The meaning of term propaganda is the propagation of ideas and information with the intention of causing or intensifying specific attitudes and actions. Propaganda is capriciously false and misleading and very frequently facts are distorted. Some propagandists distort facts to fulfil their purpose and others present it as objective observers.
Propaganda is defined as a communication whose purpose is to influence the attitudes of a community or a group of people for a cause, position or simply for the benefits of one’s self or one’s group. In its defence, the most basic purpose of propaganda is to persuade people by providing distorting information. Most of the time, propaganda is biased and its sole purpose is to inspire people to accept a particular synthesis.
Even emotional rather than rational approach is used to convey the message. The only purpose of propaganda is to change the attitude of the audience as desired. The term propaganda is looked down upon because of its nature of providing misleading information. However, propaganda is neutral in its nature and can be used for benign or harmless purposes. For example, when a government official encourages peoples to vote or encouraging peoples to report crimes etc. propaganda is targeted to emotions and has nothing to do with intellect.
Propaganda is used for various purposes like for the advertisement of a product or political purpose. There are different types of propaganda techniques. read this article further to learn about them.
1) Bandwagon propaganda :
Human beings are a social animal and most of their actions are influenced by society. They constantly try to fit in. Bandwagon propaganda technique works on follow-the-herd mentality. In this technique, people are encouraged to become part of the group. For example, girls are convinced to not to step out of the house without wearing makeup.
In their propaganda companies show that girls who don’t look pretty will not get a job or a dark-skinned girl will not find a suitable match. This propaganda encourages people to take action and do what most of the people are doing. You will commonly hear phrases like “join the crowd” or “trending now” in their marketing strategies.
People prefer to watch what “trending on YouTube” rather than what they actually like to watch. All of you must have seen the advertisement of Maybelline mascara. They use the phrase “America’s favorite” to convey that every girl in America uses this mascara and if you don’t have one you are not a part of the majority.
2) Card Stacking propaganda :
The term card stacking is originated from gambling. It takes place when gamblers attempt to stack decks in their favor. This propaganda technique is used quite often. In this technique, you omit certain facts to misleading your audience by making a product appear better than they actually are. Some companies cleverly hide unpleasant details of a product and advertise only its benefits such as some companies cleverly hide hidden charges on a product.
Let’s understand card stacking propaganda by taking the example of “Burger King”. Recently they have launched their “low-fat calorie” fries and avoiding the fact that fried food is not good for health. One more example of this type of propaganda is used by “Zomato” online food app. They cleverly hide additional taxes or maximum limit of discount when they notify you with “50% off on your first three orders”.
3) Plain Folk Propaganda :
You must have noticed that, nowadays, even powerful companies are using ordinary people to advertise their product than using celebrities or a well-known face. Can you think about why do they do so? The purpose of taking ordinary folks to promote a product is to make people believe that a certain product is for everyone and is used by common people.
This method is becoming popular because these days people don’t trust the paid advertisements by celebrities and want to see the real experience of people rather than the polished and scripted experiences of celebrities. For example, Stayfree always shows the experience of ordinary school going girl with its sanitary pads. The idea behind creating this type of advertisement is that Stayfree pad is for ordinary people and every girl uses it.
4) Testimonial Propaganda :
Opposite to plain folk propaganda, testimonial propaganda uses well-known celebrity to endorse their product. In this way, they can easily convert fan-base of that celebrity to convert into their customers. People have a tendency to believe when a popular person vouches for something. The brand uses the credibility of a person to establish the credibility of the product.
For example, Sachin Tendulaker endorses Boost nutritious drink for children and people in India worship Sachin and they are easily convinced that the drink is healthy for their kids. In addition to this, some brand also uses doctors and engineers (basically an expert) to endorse their products. One famous example of this type of propaganda is the toothpaste “Sensodyne”. In their advertisement, they always show a dentist recommending their toothpaste for temporary relief for sensitivity in teeth.
5) Glittering Generality Propaganda :
In this type of propaganda, propagandist uses emotional or vague statements to persuade their audience. They use phrases like “we understand you” or “always with you” to create positive anecdotes, which makes products look appealing and results in better sales. Other than that, sometimes propagandists also use metaphors, hyperboles or lyrical phrases to grab the attention of their audience.
Let’s take the example of McDonald’s promotional tagline for their product “Iced Mocha”. The statement is as “Creamy. Dreamy. Icy. Chocolaty.”. I hope, this phrase makes the picture clear for you.
6) Name Calling Propaganda :
Name calling Propaganda uses a totally opposite technique than Glittering propaganda. In this technique, propagandist intentionally uses a pejorative phrase to create a negative opinion about another brand. This type of propaganda sometimes starts advertisement war between the competitor brands where they showdown other’s product through advertisements.
Brands may also talk down about an idea. For instance, a company which sells plant-based products may say that how cruel it is to kill animals and they may also dissuade fast-food chain businesses. In a very famous advertisement of Burger King, they have ridiculed McDonald’s big Mac by comparing it with their “Whopper” burger.
7) Transfer Propaganda :
Now, this type of propaganda is a smart way to use the opportunity to project certain qualities of a product, idea, or person. this technique various ideology to get favourable outcomes. This type of propaganda is frequently used by politicians. Most politicians talk about the misdeeds of the opposition party to inspire people to vote for their own party. Other than that, most companies use this propaganda to use the opportunity when products of competitor companies found faulty.
For instance, when several soft drink companies were accused of having traces of pesticides in their drinks. The sales of those companies reduced drastically. At that time, juice companies used the opportunity to gain the business and earned huge profits.
8) Ad nauseam propaganda :
This type of propaganda is adopted by many companies which sell products like shampoo, hair oil, cooking oil, or face creams. The purpose of this type of propaganda is to make a place in the minds of your viewers. You must have noticed while watching television, certain ads are repeated frequently by flashing their names on your face and later when you go for shopping. You prefer to buy that product because you feel familiar with it rather than other brand’s product you haven’t heard about.
9) Stereotyping propaganda :
The agenda behind this type of propaganda is to target a group of segments of the society and their certain traits. Companies include the cause of breaking stereotypes. There are various types of stereotypes (like girls are bad drivers, beautiful women are dumb, millennials are insensitive towards old people) are used in advertising. Hero Honda pleasure, a two-wheeler women’s bike use the stereotype propaganda to promote their bike with the tag line “why should boys have all the fun”, which clearly represents that only not boys but girls can also roam in groups.
10) Appeal to prejudice propaganda :
This type of propaganda works on the principle of exploiting audiences’ desire. For example, in India, girls with dark skin have a low image for themselves and they can do anything to get one shade lighter. Fairness cream companies exploit this desire of unfair girls to sell them beauty fairness cream by promising that they will get light screen tone and hence, get success and acceptance in the society.
11) Appeal to fear propaganda :
This type of propaganda uses the fear of people to convince them to buy their products. Companies which makes products like cement, bike wheel tires, or insurance policy uses “appeal to fear” propaganda to make encourage people to buy their products. For example, the anti-tobacco campaign run by the government of India to stop people from using tobacco products.
In those advertisements, they show the real footage of people suffering from mouth cancer and regretting consuming tobacco. The advertisement using “appeal to fear” propaganda to appeal to people to quit tobacco.
Above were all the different Types of Propoganda most commonly observed in the Business market.