6 Propaganda Posters and What They Teach Us about Persuasion - #infographic

The significant effects of social media influencers on the popularity of brands are observable daily by all of us. Even though it may not seem like it at times, these influencers follow some tried and tested techniques that have been around since before social media was even a concept. History remembers that posters promoting war efforts or certain regimes have at times been tools that led to resounding successes for those ideas.

Propaganda posters had to convey their messages in an extremely simplistic and direct way so as to really get through to the public and convince them of an cause. The clarity of the message and the evident use of persuasive tactics makes them ideal case studies for modern advertisers. Even in today’s world, where it can seem like people are being overwhelmed with advertising messages every second of every day, there is little that beats the power of simplicity and clarity. To begin to understand and utilize advertising to its full potential, it is important to understand how human psychology plays into the decisions people make and what they choose to listen to. This is essentially the core of what advertising is, regardless of the form it takes. Knowing how to influence large amounts of people is immensely helpful when trying to promote a brand or an idea.

Using Dr. Robert Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” as a guide, Invaluable created this infographic explaining the 6 core principles of persuasion with the help of vintage propaganda posters. They include:


Reciprocity - This refers to the impulse people to repay gifts or favors they receive from other people, brands, or the government. By reminding them of something good that was done for them by a brand, an advertisement can reinforce positive feelings and make the audience want to do something good for the brand in turn.

Scarcity - This principle works on the basis that people want to obtain more of something that they think is scarce. A brand can communicate urgency of action to an audience due by letting them know that a certain product or service might soon be unavailable to them.

Authority - It is known that people are much more likely to listen to people or brands that they perceive as authority figures. Showing that a claim is supported by experts or other professionals can validate it and generate a more favorable impression among audiences.

Consistency - This is about maintaining a consistent message and reinforcing previously held beliefs or previous actions that yielded good results. People are more likely to take action if they are already partly convinced of a brand’s ideas.

Liking - The simple truth is that people tend to listen to people they like. If a brand is already in a favorable position with an audience, it has an advantage that it needs to fully use. If not, the brand needs to first build a rapport with its audience.

Consensus - Humans are social creatures by nature. A good way to get someone receptive to a certain message is by making them believe that they should act and think in a similar way to the brand’s existing audience in order to belong to a group or a movement. If the audience believes that their beliefs are mirrored by a brand or the brand’s audience, they are more likely to stay loyal to that brand.
6 Principles of Persuasion Explained With Propaganda Posters - #infographic

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