Difference b/w Advertising and Propaganda

Since the beginning of humanity, people have sought to influence the mood and decisions of others; this for a myriad of reasons, ranging from a way of ensuring survival to the desire to exercise and dominate over others to obtain various benefits. Difference b/w Advertising and Propaganda

As societies have advanced, persuasion methods have also changed and evolved. In ancient times it was common to persuade through the word, hence in history many orators and philosophers stand out ; but already in more modern times, with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution; the desire to convince and attract others gave way to the emergence of many new techniques, including: advertising and propaganda.

If you think that the two previous terms have the same meaning, you are very wrong. But do not worry, because below we are going to clarify what is the difference between propaganda and advertising.


The purpose of advertising is to promote the desire for consumer goods, for this it uses various methods that range from the use of images and other multimedia elements; even suggestive phrases.

Through advertising, it seeks to emotionally persuade people to buy certain products or services. Advertisers use many of people’s latent desires to their advantage: to be rich, to be beautiful, to be more popular, to be smarter… and in this way they convince them to buy a certain product.

Today, advertising permeates our culture; we see advertisements in newspapers, television, the internet, magazines, billboards, shopping centers and of course; in this page.

Through technology, advertising seeks to reach as many people as possible. Many times it uses exaggeration or hyperbole to influence the minds of consumers.

Advertising has two main audiences: consumers and businesses. Advertisers inform people about the products or services offered by a certain company, for this reason data such as location and prices are usually included in the same advertisement.

As you may have noticed after reading all this, the main characteristic of advertising is that it is focused on business .

PROPAGANDA  Difference b/w Advertising and Propaganda

Unlike advertising, advertising is not done for the purpose of selling any product or service; rather, what it seeks is to influence people’s attitudes. Change the way of thinking, opinions and even their beliefs.

Technology and various multimedia elements are also used for propaganda; Furthermore, in this case hyperbole is also used to convey certain ideas to the public. But in this case, it is not about selling anything.

Propaganda influences even educational systems and has the characteristic that its effect is usually more lasting and radical than that of advertising.

Two of the most recognizable forms of propaganda are political and religious. Political propaganda becomes especially evident in election season, when opposition candidates begin to “get their opponents out in the sun” to damage each other’s reputations and increase their popularity.

In politics, propaganda is one of the most powerful arsenals used to influence public opinion.

On the other hand, religious propaganda comes in many forms; but essentially in all cases it plays with the emotions of individuals, encouraging them to behave in a certain way.

Other forms of propaganda that we are used to are those that have to do with sexuality choices, racism, drugs, health care and lifestyle. Some advertisements can be positive when, for example, it seeks to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Generally, advertisements are not carried out by companies, but by groups of all levels: religious organizations, political parties, ethnic groups …

In conclusion, it may be that they differ in their purposes; But the line that separates advertising from propaganda is very fine, so much so that in many cases; both can go hand in hand. When advertising, companies could use a certain ideology to attract more buyers to their products. Through this ideology they can create a kind of reason, motivation or need in the minds of consumers.

Similarly, many advertisements are combined with advertising-based messages; in order to be more successful in your purpose. Both are different, but they intertwine on many occasions.

In both cases, it seeks to reach the emotions, beliefs, desires and needs of the audience in order to achieve their purposes.

Key differences between advertising and propaganda

  • Advertising is business focused and developed by companies, while propaganda is often exercised by social groups.
  • Propaganda has the purpose of changing attitudes, beliefs … while advertising has the purpose of selling products and services.
  • Propaganda has more lasting effects than advertising.

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