Ms. Gokturk


Making Propaganda or Ads for Oryx and Crake (193-218)


We are consumers. We buy products, services, ideas, causes, politics.  You name it, we buy it.  We may not always realize that others are pushing us to consume through advertising and propaganda. How do they do that?


Propaganda is the term for one-directional one-to-many communication that promotes a point of view or a political cause. Advertising is the term for one-directional one-to-many communication that promotes commercial goods and services and tries to convert existing general needs into specific wants.


We hear the word ‘propaganda,’ we often think the worst, like it’s a con or a lie; however, the term itself is actually neutral. Propaganda is “The spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person;  ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect.” The word propaganda refers to any technique that attempts to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes or behavior of a group in order to benefit the sponsor. The purpose of propaganda is to persuade (in order to benefit the sponsor).  These same techniques are used to sell us products in advertising!


YOUR TASK: Working with a partner, select an idea or object from the reading to sell to people. Create TWO “sells.” ON THE FRONT: create an image, clearly name your ‘product’ and create a tagline/jingle. Imagine published in a magazine or online.  It should be catchy and visually engaging. ON THE BACK: Please explain A) the propaganda device/s you used and how and B) Who is your target audience?


Products / Institutions /  to Sell from the reading


Asperger’s U / Watson-

Crick University

Martha Graham University

Applied Rhetoric course

Bullet Train




Botanical Transgenics Unit


Wall Paper


Butterflies (200)

Chickie nobs

Student Services

Watson Crick t-shirts

BioDefence Unit


Crossing the Line

Watson Crick Dining Hall

Watson-Crick Housing

Fridge Magnets

Creating/Curing Diseases @ HelthWyzer

MaddAddam Grandmasters


Parasitic Wasp

Insulation Addicted Mouse

Coffee Weevils

Porcupine Beaver Rodents

Tar Eating Microbe



Some other object, invention, service or idea?






1.    Bad Names: Method by which we are tempted to judge without looking at the real facts. Ex., guilty, fungus, liberal, infected, diseased, wishy-washy, radical, terrorist, tree-hugger, bum.

2.    Glad Names: Keeping the reader’s attention from real facts by using pleasant word. Ex., truth, freedom, sexy, beautiful, lovely.

3.    Transfer: The writer tells us or reminds us of something which we admire and about something which he wants us to like. Ex., A politician may point out that he teaches Sunday school. Since most people have good feelings for churches, the politician hopes the good feeling will transfer to him.

4.    Testimonial: A well-known person is saying that he likes something or a product or a person. This is also called a celebrity endorsement.

5.    Plain Folks: Politicians use this a great deal to win our confidence by appearing to be just common ordinary people, “just plain folks.”

6.    Stacking the Cards: DO not tell the full truth; omit important facts. A writer is directing the reader’s attention to one detail.

7.    Bandwagon: Everyone is doing it, why aren’t you? It’s time to join the crowd. Ex., Don’t be different. Don’t be a loser.

8.    Special Offer: discount, sales, coupons, etc. are offered to draw customers.

9.    Eye Appeal: Items look good using special photographic techniques that make something or a person look better than reality.

10. Happy Family Appeal: This tries to show that by using this product, you keep your family happy and healthy.

11. Snob Appeal: This technique appeals to those who are wealthy or want others to think that they are wealthy, and superior to everyone else.

12. Youth Appeal: This technique wants others to believe that if they use this product, they are youthful.

13. Sex Appeal: This technique tries to make you believe that if you use this product, or way of thinking, you are sexy and more sensual.

14. Something New: This device tries to win your thinking that the product or person has something new to offer.

15. Humble Approach: A device use to win you over on the belief that the product is not number one, but they are trying their best.

16. Statistics: Any use of numbers/ percentages, which is used to sway the audience to believe they are correct or better than another.

17. Humor: This method is used to manipulate others through the use of jokes or any form of humor.

18. Fear: Warns audience that a disaster will follow if they don’t do something the ad proposes; this lessens the fear.

19. Weasel claim: Words or claims that appear substantial upon first look but disintegrate into hollow meaninglessness on analysis are weasels. Commonly used weasel words include "helps" (the champion weasel); "like" (used in a comparative sense); "virtual" or "virtually"; "acts" or "works"; "can be"; "up to"; "as much as"; "refreshes"; "comforts"; "tackles"; "fights"; "come on"; "the feel of"; "the look of"; "looks like"; "fortified"; "enriched"; and "strengthened."

20. Unfinished Claim:  The unfinished claim is one in which the ad claims the product is better, or has more of something, but does not finish the comparison. "Magnavox gives you more." More what?

21. We’re Different than Others Claim:  This kind of claim states that there is nothing else quite like the product being advertised. For example, if Schlitz would add pink food coloring to its beer they could say, "There's nothing like new pink Schlitz." The uniqueness claim is supposed to be interpreted by readers as a claim to superiority.

22. Water is Wet Claim:  "Water is wet" claims say something about the product that is true for any brand in that product category, (for example, "Schrank's water is really wet.") The claim is usually a statement of fact, but not a real advantage over the competition.  "Mobil: the Detergent Gasoline." Any gasoline acts as a cleaning agent.