Since the birth of the communication, media has been utilized in conveying the information to general people. The trend which has started with the publication of books with spoken simple words, therefore soar new heights with the influence of television, radio and internet, media has made people to access the whole world sitting at home. However, through advertizing, the advertisers lean on propaganda to sell their products, regardless of the product or the brand being advertized (Perse, Elizabeth M., and Jennifer Lambe). Propaganda is a widespread and systematic promotion or dissemination of the particular concepts, practices, and doctrines. It is true that there are several techniques that the used to promote a particular political viewpoint. However, in most of the cases, propaganda has a negative impact on the society. It forces deviant feelings and thoughts to people’s mind, influences the natural thought of the population by altering it for a specific topic. Therefore this essay will discuss the negative impact of the advertizing propaganda on the society.
While defining the propaganda, it can be said that it is the distribution of concepts, ideas, rumor or information for the sole purpose of facilitating or damaging an institution, a person or a cause. Even though the concept of propaganda has been there for around a thousand years, however, in recent times, the advent of the technologies allowed the institutions to spread different information to the mass. The whole procedure has evolved into a scientific procedure which is able to influence a general population of the world. At the times of war, the propaganda was most apparent in the posters and it has been continuously used as a social and political means to manipulate the minds and attitudes of people (Schudson, Michael). This is also apparent in the election commercials on TV, where the potential candidates use the propaganda skills to promote themselves above the competitors.
The modern propaganda uses the available media in spreading their messages which includes the radio, press, film, television, posters, door to door campaigning, flags, coins, books, stamps, plays, poetry, comic strips, cultural and sporting events and many more. However, some of the usage of these Medias can be surprising, however that indicates that how easy the procedure is to influence people without even recognizing the propaganda (Berger, Arthur). In this essay, the usages of advertizing in the methods of shaping the opinions of people will be discussed. The advertizing is important is the recent times, as it is mostly used in spreading current issues. The new terms that are coined after a certain time of the advertizing campaigns, such as the term The Dune Effect after the promotion of the movie Dune, indicated that the people who have access and adequate control over the media can have a potential control over the opinions of people.
The advertizing propaganda is so powerful that it mostly impacts everyone as they are vulnerable towards it. It is also explained by the scholars who say that as the human beings stay in a fast moving and complicated world, everyone needs a shortcut to deal with everyday life. It cannot be expected from everyone to distinguish and analyze every aspect of a specific person, or a situation or any event that they encounter on a regular basis. Most of the people do not have sufficient energy, time or the ability to process all the information, rather they frequently use the stereotypical thoughts and ideas for classifying different things in accordance with few major features. Therefore people tend to react to a particular situation without any kind of thinking if few basic features are there. This makes the general population highly vulnerable to the propagandists who understand the influence. In addition to that, most of the propagandas used in the advertizing include the reinforcement of the social myths and the stereotypes which are already profoundly embedded within the culture, therefore it is difficult for the general people to indentify a particular message as the propaganda.
If the kinds of propaganda that are used in the advertizing campaigns are considered, one can found that there are generally five kinds of them. The first kind of the propaganda is the bandwagon (Jhally, Sut). This is influencing the consumers by stating that others in the society doing the same thing. Most of the soft drink advertizing and commercials use this method by showing several attractive young people having fun with the particular soft drink. The technique used in most of the cosmetic advertisements is the usage of the celebrity model and the lower prices of the cosmetics. Both the issues influence the choice of the consumers as they think that the celebrity is also using the same product and this will make them look good just as the model. The second kind is the testimonial which is utilized when the product is sole while using the words from the famous people or any authoritative figure. An instance of such catch line used in these advertisements is "Nine out of ten dentists recommend this type of toothpaste”. The next kind is transfer. This is the type which indicated to the selling f a certain product by using the picture or the name of a famous thing or a person (Jhally, Sut). This type does not include any kind of words from the person. An instance of such advertisements is the political campaigns where the slogan helps to sell the particular product. The next type is the repetition techniques (Jhally, Sut). This is used while the name of the product is repeated several times in the specific advertisement, a minimum of four times. The last kind is the emotional words which make the consumer feel strongly connected with the product.
The aim of such propagandas are to spread a message to the mass, however while doing that they put a biased and untruthful influence depending on their own interest. Even if some kinds of propagandas are utilized to motivate and encourage people and promotes truth, it has been argued by most of the analysts that most of the forms used in the advertisements are misleading and deceptive (Marlin, Randal). The propaganda can have adequate control on the attitudes of people; therefore the propagandist can get the expected reactions out of them. This effect can be strongly mesmerizing on the belief of the population, even if the propaganda is not true. The recipient can be influenced in different ways by the propaganda; therefore they can believe that the next decision is made by that individual even if it has been previously influenced. With the false and misleading advertisements, the media promotes perfection in every sphere of life, which is quite unusual. Where public relations are supposed to be advantageous for both the parties, but in this case it seems only to be beneficial towards the propagandist.
Regardless of the fact that the public relations and advertizing cause potential destruction and annoyance in the public mind. As a result to the increased sophistication, the world has turned into a fast paced, complicated place to live. Therefore media uses more presentation facts than the correct information in the advertisements. The placement and order of such facts can mold the understanding of the audience slowly. However, in the modern culture the usages of certain advertisements are now bound by laws so that the authorities can monitor and control the usage of the propaganda in the broadcasted advertisement campaign. However, in most of the advertisements the usage of propaganda is untruthful and deceptive so that it can serve the purpose of the propagandist.
Reference List and Bibliography
Berger, Arthur Asa. Ads, fads, and consumer culture: Advertising's impact on American character and society. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.
Croteau, David, and William Hoynes. Media/society: Industries, images, and audiences. Sage Publications, 2013.
Gifu, Daniela, Oprea-Valentin Bu?u, and Mirela Teodorescu. "Communicational positive propaganda in democracy." International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences 38 (2014): 82-93.
Jhally, Sut. The codes of advertising: Fetishism and the political economy of meaning in the consumer society. Routledge, 2014.
Johnson-Cartee, Karen S., and Gary Copeland. Negative political advertising: Coming of age. Routledge, 2013.
Lu, Jie, John Aldrich, and Tianjian Shi. "Revisiting media effects in authoritarian societies: Democratic conceptions, collectivistic norms, and media access in urban China." Politics & Society 42.2 (2014): 253-283.
Marlin, Randal. Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion. Broadview press, 2013.
Perse, Elizabeth M., and Jennifer Lambe. Media effects and society. Routledge, 2016.
Rai, Naveen, and Arvind Dewangan. "The role of advertisement in the society." International Journal of Research in IT and Management 5.4 (2015): 26-31.
Schudson, Michael. Advertising, the uneasy persuasion (RLE Advertising): Its dubious impact on American society. Routledge, 2013.