Week 2 Blog Assignment

Due Wednesday, January 19, 6 p.m.

Choose one of the following:

A) Searching the internet, find two appropriate and two inappropriate uses of the term ‘propaganda’ (so, four in total; be sure to give the links) and explain why they are appropriate/inappropriate.  Your examples can come from any source online – blog, a comment, an article, even twitter.  Just be sure to include links.


B) Describe three examples of how images you encounter in your everyday life have been manipulated in order to communicate or persuade a particular idea, message, or impression.  These examples need not be diabolical in nature, and do not have to necessarily be political.  They could come from advertising or promotional material, even something provided by Georgetown.  You may use examples found on the internet.  If you use an example from the internet, try to give the link or a screen capture of the image.

Due Wednesday, January 19, 6 p.m.


10 responses to “Week 2 Blog Assignment

  • Ena Dekanic

    Over Winter Break, I saw a blog post satirizing the phenomenon of the ubiquitous stock photos of “women laughing alone with salad.” (See http://thehairpin.com/2011/01/women-laughing-alone-with-salad/) A quick Google Image search of “happy woman salad” yields similar results, for the first six pages feature various iterations of the same picture: a solitary woman eating a salad, either smiling, laughing, or somehow expressing general satisfaction. These stock photos, which pervade the advertisements, magazine articles, and commercials that we see every day, portray a certain pointed message. Rather than suggest a cranky, hungry woman eating yet another salad, the staple food of the perpetually dieting, these images subtly persuade the (female) viewer that eating a salad will lead to happiness, healthfulness, and well-being. They encourage the viewer to eschew less healthy choices in favor of a salad because she too can then be radiant and joyful like the woman in the picture.

    A similar dynamic has recently occurred in McDonald’s attempts at re-branding. Facing harsh criticism for its role in the American obesity epidemic and a decrease in sales, the fast food chain has attempted to change its image from one associated with calorie-ridden junk food to one of quick yet healthy meals. It has emphasized its new repertoire of healthy choices, particularly salads, on its menus. Stock photos of Happy Meals, while still containing toys from children’s movies like the Bee Movie and Shrek (see, respectively, http://healthyliving.ocregister.com/tag/happy-meals/ and http://www.newsmild.com/tag/meals) now feature milk and apple dippers instead of soda and fries to persuade us of McDonald’s new health-conscious image. Elsner discusses how Roman imperial art depended upon the simultaneous affirmation of continuity and change, and McDonald’s has implemented the same dichotomy when it comes to Happy Meals, which feature the traditional toy alongside new health-savvy food choices.

    Of course, not all food-related brands profit from health-conscious marketing. Food Network chef and television personality Paula Deen has created a culinary empire based entirely on her image as a warm, matronly champion of home cooked, butter-laden comfort food – the very opposite of health-conscious cuisine. Paula’s brand relies on the notion that indulgent home cooked favorites (not salads) will lead to a happy home and a tight-knit family. To promote this image, she is often strategically photographed with bountiful baskets of baked goods or with her two sons.

  • Kate Newman

    In Jay Elsner’s book, the author discusses how many of the images representing Emperors did not represent life as it was, but life as the Emperor or state wanted it to be. The same trend is seen in the numerous images one encounters today. In particular, the notion of “diversity” is often portrayed through images for businesses and schools. It is a phenomenon that has often caught my attention—beginning in high school.
    I went to a very small, private high school in Atlanta, Georgia. The community of students was pretty homogenous—the majority of my classmates were white. Yet, nearly every month my school’s magazine would portray our “diversity” on the front cover—my friend who was African-American must have been on the cover at least four times during our senior year. Many of my classmates joked about how our school faked “diversity.” It wasn’t until my junior year, when I took a Photography class, that I realized the weight of this issue. Our professor showed us several well-known photoshopped pictures attempting to persuade viewers of diversity. In particular, he showed us one photo from the University of Wisconsin-Madison that I have never forgotten: in an attempt to present the racial diversity of the student body, the cover of the admissions booklet had been photoshopped to add a black student into a crowd of white students.

    See here: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2009/09/02/doctoring-diversity-race-and-photoshop/. (Scroll down for other examples of photoshopped “diversity” and even “anti-diversity” images).

    Even though my school’s monthly magazine was not photoshopping images of the student body, I believe choosing to continuously spotlight the select few racially diverse students at the school is equally manipulative. It is a mis-representation of the truth—instead of actually making efforts to diversify the student body, the school chose to take the easy way out and portray the environment as it they wished it to be.
    The same kind of manipulation of images is even seen at Georgetown University. Granted, our student body is considerably diverse in comparison to some, but at the same time this aspect of our school is constantly front-and-center on websites, calendars, flyers, etc. I still consider this to be “manipulation,” because even if we truly do have diversity, Georgetown’s displayed images are carefully chosen in order to assure viewers of our diversity (i.e. to communicate a particular message or give a certain impression). The link below leads to an Admissions page on the University’s website—one can clearly see the attempt to communicate student diversity in the photo (whether it is a genuine candid photo or not is another question).

    See here: http://www.georgetown.edu/admissions/index.html

    I think it is interesting to think about why “diversity” is portrayed in images so often. It is undeniably positive to have diverse communities in any business, school, or other group–but faking diversity in photos or over-emphasizing diversity that does exist hardly benefits anyone.

  • Lili Dodderidge

    In this week’s readings, two passages in particular struck me as highly translational in terms of analyzing modern-day propaganda uses. The first passage, from chapter three of the Elsner reading, discusses how the use of art to convey a particular sense of power subsequently delivers an access to knowledge. Elsner writes that the sense of power is achieved as determined by the community to which the propagandistic art is given; that community, based on its culture and shared beliefs, interprets the power and thus gains a knowledge of the message the art aimed to deliver. This idea that propaganda allows for a growth in knowledge can be seen in many marketing and advertising techniques today, especially in public health campaigns.

    Take, for instance, this picture: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_yQJ98-Z_5XM/Rw2fwzS3liI/AAAAAAAAAQo/Ju1_Ll7reyk/s1600-h/unclesamhiv.png. The creators of this ad used the famous Uncle Sam picture and changed the writing to convince people to get tested for HIV. Using this picture, further manipulated with the edition of a red HIV prevention ribbon attached to Uncle Sam’s hat, sends a message of empowerment, that the just and patriotic duty to fulfill as an American is to protect one’s self and one’s partners by getting tested. The forcefulness of Uncle Sam in the ad connotes a sense of power, that what he is saying is worth listening to; this power then, as according to Elsner’s book, transfers its own power and knowledge to the community witnessing the ad. I first saw this ad in a population health class. My professor brought this in the day we discussed the importance of knowing the audience to which the health ads were targeted. She had seen this ad in a veteran’s clinic—the Uncle Sam image resonates especially with this particular group; the power of the ad is more successfully achieved as interpreted by the culture of the veteran community.

    The other passage about propaganda that I found very interesting is found in Peter Stewart’s Social History of Roman Art. Stewart writes, “Images may serve not simply to reaffirm ideas of power and relationships and social hierarchy, but to exercise power themselves over the minds of receptive viewers.” This quote rings true when looking at images of West Philadelphia. For the past few years, West Philadelphia has undergone an attempt at gentrification. The small area of this section of Philadelphia called “University City,” home to Penn and Drexel, has, in recent years, bled further into the traditional heart of West Philadelphia, inspiring new restaurants of a high caliber (and price) to emerge, more businesses and stores to open, more high-rise and top-ticket housing to be built. The gentrification process is led by University of Pennsylvania and the recently established University City District (UCD) group. Take a look at the cover for the UCD annual report: http://www.universitycity.org/_files/docs/state_of_university_city.pdf. A native of Philadelphia, I at first did not even recognize where the picture was taken. The special use of photography to accentuate the lights and movement of this area pictured in West Philadelphia gives off a tenacious and hip vibe, something more felt in pictures of New York City than in traditional pictures of one of Philadelphia’s poorest sections of its city. This image “exercises power over the minds of receptive viewers” by persuading them to reevaluate their perceptions of West Philadelphia and to see this area as a vibrant, up-and-coming place to live, work, and have fun.

    In that same frame of thinking, look at the West Philadelphia Cultural Center website: http://www.archives.upenn.edu/histy/features/wphila/index.html#. Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania (major supporter of UCD), this website’s main photo is a collage of old photos, celebrating the black history and middle/lower working class environment of West Philadelphia. By maintaining these images as the main focus of the West Philadelphia history and culture website, there comes a sense that the people and environments expressed in the pictures are a thing of the past, making way for a new era of the city. Pictures of the city’s heritage are used in this website to give a sense of antiquity and out-datedness, thus transmitting a supposition that this area has moved on to a more vibrant and new-age way of living, an idea accurately reflected in the gentrification of the city.

    After finishing this week’s readings, one of the main take-away messages that I learned was the importance of remembering who commissions the art, and for what purpose. This is clearly seen in all three examples: the Uncle Sam ad, used for the purpose of inspiring patriots to get tested for HIV; the UCD report cover, designed to further the organization’s efforts of reinvigorating West Philadelphia; and the historical culture collage of West Philadelphia, created to support the UCD efforts to move traditional West Philadelphia into the history books and modernize this section of the city.

  • Sarah Murphy

    Advertisements by their very nature need to manipulate an image in order to sell a product. To catch the eye of a prospective buyer, companies use a variety of different methods, luring shoppers with depictions of sexuality, celebrity, or lifestyle. The world of clothing uses these and other themes to sell clothing.
    The first advertisement is from Dolce and Gabbana. Clothing from this company is known for being upscale and pricy, but its advertisements seemed to be more suggestive than sophisticated. The image I chose, http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/1qbks55s9pmdz/m23hqp/dolce-gabbana-ad-sexist1.jpg, depicts four men and one woman. Two of the men are not wearing shirts, and the woman is wearing nothing besides high-heeled sandals and a bustier. It seems odd that this advertisement for a clothing company has so few articles of clothing in it! What makes the advertisement especially striking, however, is the position of the models. The woman is lying with her head and feet on the ground, but her back is arched and her knees are bent. With her closed eyes and half-open mouth, the female model appears to be having an orgasm. The situation of the ad, however, does not necessarily lend itself to this interpretation. The man leaning over the female model at first glance appears to be straddling her, but a closer examination reveals that he is touching her wrist. Two other men gaze at the female while standing up, and a man in the background looks directly at the viewer. The shine of the men’s and woman’s skin, their lack of clothing, and their positions in relation to each other all give the ad a very sexual feel. A man looking at the ad may think that, by wearing Dolce and Gabbana clothing, he will put a woman in a similar state of ecstasy. A female viewing this may think that she will garner the attention of attractive men if she wears Dolce and Gabanna. The ad suggests that the clothing will help either gender gain a sexual encounter of some sort.
    A second advertisement that I looked at uses recognition of celebrity rather than merits of the clothing to sell its merchandise. This GAP ad, http://justjared.buzznet.com/images/2006/08/gap-2006-ads.jpg, uses musicians, actors, and other celebrities in order to indicate the worth of its clothing. GAP has an image of clothing accessible for the middle class that is made well and is fashionable. By showing celebrities wearing GAP clothing, the store is stating that its customers can be just like the rich and famous, while not spending a great deal of money. The mere fact that celebrities are in the ad is supposed to be the motivation to buy clothing from GAP. For example, the top left image of Mia Farrow does not even show what she is wearing from GAP; the viewer only needs to believe that she is wearing something from the store in order for the message of the ad to work. Because GAP is using a variety of different celebrities for the ad, it is showing that its clothing appeals to all types of fashion, from the rocker Pete Wentz to the tough-guy Jeremy Piven to the elegant and fragile Piper Perabo. The unique poses and the black and white nature of the ad indicate that both the celebrities and the clothing are artsy and genuine; by buying GAP clothing, the purchaser is not selling out but expressing himself or herself.
    The final advertisement I looked at depicts a family having fun together while wearing a particular brand of clothing. The advertisement comes from L.L. Bean, a company that produces quality clothing and outdoor gear for both adults and children. The image, http://www.llbean.com/homepages/images/110110_s11_HP_Outdoor_Gear.jpg, shows a group of people cross-country skiing. Everyone looks like they are having fun; the models are all smiling and laughing. With this ad, L.L. Bean is indicating that its clothing is geared for people who enjoy spending time with family and friends and who like being outdoors. The view behind the models, although probably not real, is breathtakingly beautiful. L.L. Bean is trying to convey that if one buys its clothing, the purchaser will have a great time exploring outside and being with family. Viewers would look at the ad and want to buy items from it because they would think that this purchase makes them more likely to have the same experience as the models.
    With clothing advertisements, companies appeal to the shopper’s desire to appear a certain way. By buying the clothing from an ad, a shopper is buying a particular image that the ad conveys. Whether they want to appear sexy, sophisticated and glamorous, or wholesome and fun-loving, shoppers look to the message their clothing conveys.

  • Danielle Lee

    So last weekend, I bought one too many pairs of shoes while shopping out on M St. While my shoe collection is all the more happy for it, I had the shocking realization that I did not, in fact, feel guilty for indulging my guilty pleasure. Then after feeling guilty for not feeling guilty, I realized that every store I had shopped at had one of these in the window: a sale sign.
    While the word sale does not necessarily connote a bargain price, our consumer culture has defined it as so. Though ‘sale’ is a word rather than a particular image, the sale sign has become to me what Taylor refers to as propaganda. I realize that the moment I see a sign indicating a sale (especially those with the numbers above 30 plastered all over it), I am considering if not deciding to at least browse that particular shop. The most eye-opening part is that I would even consider entering boutiques that I would not enter in any other circumstances. But for that moment, the thought of a bargain becomes so irresistible that I almost lost self-control.
    On a regular basis, I would consider myself a pretty composed and controlled person; and yet, Taylor is so right when he asserts that education and clarity of mind do not necessitate immunity from the effects of propaganda.
    After the shoe episode, I was sitting around with one of my roommates who was telling me of a friend who got stuck in Wisconsin during the snowstorms. Then she says, “…at least I think it’s Wisconsin. Wait, Wisconsin’s a state?” (To her defense, despite her American citizenship, she grew up in another country.) When I affirmed that Wisconsin was indeed a state, she replied, “Oh, I thought it was just the street name.”
    Now that I realized the effectiveness of a simple sign in a storefront, I began to think about the street signs that guide us wherever we go throughout the city. For those of us more aware of American geography, DC’s plethora of America-themed street names seems an attempt to rally patriotic feelings of loyalty—though I do feel a greater affinity to New Jersey Ave than maybe Dupont Circle. For the rest of DC frequenters, however, the street signs become a crash course on our nation. There are states, important terms, and famous figures constantly impressing those who travel the streets of our capitol. And, in cases like that of my roommate, they become the basis of learning about America.
    So the other day I watched an episode of Leverage, during which Sophie coaches a presidential candidate in the effectiveness of body motions while speaking. I didn’t think much of it. Then, the other day while waiting for a friend, I decided to keep warm at the Holocaust Museum where they were having an exhibition on propaganda during World War II. Though I could only spend a few minutes there, this image caught my attention (there are two more like it in the online archives).
    Of course all leaders practice their speeches and presentations but I always figured that the physical motions of the speakers came from the rush of the emotional moment. Apparently they are more planned and calculated than I thought. The more I think about it, I realize that it is not only in practiced performance that we feel the effect of body language. As important as they are in relaying messages in public speeches, body motion also give people social cues as to how to react or respond. One of my friends admitted that she thought I was upset with her because I had my back turned to her in such a way she thought I was exuding spite and indifference. Though body language is not a stagnant image, it creates images we encounter in our everyday lives that can (even unconsciously) be manipulated to communicate any message. As said in The King’s Speech, Colin Firth as King George VI, while watching a video of Hitler’s public speech, admits that he didn’t know what Hitler was saying “but he seems to be saying it rather well.” Oh the power of body language.

  • Allene Seet

    Image 1, “Omg!”

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=513500079761&set=o.2386879982 (the only place I could find the image was an old Facebook group, sorry!)

    This advertisement is a personal favorite, and one that has since been universally mocked by the Loyola populace (including myself). Last class, we talked a lot about the importance of the viewer’s role and how propaganda is used to manipulate the viewers desires, expectations, etc. I remember this sign being on the main route of the 147 bus running through campus, at the actual bus stop which lies at the intersection connecting classrooms and a street leading to several main upperclassmen dorms (location is key, just as was mentioned in relation to Augustus and his building program in our readings…there is also a private secondary school down the street, directly affiliated with the university). It directly aims its message at young college students inextricably meshed in a techno-language society (“txt speak”). Through this poster, Loyola (or the director of the “Values Campaign” launched back in 2006, which this particular advertisement comes from), purports itself as a university that understands its students’ mechanisms of thought and communication; the university is trying to engage in a trend that almost always avoids adults.
    “Out of all the slogans available, Loyola picked this?” was a common line during that notorious campaign; our school could have advertised its education standards, graduate success rate, or tremendous study abroad opportunities, but instead it chose to appeal to the blackberry generation in a way that seemed extremely cheap (at least to my friends and I). This was also a time when Loyola was letting in more students than it had space for, and there was a very palpable chasm between the higher administration’s agenda and the needs and goals of Loyola’s student body.
    The whole purpose of the values campaign was to advertise the potentials of a Jesuit education and Catholic leadership to potential applicants, to express Loyola’s thirst for the “pursuit of truth” (direct quote). These advertisements were, in my opinion, unsuccessful (and annoyed a lot of students) because they advertised our “truth” as a student instant-messaging in the back row during lecture. Not that that doesn’t happen; the main point is that this particular poster chose to portray that image instead of the far more important one of Loyola’s thousands of extremely talented and dedicated students (I don’t mean that disingenuously).
    Second place goes to another student favorite (which I have been unable to find, but it’s exactly the same type and background): “Rely on your ethics more than your Blackberry.” I understand the reasons behind this poster better, I believe (not that I’ve never mercilessly made fun of it).
    Image 2, “Obama”


    This image comes from directly in front of the Loyola el stop (conveniently placed next to Dunkin’ Donuts), and I walked past it almost every day for a week my senior year at Loyola. It was set up and manned by a group whom I believe call themselves the La Rouchians (I’m not an expert, as I avoided all contact with their booth, except to take a picture of it). This is a more pointed example of what we would call propagandistic manipulation. I have no way of knowing who authorized it, so I’m not 100% positive if it fits into the technical term “propaganda” that our readings were working toward (I think it’s more complex than it seems…I’m still untangling it). But the men and women working the booth were sending a very pointed message by comparing Obama to Hitler, and one that they knew would likely have elicited a very immediate, charged reaction from its viewers.
    News Channel Slogans:
    Didn’t both FOX and CNN both come out with eerily similar slogans after msnbc released “Lean Forward”?
    At any rate, msnbc’s new slogan identifies the network as the bipartisan herald that it is…not. I can’t tell if, instead, they’re just being incredibly honest and saying “Yes, we do have certain political leanings, so let’s get on with it and talk about the issues that actually matter.”
    The specific images in the campaign of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow show that the network wants to be seen as hard-working (spreading papers out on the ground), intelligent (glasses), and involved (Rachel Maddow’s very scrunched brow) in what they see as the correct way of filtering the news. Who knows if these scenes were casually shot? They’re certainly impeccably placed and make the two anchors, and thus msnbc, look smarter than other networks.

  • Courtney Mastrangelo

    I would consider myself a stereotypical teenage girl in the sense that I could spend hours upon hours reading gossip and beauty magazines. Every page is filled with different layouts of clothing and accessories, scandalous pictures and articles about the lives of celebrities, and the ultimate downfall of the teenage girl’s self esteem: advertisements. I must confess that I anxiously await the arrival of my monthly Teen Vogue. This month there is an article on the cover titled, “Love Your Curves: Celebs Share Their Self-Confidence Secrets.” I flipped open the much anticipated issue to look for the index. Right off the bat I am forced to flip through ten pages of advertisements; or should I say ten pages of models, airbrushed to perfection? How could they possibly want me to “love [my] curves” after seeing beautiful girls that are either anorexic or on the verge of becoming anorexic? (See example of February 2011 Louis Vuitton advertisement: http://www.fashionwindows.net/2011/01/louis-vuitton-unveils-spring-summer-2011-advertising-campaign). By the time I reached the index, I was thinking about what I had eaten earlier that day. I was no longer interested in what this whole “Love Your Curves” article had to say; I was defeated by the power of advertisements. The American media places a burden on young women to fit a certain body type. They stuff magazines with as many advertisements as they possibly can with the intention of displaying what America sees as the definition of beautiful. I consider this a type of brain washing that leads to eating disorders, hyper-gymnasia, and the most common effect, low self-esteem. Who is this America anyway? When and why did they define these images as the epitome of beauty? The message of whomever this “America” is has left the young women of today with a distorted perception of beauty.

    Advertisements not only try to appeal to our image on outer beauty, but also inner beauty or health. The anti-smoking campaigns have begun to manipulate our emotions. Take this ad for example: http://www.dailyhaha.com/_pics/anti_smoking_ad_children.htm. There is a young, innocent child, with wide eyes gazing off into the distance with hopes and dreams. When you take a closer look, you see some sort of a halo—a halo of cigarette smoke that is – that symbolizes an end to this innocent child’s life. Instead of showing the damage done to one’s own body by smoking, this ad targets the malignant effects of second hand smoke upon innocent bystanders. The message has been manipulated to say, “How could you kill this child?” The particular advertisement and various others have created an everyday image of smokers as killers to the helpless and innocent.

    Now that smokers are depicted as killers of the innocent, chewing tobacco companies like Skoal have capitalized on the fact that it is smokeless. In a Skoal advertisement (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41639453@N00/2260269102/), the company shows a picture of a “soccer star” and includes a short paragraph about the different flavors you can enjoy. It emphasizes that “going smokeless is a might fine way to enjoy tobacco.” This advertisement in particular appeals to those who consider themselves athletes. These athletes begin to reason that there is no affect of this tobacco on their lungs; hence there is no affect on their performance. This manipulation has lead many to overlook the dangers of throat and mouth cancer. From personal experience, I have found that there is a vast amount of athletes that have fallen for this message.

    Unfortunately, some types of advertisements have affected the youth in a negative way, like Skoal and Louis Vuitton, by creating distorted images of what the youth should do and how the youth should look. In contrast, there are also everyday advertisements, like the anti-smoking ones, that affect society in a positive way by recognizing the inevitable hazards of drugs. Overall, the media plays a huge role in American society. We all have to discover and accept our own personal beliefs so that we are not easily influenced by the diabolical messages of the media.

  • Danny Rivera

    The television series “Mad Men” is a double-edged sword when it comes to advertising. For the uninitiated, the show is set at an ad agency in New York city during the so-called “Golden Age” of advertising. The main characters, specifically Don Draper, are really good at what they do: selling products. Now, whether the show is accurate in its depiction of what goes on in an advertising agency, or even what goes into successfully advertising a product is irrelevant. What matters is what the show itself is selling.
    In the first episode, we see Don Draper successfully pitch a new advertising campaign to Lucky Strike cigarettes. See here:

    Now, the show openly condemns cigarettes in this episode, showing how the cigarette companies are trying to deal with the recent medical discoveries of just how bad cigarettes are. However, in this scene, Don Draper demonstrates just how good he is at his job. The episode goes on to show that his boss loves him, his co-workers admire him, women love him: he’s cool. What does he do? He smokes, he drinks, he womanizes. The show recognizes that these are bad things, but glorifies them anyway. Don Draper and his cohorts have graced the covers of magazines across the world for the last few years, essentially with the title “Women want him, men want to be him,” and its numerous television awards and often being referred to on said magazines as “the best show on TV” only support that idea.

    Now what happens when someone recognizes what Don revealed in this episode (Advertising tells you…”what you’re doing is okay”) and turns it on its head? The world-famous graffiti artist Banksy took two advertising giants, McDonald’s and Disney and paired them with the iconic photo of a young girl in Vietnam crying after being burned by napalm *some might consider this graphic*:

    The implications of the piece are numerous, but the undeniable effect is that images that normally tell you “what you’re doing is okay” (McDonald’s and Disney) is paired with something universally considered not okay (suffering children).

    Finally, the ads Don “created” on “Mad Men” actually were run for years in the early twentieth century:

    And ads like that are still being run in magazines today:

    Enjoy Newport! It’s just as fun as a birthday!

  • Ryan Day

    North Korea is clearly known for their propaganda, but I’m not sure how many people know that they think the same about us. North Koreas teaches their children how to resist “imperialist propaganda.” In a way it is kind of confusing and almost makes us ask whether or not our news about them is also propaganda.http://www.korea-dpr.com/ocn/?paged=2

    The World Net Daily is probably one of the biggest sources of religious hatred and bigotry on the web but they, like the North Koreans also believe they are the victims of propaganda. This article specifically talks about homosexuality, and I think it is a very good example of religiously motivated propaganda.

    Chinese propaganda about tibet is widespread and many groups take it upon themselves to point it out. This article discusses some chinese propaganda, and its dissemination.

    This last one is both amusing and frightening at the same time. A group of people have started to say that the Harry Potter books are attempts to convert children to witchcraft.

  • Brendan Dorsey

    Safeway gave me a book of coupons the other day after I bought my groceries. The theme for this particular piece of marketing is the Super Bowl and Super Bowl parties, and all of the marketing efforts revolve around imagery of football and stereotypical party foods, beverages, and behaviors. Like much lower-budget marketing, pictures of the products on sale feature prominently. However, they are all displayed in a festive and football themed environment. For example one coupon for water features a football player making a diving catch for a water bottle. Many others show snack foods decoratively displayed on party platters. More importantly, each coupon or product is introduced by several “tips” for a successful Super Bowl party, the last of which invariably recommends the product on the page (e.g “Provide your guests with at least 2-3 options of non-alcoholic flavored drinks such as A&W, 7UP, Sunkist, and Canada Dry”). We see in this the effort to present the goods on sale as essential or highly desirable for a game day party.
    Georgetown’s public safety and public health advertising also uses manipulated imagery to convey a particular message. Everything from the “Bark Up!” posters around campus to the H1N1 awareness flyers uses a bright color scheme and prominent placement of Jack the Bulldog or other Hoya mascots to inspire the desired reactions from the audience. The sense of school spirit ties the public safety and public health ideas to Georgetown, and suggests that responsible members of the Georgetown community who care about the community as a whole will abide by the message being communicated. Similarly, the bright color schemes and use of images like the Bulldog bring certain degree of fun to an otherwise very serious point. This theoretically makes it more accessible to college students.
    This use of imagery to evoke particular responses can also be seen in the news media. The Wall Street Journal, for example, seems to rely heavily on photographs of Obama in essentially only one pose: wagging his finger at an audience while in the middle of a speech (this is only an impression, as I have not actually catalogued all the photos, but I think a close analysis would support this claim). The Wall Street Journal is generally not shy about its opposition to many of Obama’s policies and actions, and the intimidating and unflattering images published in articles related or pertaining to him reinforce the negative perspective that paper has of the President.

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