The Changing Advertising Techniques
Ann McClintock’s, “Propaganda Techniques in Today’s Advertising,” is just a part of a much bigger work in progress, focusing on the way propaganda techniques are used to influence consumers. McClintock’s definition says, “Propaganda is a systematic effort to influence people’s opinions, to win them over to a certain view or side. Propaganda is not necessarily concerned with what is true or false, good or bad” (239).The author informs readers of seven basic types of techniques using division and classification, so the large quantity of information given is manageable without confusion. McClintock states, if we think clearly rather than letting propagandists do our thinking for us, the flaws of an argument become visible. An advertisement printed on the day of President Obama’s inauguration seemed to use the occasion to their advantage. Now having knowledge of the tactics used by advertisers, the advertisement sent a different message than it once had. Three obvious techniques used for this advertisement were testimonial, transfer and glittering generalities. The first technique, which is also the most noticeable, used by SunTrust Banks Inc., is testimonial. McClintock views this as being one of the, “most-loved and most-used propaganda techniques,” (241-42) amongst advertisers. They tend to take advantage of their target audiences admiration of a celebrity, or in SunTrust’s case, a respected politician. More likely than not when a reader turns the page and sees a full-size picture of the President on the day of his inauguration, they are going to take a minute to review it. Above the picture of Obama is his new title, President Obama. Below the picture of the president, the date, January 29, 2009, printed with one size smaller of a font used for his name above. Below the date, in even smaller lettering is a message from SunTrust. Not very specific as to what their product is, but for argument’s sake, let us assume they are a...
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