Propaganda Techniques: What Are They?

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Propaganda Techniques: What Are They?

  • Propaganda Techniques are used to influence people to believe, buy, or do something.
  • The purpose is to persuade.
  • It appeals to emotion and not intellect.
  • There are 12 types you need to know and recognize…


  • Persuades by claiming the product is popular or because “everyone” is doing it.
  • Examples:
    • “All the really cool people wear North Face jackets.”
    • “Get your copy before they run out.”


  • Persuades by using a famous person to endorse a product or idea (like a celebrity).
  • Examples:
    • Michael Jordan advertising Hanes.
    • “I’m Troy Polamalu, and I use Head & Shoulders on my long, beautiful hair!”

Red Herring

  • Persuades by sidetracking the discussion and making people forget what they were initially talking about.
  • Examples
    • “I know I’m failing math class, but look at the score on my English essay!”
    • “Your in debt, but this is the best time to take advantage of the housing market. It is at an all-time low.”

Emotional Appeal

  • Persuades by using words or images that appeal to the audience’s emotions instead of intelligence.
  • Examples:
    • Commercials for animal abuse donations that show sad puppies and cats.
    • Commercials showing people enjoying themselves while using a product.

Snob Appeal

  • Persuades by claiming the product is better than others or is ahead of its time.
  • Examples:
    • “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

Plain Folks

  • Persuades by identifying a product with everyday people.
  • Examples:
    • “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”


  • Persuades by claiming the product will show your love for your country or will help your country.
  • Examples:
    • “Built American Tough.”
    • “An American Revolution”

Appeal to Numbers, Facts, Statistics

  • Persuades by showing, well, numbers, facts, and statistics.
  • Examples:
    • “9 out of 10 dentists recommend Colgate toothpaste.”
    • “McDonalds: over 100 billion served.”

Sweeping Generalization

  • Persuades by claiming that the product works for one person so it will work for you.
  • Examples:
    • Jared from Subway losing weight by eating Subway.
    • Before and after pictures.


  • Persuades by using a catchy phrase that is easy to remember or has emotion.
  • Examples:
    • “I’m Lovin’ It.”
    • “There is Strong, Then There is Army Strong.”


  • Persuades by repeating the message over and over again.
  • Examples:
    • “Call 391-2101, that’s 391-2101.”
    • “Remember, there’s no fee unless we
    • get money for you.”

Circular Argument

  • Persuades by giving a statement or conclusion as an answer, and only restating an old argument rather than proving.
    • Examples: “You can’t give me a C.  I’m an A student!”

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