Differences Between Advertising And Propaganda (with Examples)

The main difference between advertising and propaganda  is that the former is used to sell and the latter is used to change the way a certain audience thinks about a particular person or topic. That is, propaganda is used to influence ways of thinking and attitudes; when trying to influence to sell products or services it is advertising.

The line between advertising and propaganda is very thin. They are sometimes confused, but both have different meanings and uses. However, they are media tools shared by the same media for their dissemination.

difference-advertising-propaganda

This James Montgomery Flagg poster is one of the most iconic examples of propaganda. Source: James Montgomery Flagg [Public domain]

In the case of advertising, it is used to send a specific advertising message to consumers, making use of all possible techniques or tools to create needs (in many cases nonexistent) and thus attract the attention of the masses.

However, it is also used to create awareness campaigns. When used in that sense, it does not sell products or services, it only establishes a means to achieve a common good.

For its part, propaganda seeks to change thoughts and influence public opinion through numerous symbols and arguments.

Article index

  • one

    Main differences between advertising and propaganda

    • 1.1

      Durability

    • 1.2

      Ideologies

    • 1.3

      Creation of needs

    • 1.4

      goals

    • 1.5

      Influence on people’s lives

    • 1.6

      Outreach audience

    • 1.7

      Information management

    • 1.8

      Scope of influence

    • 1.9

      Means of influence

  • two

    Examples of advertisements

    • 2.1

      James Montgomery Flagg

    • 2.2

      Nazi propaganda

    • 23

      Propaganda in North Korea

    • 2.4

      American anti-communist propaganda films

    • 2.5

      Nicolae Ceaușescu’s cult of personality

    • 2.6

      Propaganda in the Spanish-American War

  • 3

    Advertising examples

    • 3.1

      Dove: Campaign for Royal Beauty

    • 3.2

      Coca-Cola: share a Coca-Cola with …

    • 3.3

      Nike, just do it

  • 4

    References

Main differences between advertising and propaganda

It is important to precisely define and know the difference between advertising and propaganda, so that the silver objectives can be achieved by using one or the other.

Advertising
Propaganda
Durability Less durability More durability
Ideology Seeks to sell or attract attention Politics and religion
Creation of needs
A non-existent need is created or a need is
reminded that there is a need.
It does not seek to create needs, but to
influence; change the image of something or someone.
goals
Sell ​​products or services Influence attitudes
Influence in life
Short term Long term
Scope
Large It depends on the product or service
Means of influence
Private media Public and private media
Examples
An advertisement on television
for Coca Cola. A
Netflix internet banner
A poster to vote for a political party.
Create programs on public television to benefit a political party.

Durability

Regarding advertising, the message will last longer over time, while in advertising the specific objective is framed in the needs of the buyer and the seller.

Ideologies

Propaganda is often widely used in politics and the region since, unlike advertising, it does not sell specific products or services and only seeks to attract masses that adapt to certain ideologies

Creation of needs

Advertising will always be able to generate non-existent needs in your audience. Instead, propaganda is an informative action through which the main objective is to manage the attitudes of individuals towards certain issues without necessarily pursuing any economic purpose, as is the case with advertising.

In this sense, it is understood that advertising seeks to satisfy the needs of two specific groups. The first group is the business sector, which seeks to profit and obtain economic benefits from a commercial activity.

The second group is the audience to which the advertising is directed and seeks to satisfy their needs with the products offered by the company.

goals

While the objective of advertising is to sell, that of propaganda is to influence to achieve political goals. 

Influence on people’s lives

Most advertising tends to have a short-term effect on people’s lives. Instead, propaganda can have profound effects; For example, the nationalist propaganda of a country can cause someone to become a nationalist and defend a country, even if the policies of that country are negative for its population.

Outreach audience

Propaganda often targets large populations within a state. Advertising has a scope that depends on the product or service.

Information management

It is important to note that, although there are differences between advertising and propaganda, these two media handle the needs, tastes and opinions of the public they want to reach equally.

Scope of influence

While propaganda influences the politics of a country, advertising focuses on influencing a product or service.

Means of influence

Propaganda can use state-controlled media; schools, universities, radios, televisions … Advertising is private and you can use private media; private radios, private TV channels, private announcements …

Examples of advertisements

Propaganda has been used for dark ends in human history. Despite this, objectively it can be said that it was well used and that it obtained the effect it was looking for in society.

In the 20th century, propaganda was widely used during the First and Second World Wars. In both cases the intentions were negative; however, the objective he was pursuing was achieved.

At that time not only posters were used, but both the allies and the Nazi party used propaganda resources such as television and cinema. Below are notable examples of the most iconic commercials in history:

James Montgomery Flagg

In 1917 James Montgomery Flagg, considered the best cartoonist in the US at the time, created one of the best examples of propaganda.

In this he invited young Americans to enlist in the US Army to fight in the First World War; later, the same poster was used in World War II.

Uncle Sam is seen in the ad; the character had a long white beard, and his face was hard. Regarding his clothing, his suit and hat were designed in the colors of the US flag.

Uncle Sam pointed with his index finger at the recipient of the message, and at the end of the poster the following message appeared: “I want YOU for US army” (I want you to enlist in the United States Army).

Montgomery Flagg indicated that he used his own face to make the design, which was aged and was accompanied by the elements described above to differentiate it. It is estimated that more than 4 million copies of this propaganda were printed during the First World War.

Nazi propaganda

The Nazi party and Adolf Hitler employed propaganda techniques through radio, books, the press, music, theater, educational materials, television, and movies. Through these means he managed to influence public opinion until the end of his government.

The use of propaganda during this period played a very important role in keeping the regime in power and thus being able to commit one of the greatest crimes in human history: the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust.

In the first book written by Adolf Hitler ( Mein kampf , which translates into “My Struggle”, published in 1926), this character exposes knowledge about propaganda and how it should be used to spread the ideals of National Socialism.

Among the arguments put forward by Hitler, the following stands out: “Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the people (…). It operates on the general public from the point of view of an idea and prepares them for the victory of this idea ”.

In this sense, the propaganda of the Nazi party focused the content of its propaganda according to the public and the objectives set.

Among these objectives are the hate campaigns that were created around the Jews, declaring that they were the cause of the economic problems of Germany.

Joseph Goebbels and Nazi propaganda

With the arrival of Adolf Hitler to power in 1933, Joseph Goebbels was appointed as Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany. His job was to produce the anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi message.

Goebbels had extensive knowledge on the subject, since he had been in charge of carrying out all the communicational content of the Nazi party.

He quickly managed to climb all the rungs of German society; He was in charge of carrying out all the announcements of Adolf Hitler’s government, of centralizing the media and banning those that were not under his control.

The two most important films created during this period as anti-Semitism propaganda are: Leni Riefenstahl ‘s Triumph of the Will (1935); and The Eternal Jew (1940), directed by Fritz Hippler.

Propaganda in North Korea

North Korea’s political propaganda – which has historically been built around the personality cult of Kim Il-sung, his son Kim Jong-il, and his grandson Kim Jong-un – rests on the Juche ideological concept of “Self-sufficiency.” From its inception to the present, North Korean propaganda has been ubiquitous.

American anti-communist propaganda films

There are American films that have a propaganda objective against communism. Among them: Air Force One, Dawn rjo, Anastasia, The Green Berets, Rocky IV, Red Scporbion, Nicotchka, among others.

Nicolae Ceaușescu’s cult of personality

During the Cold War, Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu presided over the most extreme cult of personality within the Eastern Bloc. The purpose of the personality cult was to make any public opposition to Ceauşescu impossible, because by definition he was considered infallible and above any criticism.

Propaganda in the Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American War, commonly known in Spain as the Cuban War or Disaster of 98, was the first armed conflict in which military action was precipitated by the intervention of the media. The war arose out of the interest of the United States in fomenting a revolutionary struggle between the Spanish and the citizens of their colony in Cuba.

Advertising examples

Today society is overexposed to advertisements. All companies that provide products and services use all the means available to them to sell their products.

Here are some of the most prominent campaigns that have achieved success throughout history:

Dove: Campaign for Royal Beauty

The global brand company focused its goals on showing how valuable women are, focusing on happiness without prejudice and accepting that every woman has a real and unique beauty.

In that sense, Dove showed that those were the only elements necessary to achieve success and that it did not depend on a strict beauty standard, according to which a woman is beautiful only when she conforms to the perfect looks and measurements.

For the brand, women are beautiful at any age. Her campaign was based on real women of all sizes and races, which is why she managed to capture the attention of all types of public.

Coca-Cola: share a Coca-Cola with …

The Coca-Cola soft drink company is one of the companies that produces huge advertising campaigns around the world.

Many of his campaigns have generated great sales records. This time we will focus specifically on the “Share a Coca-Cola with…” campaign, which invited you to personalize a Colca-Cola can with the name of the person with whom you would like to share this drink.

The successful campaign originated in 2012 in Australia and the 150 most popular names in that country were printed. The impact of “Share a Coke with…” exceeded expectations: the campaign was active for seven years in 80 countries.

The content was released in all existing advertising formats and the campaign was honored with seven awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The impact was so great that 76,000 virtual Coke cans were shared. In 2012, 15,000,000 personalized bottles were sold, the hashtag #ComparteUnaCocaCola ranked first in the global trends of the social network Twitter and managed to increase 2.5% of sales in the US.

Nike, just do it

The footwear and sportswear brand Nike is among the greats of the advertising industry around the world.

30 years ago ” Just do it ” (just do it) became one of the advertising campaigns of the renowned brand, which pursued the objective of reaching out to all types of audiences and not just runners.

The campaign starred Walt Stack, a famous 80-year-old American runner. This message lasted over time and became the brand’s slogan since 1988.

The campaign was carried out by Wieden + Kennedy, a prestigious and renowned advertising agency in the USA, which is also one of the largest in the world.

In 2009, one of its founders, Dan Wieden, confessed that the idea for the campaign arose from the last words of a man sentenced to death, who exclaimed “ lets do it! ”(Let’s do it!).

References

  1. “Nazi Propaganda” in Holocaust Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 14, 2019 from Holocaust Encyclopedia: encyclopedia.ushmm.org
  2. “The 11 principles of Nazi propaganda” in Culturizing. Recovered April 14, 2019 from Culturizing: culturizing.com
  3. “Best Campaigns for Real Beauty” at Dove. Retrieved April 14, 2019 from Dove: Dove.com
  4. Daniel Codella. “Coca-Cola’s formula to create a successful marketing campaign” (May 31, 2018) in Wrike. Retrieved April 14, 2019 from Wrike: wrike.com
  5. “Nike celebrates 30 years of just do it” (September 7, 2018) in Latin spots. Recovered April 15, 2019 from Latin spots: latinspots.com
  6. Tracy Stefan. “Advertising vs propaganda” in Small business. Retrieved April 13, 2019 from Small business: smallbusiness.chron.com
  7. Javier Sánchez Galán. “Difference between propaganda and advertising” in Economipedia. Retrieved April 13, 2019 from Economipedia: economipedia.com
  8. “What is propaganda definition techniques types” in Study. Retrieved April 13, 2019 from Study: study.com
  9. Bruce Lannes Smith. “Propaganda” in Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved April 13, 2019 in Encyclopedia Britannica: Britannica.com

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