A World In Spin
Propaganda. A term used in excess within recent years. A term that makes many roll their eyes and say “I don’t fall for it.” A term that everyone is aware of and yet it is still a practice that everyone falls victim to. Whether it is in public relations, marketing, or any form of consumable media, propaganda, otherwise known as “spin”, is at the forefront.
Spin is an aggressive form of propaganda achieved through a biased interpretation of an event or campaign. When we think aggressive, we think loud and in your face. Any tried and true communications professional will know that our aggression of choice is quiet and used with surgical precision. To weave thoughts and ideas through the audiences’ very being to create a mental connection with a strong emotional tie. So subtle, so gentle, and yet so meaningful that the subject has no idea it even happened.
In a media-saturated world, we see it now more than ever before. Movies telling you what is “cool”, advertisements telling you what is “normal”, news teaching you what you should and shouldn’t care about, and magazines telling you how to be the “perfect” person. The list goes on and on to form our beliefs, likes, dislikes, and even our life goals.
But why do we listen? Because we want to belong. We want to feel a sense of community and meaning, all of which were traditionally found within the small villages that we existed in before the Industrial Revolution. During this revolution, we were given freedom from a life bound to centuries-old duties passed on from one generation to the next. With that freedom came loneliness and that loneliness is what propaganda feeds on.
As Jaques Ellul said “The most favorable moment to seize a man and influence him is when he is alone in the mass. It is at this point that propaganda can be most effective”.
A great example of this is sports. Advertising doesn’t sell you the sport. They sell you the community, the excitement, and the fellowship that comes with rooting for a team. You belong and you want to belong. So do you really like the sport or do you actually like the sense of belonging that it gives you? This is a question that you should be asking yourself in all areas of life. Do you actually care about it or were you told to care about it? That is a complex web to untangle.
Many will argue that they were influenced by their parents. That is who raised them and taught them, not media or propaganda. But who taught your parents and who taught their parents? You could erase all forms of media from a generation and yet they would still be influenced by it because the generation raising them was formed by it and they will use that to guide the generation after them. It is a cycle. An unending and enduring one with a plethora of minds waiting to be shaped.
We come into this world moldable and the hands of propaganda gently twist and press, crease and then polish our minds for the rest of our lives to create the perfect consumer who will jump when they are told. So, if you could take it all away, who are you, really? You may want to take more time to consider this before you continue to walk with the masses.
Do you need help “spinning” your brand story in the most effective and authentic way? Contact us.