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Propaganda terms

Deliberately selects only favorable evidence to lead the audience to the desired conclusion. It's telling only part of the story to "stack the deck" in favor of the product or idea.

Card Stacking

Advertisements that imply that "everyone is doing it" or at least "the cool people are doing it".
These ads urge people to "jump on the bandwagon" and join the majority.


The opposite of the association technique.
Uses dislikes or fears to promote a solution.
Claim to fix or prevent problems or fears.


The language of ads is full of intensifiers, including superlatives (greatest, best, lowest prices), comparatives (more, better than, improved), and hyperbole (amazing, incredible, forever)


Ads that show people endorsing the value or quality of a product or idea. This technique works because it seems like the person genuinely likes the product or agrees with the idea.


(i.e. scientists, doctors, professors and other professionals)

Expert Endorsement

We may believe a "regular person" more than an expert or celebrity. Often used to sell everyday products because we can see ourselves using the product, too.

Plain Folk

The use of so-called "virtue words" such as freedom, patriotism, motherhood, health, beauty, and love. Ads use these words so we blindly accept certain statements without examining the evidence or asking what the concept really means.

Glittering Generalities

We love new things and new ideas, because we tend to believe they're better than old things and old ideas. American culture places great faith in technology and progress.


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