Blog Post #9: Propaganda in Advertising

Francisco Alvarado

Advertising and the techniques advertisers use have been highly controversial for a long time, across the globe. According to Wikipedia  there are 34 different techniques that can be used to promote propaganda in advertisements. The example I chose is an advertisement by the World Wildlife Foundation against the commercial use of animals, and especially exotic (and presumably endangered) animals. The advertisement uses a few of the propaganda techniques, including exaggeration and association.

Exaggeration is “making something seem more powerful, meaningful, or real than it actually is” (Wikipedia). In this ad the use of exaggeration is rather obvious, with her carry-on luggage leaving a trail of blood, the blood of exotic animals turned souvenirs. The message is that something as innocent and ineffectual as a memento of a trip can be tainted by the business of hunting and killing rare animals.

Association  “projects positive or negative qualities of a person, group, place, or idea onto another person, group, place, or idea in order to make the latter appear more favorable or to discredit it. Often highly visual, this technique often uses symbols superimposed over other visual images” (Wikipedia). This ad associates the purchase of souvenirs by tourists in a foreign country with the killing of exotic animals. The traveler leaves a trail of blood throughout the airport as she makes her way to her gate or as she leaves the building.

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