Propaganda by Cherity hall, brandon kaplan, & micheal bryant


"Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves." -Eric Hoffer


Propaganda is a wide and well known tactic used in various things from advertising to government control. It provides as a useful tool in deceiving those who do not have a clever eye; and therefore; leaves those individuals handing in the majority of people. Propaganda also has a foothold in government hands, where political officials use propaganda to trick the majority into swaying to their side, or even voting for that official during a campaign. Following the 2016 American election, there were many propaganda tactics used that lead the year 2016 and its election down into a path that left several in the dust. With the election's unique choice in candidates and how the election ran, it's no wonder that the propaganda used pushed in various directions, drawing international attention and portraying the 2016 election as one of the most deranged elections ever held.


The "Who We Are" commercial has a variety of propaganda techniques, totaling to over 5 different tactics and a few sub tactics used to draw in the audience. This commercial reflects an Anti-Trump and Pro-Clinton stance.

Appeal to Emotions

Clinton took advantage of her audience's emotions and used them to sway her viewers over to her side by using the appeal to emotions tactic. She uses strong words such as "families" and "together" to portray the message that the only way for America to push towards freedom is to work together, hence Clinton's slogan, "We Are Stronger Together" or as said in the commercial, "I believe we are always stronger together". The commercial also invokes the use of clips portraying people hugging, friends having a good time, mothers with their child(ren), as well as other clips of common folk to pull out a positive emotional feel from the audience.

A negative emotional appeal, specifically as an appeal to hate, is also shown by the clips of Trump stating and/or doing things that have a negative impact on the audience. Statements made such as "I'd like the punch him in the face. I'll tell you" and "Knock the crap out of him, would you? Seriously"(Trump) reflect threats made against one or more individuals. These statements hold a negative output for the audience, possibly making it less likely that Trump would be voted for in the future.


There are various symbols within the commercial, such as the American flag, the Statue of Liberty, which portray both a positive and negative message. Most notably, the American flag is shown to portray freedom that is gained from working together, spending the message that if Clinton became president, she would ensure that freedom would be gained by working together with the people.

Color Symbolism is also portrayed, as compared to the bright colors shown when Clinton is in the scene, Trump's scenes show dulled out colors. The positive appeal is given when bright colors are shown, such as yellow and orange, while the negative appeal is given when the gray and dulled out colors show.

Plain Folks

Plain Folks is used throughout the commercial while attempting to show that Clinton is in fact just like any other human being, allowing for her audience to relate to her in the situations shown. A few examples portraying the Plain Folks aspect such as the scene where Clinton is shown visiting and shaking hands of children/students, as well as another scene showing her in a restaurant-like area, with comestibles on the table and casually dressed people around her (excluding the male to the left wearing a grey suit).

Glittering Generalities

Attention to the values and beliefs held by the audience was closely held by the commercial, as there are several statements relating to these without going into much detail. Such a statement is, as stated by Clinton: "It's time to unite behind some simple common goals, to build a strong economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, an economy that creates jobs families can really live on, to work with our allies around the world and keep our families safe at home, to give every man, woman, and child the chance to live up to their god-given potential" relates to these values and beliefs without going into much detail. This draws in the audience, making them think that their deeply held values and beliefs are also held by the candidate while being vague about what the actual message is.


Name-calling is prominent in clips showing the negative aspect of Trump's campaign, as he's shown insulting or even threatening one or more individuals. As stated by Trump, "Knock the crap out of him, would you? Seriously". This sends a threat towards an individual, giving a sense of fear. Another such statement by Trump, "You should see this guy. Agh I don't know what I said. Agh I don't remember". This statement insults a disabled reporter, portraying Trump as someone who sees the disabled below him and fines amusement in insulting them. Clinton uses this to portray Trump as someone to fear and/or hate, as if sending the message that if he gets into office, it may well be the end of America.


This commercial reflects up to 3 different propaganda tactics as well as a few sub-tactics to draw in its audience. It as well takes a Pro-Trump and Anti-Clinton stance.


The American flag is used as a symbol to portray a positive message about Trump's America, where every citizen of the United States will live in the luxury of freedom and the American dream if Trump became president.

Color symbolism is also used to portray both positive and negative effects. During the beginning of the commercial, clips showing "Clinton's America" have a duller color scheme and a faded black outline around each of the clips. Black, gray, as well as duller versions of brighter colors such as red and blue are shown in the Clinton clips, as if trying to portray that "Clinton's America" would be a depression of life and poverty. Clips showing "Trump's America" often show bright versions of the colors red and blue, with other colors such as white and yellow all portraying that if Trump became president; America would be that of joy, happiness, and prosperity.

Glittering Generalities

Glittering Generalities is portrayed through the various statements made by Trump trying to make the audience think that voting for him will reap wondrous results for the people of America while providing little to no information. Statements such as: "In Donald Trump's America, working families get tax relief", "Millions of new jobs created", and "The American Dream, achievable"(Trump) all refer to the values and beliefs deeply held by the audience. This sways the audience into believing that if Trump became president, "the American dream" would be achievable, and their lives would hold the presumed prosperous growth and benefit gained by the Trump presidency.


Trump uses Bandwagon to pull more individuals to his side, making them think since everyone else is supporting him, they should as well. Two separate clips show a crowd of people surrounding Trump, where both show the audience cheering, taking pictures, and "flailing" signs that say things such as "Make America Work Again" and "Latinos Para Trump"(Translates roughly to "Latinos for Trump"). This shows the heavy support the crowds have for Trump, and tries to pull in any individual on the outside into supporting Trump via peer pressure or simply "everyone else is doing it, so should you".


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