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Age Of Propaganda: The Use And Abuse Of Persuasion By Anthony Pratkanis And Elliot Aronson

1154 words - 5 pages

Today, we are bombarded by messages; not just text messages, or electronic messages, but marketing messages. With modern technological advances, advertisers are competing for the consumer’s attention. When we are crowded by these images, we no longer recognize them and fall into their carefully designed traps. This behavior leads to more extreme tactics deployed by the mass media to catch the attention of its demographic. Eventually, the companies are producing and promoting propaganda. This trend is pointed out in the non-fiction book, Age of Propaganda: The Use and Abuse of Persuasion by Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson. The two authors explain how the media and advertisers use a ...view middle of the document...

The only right decisions after this commercial is to donate money. If you did not, you would be a heartless puppy murderer, to be put bluntly. The entire commercial is fabricated in a way where the scenario presented leaves only one option, to donate, and convince others to donate as well.
Secondly, the stratagem that comes after the pre-persuasion is source credibility. This is quite self-explanatory, but the idea when it comes to media is a tad more complicated. In the terms of research papers and scholarly articles, source credibility is checking to make sure the people writing and researching their certain topics are capable of the job. According to Age of Propaganda: The Use and Abuse of Persuasion, source credibility is, “In other words, the communicator needs to appear likeable or authoritative or trustworthy or possessed of any other attribute that would facilitate persuasion” (Pratkanis and Aronson, 51). An obvious example of this is celebrity endorsement. If the product is a skin care product, you want your model and spokesperson to have a smooth complexion. If the product is a car, you want the person endorsing the motor vehicle to be a winning NASCAR driver. For quite some time, Tiger Woods was the main spokesperson for the sports drink Gatorade. He is an athlete, which was the perfect fit for a drink aimed towards athletes. Tiger Woods was a credible source for Gatorade up until rather recently. After his scandal with sex addiction, he was pulled from the campaign. With the bad reputation attached to his name, Tiger Woods lost his credibility with the public, and in turn he lost his spot with Gatorade. Who is selling your image is just as important as the message itself.
The one point of advertising that most consumers recognize is the message. Often it is shrouded in complicated marketing tactics. Pratkanis and Aronson define the message as, “The third stratagem is to construct and deliver a message that focuses the target’s attention and thoughts on exactly what the communicator wants them to think about…” (51). A common viewer of advertising may say that the message is the most important part of a campaign, but that is not always true. It is the driving force behind convincing people they need the product. It is tricky to say ‘buy my product’ outright, so marketing firms have found ways to convince consumers that buying the product was...

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