Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More on propaganda

Propaganda doesn't have to be as blatantly overt as a film by Josef Goebbels or Michael Moore.

The dictionary tells us that propaganda is information of a biased or one-sided nature, usually casting some subject in a negative light. It can be outright lies, or it can be lies by omission. But the thesaurus also lists "advertising" as a synonym.

Many advertisements flash by us each day, most having little effect on us. Here is one that flashed by me the other day, but I reached out and grabbed it, analyst that I am.

What is the purpose of the above ad? What is the bank trying to achieve? Is it propaganda? Do you think the bank is truly "committed" to our military and wants to give them a warm and personal banking experience? Do you think the fact that the family in the picture is black is coincidental? Does this ad persuade you that this big bank is really caring and gives individual attention to all their customers? Does it make you want to do business with them? Vomit at their insulting patronizing? What?


  1. I'd say they just want your money.
    And think that this will earn them some good will with the black military dollar earners.

    The loving family, oh, that Norman Rockwell feel-good factor. All they need is a black grandpa Santa passing out free bottles of coke in the background to be just perfect.
    Is this the same bank that sends out the foreclosure notice when our hero returns to civilian life, but loses his job because the post-traumatic stress disorder makes him difficult to be around, volatile and temperamental some days, moody and detached and slow on others?
    No, no... surely not.

  2. I have a low tolerance for advertising and mass media because of the blatant manipulation (and that applies across the board, liberal and conservative and everything in between). It seems to me that the notion of providing an honest service for an honest dollar has all be evaporated and those with the most money think that, if they send their message out couched in the right terms and often enough, anyone will swallow any amount of BS.

    Unfortunately, history argues that works. But it turns my stomach.

  3. The propaganda I've noticed recently has all been of the eco-friendly variety - the channel tunnel is eco-friendly, the autoroute service staions are shut while they make them eco-friendly. Then there are the ones that are so nobly supporting the Olympic Games....

  4. @Soubriquet - but they already HAVE the money of everyone who sees this ad. Something more sinister is going on here.

    @Stephanie Barr - "...if they send their message out couched in the right terms and often enough, anyone will swallow any amount of BS."

    It has always worked for me. :)

    @Adullamite - It does. But how will non-customers ever see this message? Maybe I am being too analytical. Maybe they are just burning off some of that excess bailout billions that Obama gave them.

    @A. -I believe in eco-friendly. And I believe if you repeat something often enough, many people will believe you. This blog is VERY eco-friendly. Tonight I saw a TV commercial showing smiling folks from various gulf coast states inviting their fellow Americans to come on down to the beautiful gulf coast for the winter. It showed gamblers swimming in the beautiful surf. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Smiling faces with cute accents. Commercial paid for by BP, our friends the oil drillers. "Look how well we've cleaned it up. Stop suing us." That was the message I received.



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