganda/advertisement.2. The literature on advertisement. 3. Is anything mentioned/showing that reaffirms the receiver’s already existing beliefs.2.The utilization of stereotypes appear to be common in both spheres (see 3.5). the literature on propaganda does not mention the decoding as a reason for knowing the predispositions.1.6). There does seem to be a difference though. and thus make the propaganda/advertisement more successful (see sections 3. portraying them as enemies that can help persuade the receiver? 6. 20 . Is there anything mentioned/showing that is evident of polarization? 5.1 and 4.2.2. Is there anything mentioned/showing that is referring a `from the people to the people` component. The advertising literature emphasizes that knowing the predispositions are vital in order to make the decoding of the message correct and easy for the receivers (compare sections 3. One can thus assume that the old propaganda techniques were essentially trying to veil the true message.2. as oppose to the advertisement techniques that want to portray the right message in order to avoid misunderstandings (at least according to the literature).4 and 4. twisted statistics.5. or with a specific group? 4. If so. Is there anything showing/mentioned that can be interpreted as an effort to make the receivers identify with that at hand.1). does it seem as if this information is easily comprehensible. on the other hand.2.4 and 4.2. and thus creating an in-group? 7.2. On the other hand the same literature also confesses to the advertising spheres usage of wrong claims (see section 4.2. opinions and dispositions? 2.3 and 4.
euphemisms. There seems to be other more important differences. irony.Questions to ask in relation to credibility and authority: 8. Are the propagandists using exaggerations. name-calling et cetera. antithesis. slogans. pleonasms. glittering generalities.6). Showing leaders as knowledgeable/competent? 10.3 and 4.2. The literature on propaganda mainly refers to the producing or generating of fear. Transferring positive feelings and respect from one thing to another? 11.1). alliterations. 4. It also mentions entertainment in relation to advertising (see section 4. Is anything mentioned/showing that claims that the information is from a credible/respected source (experts and such)? 9.1.6 and 4. for example slogans and rhetorical questions (see sections 3.2). 21 . rhetorical questions. Is anything referring to non-existent or very questionable science? 13. oversimplification. rhetoric threesomes. But once again the advertising literature emphasizes the importance of the receivers’ ability to decode the messages (see section 4.2. allegories. We assume that the same applies to propaganda. name-calling. emphasis. animation.5. for example euphemisms. Is anything mentioned/showing about facts that are not/cannot be confirmed by evidence? 12. allusions. intensifications or understatements? 17.2). vagueness. while the advertising literature mentions fear.2.2.4 Emotions Both the propaganda and the advertising spheres make use of emotions to persuade. metaphors. sex. personifications. The advertising literature also mentions some techniques regarding the usage of language.2.3 Language The literature on propaganda mentions several ways that the propagandist can make use of the language in their efforts.2. hyperbole. humor.2. Is anything showing/mentioned that indicates a tendency to use the language of authorities? 16. music and fantasy (see sections 3. and thus we assume that the language techniques used by the advertisers should differ with regard to how easily they can be decoded. innuendo.2. heaping.1. the literature on advertising emphasizes the importance of a balance between emotionality and rationality (see section 4. paradoxes.). Is anything underlining the credibility and/or trustworthiness of the creator of the examined object? 5. Questions to ask in relation to the language usage: 15. slogans. Are the used rhetorical techniques constructed as to be easily decoded? 5.2. Are hard facts/logical arguments being used? 14.
but this appears to be unheard of in the literature of propaganda – at least in the same manner (see section 4.3).7 Repetition The repetition factor that is mentioned in the literature of advertising is not stressed in the propagandistic sphere (see section 4. Is there a special packaging used? 5.1. Is the object portrayed as differing from others in the same domain? 24. Are there any trademarks visible? 22.Questions to ask in relation to those emotions that are portrayed: 18. Questions to ask in relation to recognition: 21. Questions to ask in relation to differentiation: 23. Questions to ask in relation to repetition: 26.4). Is the message/image being repeated? 22 . Are the propagandists comparing the object to others in order to show the superiority? 25.5 Recognition Both the propaganda and the advertising literature mention slogans as a method. Are the propagandists trying to associate the object with desirable experiences? 5. Is there anything showing/mentioned that can generate fear or other emotions with the receiver? 19.5 and 220.127.116.11.2. Despite this we assume that the propagandist is aware of the positive effects of repetition. Is it entertaining? 20.2.3).6 Differentiation Advertising seems to emphasize the differentiation as vital.1. Does there seem to be a balance between the emotions generated and rationality? 5. but the advertising sphere uses slogans along with trademarks and packaging to enhance the recognition (see sections 3.
Questions to ask in relation to testing: 27. Are there any offers of testing something? 28. is something that one can apply to different mediums – that is that one can offer the possibility of testing in every medium. the testing could occur immediately. The infomercials are depended on the broadcasting medium and will therefore not be included in our modified framework. since we want to compare techniques that are not bound by the medium.7).8 Testing and Demonstrating Some techniques that seem unheard of in the propagandistic sphere are the testing (for example samplings) and the use of the so-called infomercials.2. whereas in for example a poster one would perhaps be offered a time and place for testing (see section 4.1. Are there any offers of free samplings? 23 .5. such as web pages. The difference would then be that in the new medium. in contrast. The testing.
To be effective the two main figures are shown as stereotypes – only their profession is represented. Besides this the poster contains a rhetorical question – a component of the propaganda framework. The aim of the poster is to convince people that a new kind of soldier is possible – a soldier and worker combined in one.1 Recruiting Poster 138 When studying the poster we are under the impression that the propagandist strives to change the existing belief – that the combination of a soldier and a worker are contradicting – and thus a soldier and a worker are pictured.6 Empirical Research When examining the posters and the web pages in relation to the questionnaire described in the former chapter. The rhetorical question in the first line of the poster alleviates the understanding of the message. The numbers by the posters are indicating under what numbers they can be found at Firstworldwar. 24 . 6. we only attempt to discuss the questions that seem appropriate in the setting of the poster or the web page at hand.com. whereas the rational part lies within the text. By using the stars and stripes and the eagle the creator of the poster wants to generate a certain feeling of patriotism/nationalism. The emotions are showed in the surrounding background (pictures). especially seeing as the answer of this question follows directly. A striking point with this poster is the relatively balanced allocation of emotions and rationality/information. And also the use of the stars and stripes underlines the credibility of the source – with the use of the flag the Army gives the impression of representing the USA.
In light of our framework. The central message is shown on the bottom of the poster. It is underlined with the slogan “Get in the Game with Uncle Sam”. The slogan also enhances the 25 . The slogan is short and clear. and is very clear and understandable. army. and perhaps authoritarian tones (uphold. for example the pun with the small slogan `Fight for US` – do the propagandist refer to `us` or the `US`? 6.S.6. and these seem to be shaped through the utilization of the stars and stripes. The only task and intention is to convince people of the advantages of being a member of the U.S. The slogan is very clear and is directed at the receiver’s sense of honour. Besides the language style some other rhetorical techniques can be found.2 Recruiting Poster 187 This picture is an obvious recruiting poster for the U. a central character in recruiting soldiers for the U. as a baseball player. The poster also refers to various positive connotations. the word honor (sic. and join). This poster also contains some other aspects worth mentioning.) and the young woman.3 Recruiting Poster 219 This picture shows the famous Uncle Sam. The slogan – Fight for US – also includes the polarization element by indirectly asking “us or the others – whom do you belong to?”. A striking technique used on the poster is the employment of sports in combination with a known recruiting figure – reaffirming the interest in sports. the poster fulfils some of the aspects. Initially the use of personal pronouns and the employment of the stars and stripes indicate an attempt to create a broad identity among the audience.S. Army. fight. This merge can be located in both the slogan and the picture. Armed Forces. and thus easy to understand/decode for the receivers. The used language includes commanding. It is a request to “Join the Army-Navy-Marines”.
and as a result perhaps desire to become soldiers themselves. Besides the mentioning of the word “defense” (sic. or parents). as well as the skyline (providing a sense of home). even their children. This poster entails some techniques worth mentioning. The pure information about time. The use of Uncle Sam as a spokesman might be in order to enhance the credibility of the message. which offers the whole range of possibilities on the website. Uncle Sam can also be regarded as personification of leadership.5 GoArmy. The text in the poster.com: Home The first webpage at goarmy. except for the title. somehow the summer camp also includes an element of testing. The credibility of the source appears to be covered with the notion of a general. is solely informational.com is an introduction. and it implies a “we or them”-attitude. Within this summer camp the boys are able to get to know the life of a soldier.polarization factor. The propagandist also uses the polarization factor through making the boy seemingly stare at a not shown enemy. On the right side of the page (it is shown on every 26 . and this contains a “we or them”-attitude. and in the front of the picture a young uniformed boy with a gun is shown. and hence the argumentation within the text can be regarded as logical and rational. In the background the skyline of New York with the Statue of Liberty can be seen. 6. 6. The message entails a possibility to participate at a summer camp. the fact that a boy has to act as a soldier can cause fear within the audience. Initially. the identification technique is utilized through the employment of the stars and stripes.4 Recruiting Poster 73 This poster is about a military summer camp for teenagers. The integration of the sport factor also highlights the aspect of entertainment. the boy (directed towards young teenagers. Behind him the banner of stars and stripes is blowing in the wind. The receivers are expected to give their best to defend their country. Opposite to this the emotional factors are shown in the title.). place and wanted participants are given in smaller letters than the message.
we can conclude that it contains several interesting aspects. Through these aspects the homepage tries to enhance the audience’s identification with the army. and instead of authority the webpage is depended on the power of visual images.6 GoArmy. Once again we have to emphasise that the games are dependent upon the medium. The propagandist makes use of the pictures. it guarantees a job and a good accommodation. in order to show a downplayed view of the army.com offers the opportunity to download games – and thus the element of testing is utilized. Viewing the webpage. the 27 . A sociable view on the soldier’s life is offered by means of only stressing the positive aspects. The first striking component is the exploitation of sports as well as some experience reports (`Becoming a soldier` et cetera). Joining the army becomes part of a good and safe life. The message is based on just existing beliefs and opinions about the army.page we examine) you can find several options to contact the army or the recruiters. 6. The language found on this webpage contains a non aggressive tone.com: About the Army This page on the website is intended to give a short overview of the army and its tasks and efforts. the page contains elements that illustrate that the creator wishes to make the receiver identify easily with that at hand. The webpage `Home` on goarmy. and thus this element of testing will not be included in our comparison to the posters or in the conclusions.
The text. providing expeditionary land forces wherever – and whenever – they are required”.S.com: Careers & Jobs On this webpage the techniques seems somewhat similar to the ones found on `About the Army`. the options and the life in the army. Through the pictures of the soldier they try to generate a positive feeling. as well as young and old men – we believe that this is an effort to make receivers from several groups identify with the soldiers. The soldiers portrayed represent several groups: Asian and women. Regarding these elements the page does not give an impression of containing facts or science that cannot be confirmed. 6. the page contains a large picture that seems to be taken from a movie – soldiers and helicopters in a dessert – but in order to make sure that the stereotypes are not the only image directed at the receivers the creators have also made sure to show other aspects. We also wish to emphasize that the page seems to give the impression of trying to make the life of a soldier appear very desirable. training etcetera). This is also one of the objects when utilizing glittering generalities such as `freedom` as well as `peace`. Army is made of committed Enlisted Soldiers and Officers”. and so does the main slogan `there are many ways to be a soldier`.pictures that are showing reaffirms the views the receivers might have of soldiers (shows soldiers in action. The page contains pictures that underline presumably earlier views on soldiers. The credibility and trustworthiness of the Army is not mentioned in an explicit manner. Regarding question 9 – Showing leaders as knowledgeable/competent? – one can interpret the answer differently. It appears to be based on 28 . a feeling of honour and pride. In general the webpage can be divided into a more emotional part (pictures) and a more informative component (the text). this is made obvious when the information repeatedly mentions the career opportunities.S. The pictures can also be applied to the stereotype element. Within the text you can also find some rhetorical techniques like the play with the words in the slogan “Future Force – Ready Now”. provides information about the structure. If we replace `leader` with `soldier` the answer is yes: this is done with words as well as pictures. but the impression of the same is created when the designer of the page writes that the Army “is a key component of the U. Armed Forces.7 GoArmy. creating leaders etcetera. It is also stated that “the U. otherwise.
the propagandists also utilize the easily decoded rhetorical question `Want an extra 400$ a month? ` 6. Perhaps this is done in an effort to show the diversity of the Army. One of the techniques to enhance the identification level. 29 . bonuses. the page is furthermore showing pictures of education and a soldier and his family. In order to avoid the overload of information the propagandists have made an effort to make the page exciting trough the pictures used. on the other hand. This is done through underlining the unique partnership between the Army and the American business community.existing beliefs and opinions about the army/military. and how this will benefit soldiers. Another way to enhance the trustworthiness of the Army is the element of underlining the Army’s friendliness towards families – this is done throughout picture and text. The picture. An additional reason for using pictures of sports and education is probably in order to transfer some of the positive feelings towards these elements on to the Army. One aspect that appears to be new so far is the attempt to represent the Army different as well as better than others in the same domain. and thus a sort of balance between information/rationality and emotion is sustained. pay. but the new element is that they have also done the opposite. Also the fact that the picture is illustrating an African American soldier seems to enhance the likelihood for identification. is the continuous use of the personal pronoun `you`. salary. This is used as an argument for joining the Army. and `money.com: Benefits Just as in the earlier studied pages the creators have used pictures to reaffirm the images that most people have of soldiers. In another attempt to make the receivers identify the use of personal pronouns is generous. extra money` are mentioned in several places. portrays a soldier as one would expect. this is done textually by providing information about the ranks and possibilities in the army.8 GoArmy. Apart from slogans and personal pronouns as earlier mentioned. allowances. and thus attract others as well. The propagandist intends to change the old view of the army by presenting several unexpected career choices available. The most commonly used argument/fact on the page is money.
they’re taking advantage of the benefits of living on an Army Post”. the parents portrayed on the page emphasize the positive 30 . On this page the text. The accent on lifetime can also be regarded as an effort to show the superiority against other employers. Through the use of parents as an authority the Army tries to convince the audience.com: Soldier Life This webpage includes the presentation of the routine life of a soldier.com: For Parents The last webpage in our analysis of the website is aimed towards the parents of the soldiers or the kids who wants to become soldiers. What seems to be differing with this page is the tendency to underline that the Army is: “the world’s best fighting force”.Regarding the rhetorical techniques one can assume that the slogan ‘The benefits of being in the army last a lifetime’ is exaggerated.9 GoArmy. as well as stating facts that cannot be confirmed by evidence. new opportunities open up. Also. This part provides information for parents of forthcoming soldiers and comments of soldier parents. Another general idea on the page seems to be that of trying to associate the soldier occupation with desirable experiences such as: “as you follow your interests and develop your skills. All in all this section is more focused on emotions than on pure information. 6. And another reappearing trait is the use of glittering generalities such as `freedom` as well as rhetorical questions. Once again the pictures reaffirm earlier views and images of soldiers.10 GoArmy. or rather rationality. The main aim of this webpage is to show the advantages of being a member of the army at its best. When Soldiers aren’t training or working. 6. but emotional and attempts to create identification. and thus trying to compare the Army with others. Also the use of personal pronouns is evident. including the comments of the parents. is not rationale.
At the end of this page one can find an advisor for the parents. The Army is depicted as an institutionalized guarantee for a good life.influence the army can have on their children. By this the testing and free sampling aspect is fulfilled again (but because of the downloading element we do not include it in the final discussion). 31 . giving instructions on how to deal with their children and a possible future career in the Army.
and given this we have included the element of entertaining as a new technique in the modified propaganda framework. Regardless of our vigilant reading of the propaganda literature where we found no trace of the entertaining element. the emotions are mostly mediated through the use of pictures. but still some of them are not used: the aspects of trademarks. Other than this we have to declare that the features of the framework that are shaped by advertising techniques occur only sporadic. poster 219 illustrates attempts to entertain by integrating the sport factor as well as a humorous image of Uncle Sam. 32 . whereas the testing factor is integrated in poster 73 by the possibility to gain experience as soldier in a summer camp. The used language differs from the tone found within the posters – instead of being commanding it is more informational and understated. The aspects of trademarks.com and all the included web pages. As earlier stated. packaging. After examining the website goarmy.7 Discussion With reference to the empirical material we initially wish to assert that the recruiting posters from the First World War are very similar to each other. Now the time has come to discuss the quality of our framework. A balance between emotions and hard facts can be outlined. the propaganda literature does not mention the entertaining element/technique. Considering our framework this website covers most of our developed propaganda techniques/aspects. 219). our research shows that this technique was employed in one of the earlier propaganda posters (no. For example the majority of them aspire to emphasize and reaffirm the patriotic and national feelings of the audience through portraying the stars and stripes. Finally we believe that the possibility of testing is available on the website. except ‘Home’ and ‘Parents’. we can conclude that the different pages. One of the new features is the attempt to differentiate the US Army as the best fighting force in the world. or by using the language. and another aspect is that the Army tries to portray itself as a unique employer within the USA. whereas the hard facts or rather the information is presented in written form. The entertaining and the testing elements emerge in one poster each. but this technique depends on the medium (one has to have access to a flash version). packaging and differentiation as well as the question about pseudo science emerge nowhere. and neither is the credibility and trustworthiness of the Army underlined. A further factor vis-à-vis the language usage is that nearly all of the posters use a more or less commanding language. have a similar structure. as regards to its relevance and the possibilities of applying it. and pseudo science are not used within our empirical material. whereas this is done explicitly in the advertising literature. The balance between emotions and rationality/information can be identified in the material.
but were not expecting a complete overthrow. Considering the fact that Jowett and O’Donnell insisted on the word mainly in their hypothesis. This discovery is certainly not revolutionary. and hence we presume that this technique is not new but much more commonly employed in the propaganda of today. We assumed that a central explanation for their claim. A further predicament regarding the modified framework appears to be that some of the added advertising techniques. For this reason we tried to modify the framework in order to test their hypothesis. and how. or it might be false. Regarding our testing of Jowett and O’Donnell’s hypothesis “[…] contemporary propaganda techniques differ from past techniques mainly in the use of new media. can help us determine what the hindrances and difficulties of the framework are. The difference seems to be the element of distracting. the more or less totally irrelevant. The difference. the US Army’s employment of propaganda techniques have changed since WWI. was that the propagandistic framework regarding techniques were too old and hence could not be applied to contemporary propaganda. despite the absence of it in the literature. In a word. this implies that they were aware of the chance of some alterations regarding the techniques of propaganda. as well as in the balance between entertainment and information. This could very well be an excellent way of investigating what elements of advertising to keep and which to eliminate. New technologies must be taken into account. the propaganda techniques are mainly the same. and Aldous Huxley states that the modern propaganda need not be divided into more or less true. they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions (Huxley). however.Therefore it seems as the empirical study demonstrates that this. They did not foresee what in fact has happened. more precisely trademarks and packaging. concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false. on the web pages the entertaining pictures/images appear to enhance the information. we are to some extent surprised by the results. but with the unreal. The website focused much more on the entertainment factor than the posters. Considering this we must admit that their hypothesis is correct. appears to lie in the focus on entertainment (it is used in various places on the web pages). by means of different material. do not occur in any of the empirical material at hand. Our first realization when studying the empirical material was that the obvious polarization used in the 33 . above all in our Western capitalist democracies – the development of a vast communication industry. was however used earlier. Perhaps an additional empirical study. although we are inclined to admit that a further explanation could be that the framework covers aspects of advertising that is not applicable to propaganda. for the forms of media and how they are used have always been significant in propaganda” (1999:280). He argues that: In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true. As a final point we wish to discuss if. as well as idealize it. Hence we believe that our empirical focus on the Army might have had a limiting effect on the tryout of the framework. but if it is more or less entertaining and distracting.
With this we refer not to the rhetorical techniques used. We wish to emphasize that the entertainment factor not only refers to a sort of slap stick humor. but also includes excitement. as well as proving the need for a new propagandistic framework with regards to the hypothesis.posters. but it is often employed on the website. Thus we believe that the US Army has modified its outlook on the importance of entertainment as a persuasive tool. Subsequently perchance the differentiation technique can be labeled as a `new` technique. In our study of the empirical material we found that this technique has been used once (see picture 219) in the material representing WWI. one of the few imported from the advertising sphere. The techniques used within the website imply a new accentuation on the differentiation technique. Despite the not so fruitful outcomes of our initial assumptions. 34 . That is that the US Army at times try to portray itself as better or unique. The second technique initially launched in the advertising domain is the method of entertaining. referring to `us` and `we` and thus implying a we or them-attitude diminished severely over time. and this was not the case with the posters. Finally we wish to conclude that the language usage has changed and been revised. A possible reason for this might be that the posters from WWI were published during actual wartime. our efforts show that regarding the US Army’s propaganda there has been changes. But these changes are more relevant to the accentuation of the techniques and attitudes. and thus the implicit and explicit references towards an enemy were appropriate under the circumstances. Perchance this is merely a result of the fact that the posters consist mostly of slogans. but the tone of the conveyed messages. whereas the web pages can offer much more information. We assumed that our framework would lead to more coherent and tangible results. Conclusively we want to express our surprise regarding both the framework and the test of the hypothesis. The commanding and authoritative tone found in the WWI material has been substituted by a more informative and less compelling attitude. rather than on the purely technical focal point of our framework.
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The main aim of integrative propaganda is to unite. According to Ellul this can be found in most of societies. The counterpropaganda is a form of propaganda that embodies one essential fact within propaganda theories. In the center of the scale one finds the gray propaganda. and he calls this “the propaganda of developed nations and characteristic of our civilization” (Cunningham 2002:66). fabrications and deceptions” (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:13). stresses the importance of a veiled source. the latter includes the propaganda for the man on the street via persuasion and advertising (Cunningham 2002:69. Disinformation can be considered as a sub form of black propaganda. At the opposite of the scope is the integrative propaganda. a master of this propaganda form. He points out that “propaganda becomes ineffective the moment we are aware of it” (Cunningham 2002:67). because in this case the propagandist pretends to know something. or black propaganda (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:12f). Neil Postman underlines that most of the advertising and most of what is shown on television can be regarded as disinformation (Cunningham 2002:68). gray. and this includes the effort of leaving an audience submissive. Under the banner of the so-called white propaganda one can find national celebrations and patriotism. There is also the so called bureaucratic prop. this form of propaganda influences the influential persons or groups. in relation to this it can be divided into white. 37 . Propaganda can also be divided according to what credibility the source contains and thus how one is to consider it truthful or not.” (Cunningham 2002:68) Thus. and it is considered to be accurate (most of the time) and the source is identified. integrate and harmonize a society.Appendix: Varieties of Propaganda When the propaganda is to be considered agitative. and thus render some sort of change. it is explicit misleading information. to recognize and then act against any forms of propaganda you have to use the same techniques. Burkitt – Mullen 2005:101). Joseph Goebbels. and thus compliant and non-challenging (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:11f). and David Altheide offers a definition of this “[a]ny report produced by an organization for evaluation and other practical purposes that is targeted or individuals. and the misleading aspect is emphasized. its main purpose is to stir an audience to a certain behavior. Agitation propaganda is characterized by the destructive aspects like destabilization and change of the social order in the public (Cunningham 2002:66). It is not false information. Elsewhere is a distinction between tree-tops and grassroots propaganda. Cunningham summarizes this fact in one sentence “[p]ropaganda begets propaganda” (Cunningham 2002:69). or publics who are unaware of its promotive character and the editing process that shaped the report. this means that one cannot be certain of the sources identity or the truthfulness of the information (Jowett – O’Donnell 1999:15). committees. When naming information as black propaganda one refers to the source as false and the information as “lies.
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