As people engage in their day-to-day activities, they tend to interact with other individuals who try to convince them to change their perception about something. This is either on tv, youtube, or even face-to-face communication. To understand this well, it is crucial to focus on the distinction between persuading, arguments, and propaganda and select a good example that best describes each concept.
Propaganda is a form of communication that promote a certain goal or a point of view; it is used for behavior modification or opinion manipulation. Van Eemeren, F. H. (2015) explains that Disinformation and misinformation are frequently used in propaganda, which may effectively sway people’s notions. Over the decade, propaganda has been used in advertisement, politics, and war.
I think adverts and commercials are the best forms of propaganda that I can use to describe this concept well. Since they provide misleading information or twist the truth, political propaganda promotes a particular viewpoint. McLean, S. (2012) adds that utilizing propaganda in advertising is a tactic to sell a product by changing consumers’ opinions of rival products hence diverting customers’ attention. Since advertisers care less about their customers’ interests, they are dishonest and even lie, and their goal is only to convince them. An advert by Old Navy shows a young boy being driven to school by his mother. When they arrive at school, the child complains to his mother about his clothes and points to the people outside wearing casual outfits, telling her how nice it is to wear clothes like that. His mother wants him to appear presentable in formal attire. Then his mother queries the individuals regarding the clothing’s brand and cost. This advert’s main goal is to persuade viewers to wear a clothing brand to fit in with a particular crowd.
Argumentation is using assertions to persuade someone or something that their point of view is accurate. However, arguments can also present viewpoints that are opposed to those of others. Consequently, the best means of communication for arguments are face-to-face communication. Face-to-face communication allows the parties to exchange knowledge that will strengthen arguments (Van Eemeren, 2015). Moreover, communication enables individuals to interpret facial emotions and body language to grasp the suitability of a specific argument.
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary gives two basic meanings of an argument: A talk or discussion in which two or more people dispute, frequently angrily, and a justification for something, or justifications in support of something. To have an argument with someone or to have an argument about something, or to win or lose an argument, can all be used to refer to the first type of dispute, a conversation between opposing parties. For example, Theo and Ollie disagree on the best player between Messi and Ronaldo. There was a heated discussion regarding who was the greatest of all time because both had opposing viewpoints.
The argument for or against anything and argument can be used with the second definition of argument and a justification used to demonstrate one’s correctness. Theo argued that Ronaldo is the best because he has shown his capability in different leagues and has scored more goals. His justification was that Ronaldo has 996 appearances and has scored 676 goals compared to Messi, who has scored 625 goals and at the age of 36 years has joined the best team, Manchester United, which is not obvious since most players retire at the age of 32years. In the first three appearances, Messi, who is younger, has scored four goals, joined the so-called “farmers league” but has not scored any goals. While Ollie argued that Messi is a one-man team and that his impact is incredible, he looks like a boy in next door but performs like “god.” Messi has more ballon D’or than Ronaldo and can switch positions easily. Pitch (2021). Communication is more of an argument than propaganda or persuasion because everyone is defending or trying to persuade each other why their preference is the best compared to the other.
The communication process to influence people’s behavior and attitudes without using physical force and utilizes coercion to change people’s minds is known as persuasion. The main aim of persuasion communication is to get audiences to apprehend, take, and comprehend the message they later act upon (Van Eemeren, 2015). Radio and television are useful—forms of persuasion through communication, especially when applied to advertisements. The networks advertise specific goods and services in a way that influences potential clients’ perceptions of the quality of such goods. Customers are thus forced to purchase the products through effective communication. Persuasion is persuading viewers to purchase a specific product through advertisements. Political discussions in which politicians seek to persuade voters to support them are similar. In daily life, persuasion is a strong force that significantly affects society.
Negative examples of persuasion are often remembered, such as publicity that tries to convince people to purchase things they do not require, teenagers who make poor decisions due to peer pressure, or who are intentionally given false information, according to McLean, S. (2012). On the other side, considering public service or health campaigns urging people to recycle, quit smoking, or practice social seclusion to protect themselves and their community is an example of how persuasion may be used for good.
Political campaigns, conventional media, social networks, and publicity all use persuasion to alter public opinion. According to McLean (2012), People occasionally prefer to believe that they are resistant to persuasion, that they can see through the sales pitch, see the reality of a situation, and draw conclusions. In my case, a good example of percussion communication falls under a political campaign whereby politicians use ads online to persuade undecided voters. During her campaign, Hillary Clinton created emotional video Ads about immigration. Her response to the lady is that she does not have to worry. Let me worry; I will worry about everything; I will do everything I can to help. I am Hillary Clinton, and I approve of the message. Clinton (2016). Surely that message is so strong to persuade thousands of voters with similar interests. The campaign then used customary targeting tools to connect with potential supporters of the cause: the online ads created to aid Hillary Clinton’s campaign were more of persuasion than an argument or propaganda because it was meant to convince people to vote for her. She is targeting a certainly interested population.
In conclusion, to make a good opinion, it is better first to differentiate the terms that almost sound the same, but how are they different? Persuasion aims to persuade someone to change their mind, while an argument strives to explain what someone believes. Moreover, propaganda is also known to spread information, arguments, rumors, half-truths, or outright lies to influence public opinion.
Cialdini, R. B. (2013). The six principles of persuasion. [Books24x7 version] Available in the Trident Online
Clinton, H. (2016, February 18). Brave | Hillary Clinton. YouTube. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axN-hs4slpY
Incrementors Web Solutions. (2021, January 5). Old: Propaganda bandwagon old navy commercial. Old: Propaganda Bandwagon Old Navy Commercial. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9ECeFZYjaU
McLean, S. (2012). Chapter 14: Presentations to persuade. Communication for Business Success. Retrieved from https://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/communication-for-business- success/s18-presentations-to-persuade.html
Van Eemeren, F. H. (2015). Rhetoric, argument, and persuasion. The International Encyclopedia of Communication, 1-5. doi:10.1002/9781405186407.wbiecr039.pub3
Pitch Side. (2021). Messi vs. Ronaldo Heated Debate. YouTube. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXnG3vFxtDo.