At Blueliner, how do we create a fusion between digital art and advertising? In the first installment of our new design series, we’ll let you know exactly how.
In this piece, our Senior Graphic Designer, Eduard Balaz, gives you an insight into our evenly weighed respect for tradition and our hunger for all things contemporary.
Eduard, the floor is yours!
When shaping a piece of digital art or an advertisement, I usually start with an innovative symbolic combination which produces targeted metaphors and an appealing visual storytelling approach that speaks for itself. The use of digital technologies enables me to manipulate words, images, colors, and structures with ease. But what I always have in mind is a balance between old and new stimulus — the known symbols, its innovative hybridization, and the way I use the element of surprise to attract attention and guide emotion in a positive way.
In general, advertising is marketing communication through various mass media aiming to promote or sell product or idea. Throughout the blog series, I will make an emphasis on the visual elements of the ad, propaganda techniques, the origin of infographics, humor as the vehicle, etc. I will show some old-school “tricks of the trade” that work in digital social media as good as they did in analog mass media for centuries. The first story to come is:
Propaganda — The Power of Emotion
propagate | ˈpräpəˌɡāt |
promote, publicize and spread an idea, theory, particular cause, etc.
Development of mass media (radio, newspapers, movies, TV) in XX century led to the emergence of mass audiences. That “lonely crowd” was a product of technological societies which acquired identity via media and used propaganda for social integration. As a promotional technique, propaganda is based on emotion, persuasion, suggestion and biased information often detached from supporting reason or logic. It is widely used by governments, political and religious organizations, corporations, individuals to promote a particular point of view.
But propaganda should not be treated as a relic of the ideological past of the Cold War. Nowadays, in the era of nudge theory and social media ‘fake news’, propaganda tactics are alive and kicking, which requires conscientious receiving of the message by the end user.
Back in 1937, in order to educate the American public and raise media awareness, the Institute of Propaganda Analysis identified the most common propaganda techniques:
- Glittering Generalities, an outcome of abstract language, words with a positive bias that rise powerful emotions such as Freedom, Welfare, Progress, and Share.
- Transfer, which redirects positive or negative values from a person to an object or a place to a person (e.g. distinguished professionals transfer their credibility to commercial products like celebrity sportsmen to sportswear brand or historical memorial to a political candidate).
- Testimonial, a public statement of celebrities or influencers endorsing a product or a service.
- Plain Folks, a fabricated impression that represented public figure (or a group) is one of us, a part of ordinary people.
- Name Calling, employed in political action, ideology, or popular culture, designed to arouse prejudice by using bad names calling and negative ridicule words.
- Card Stacking, a piece of overwhelming evidence that highlights one side and hides the other side of the story.
- Band Wagon, an address targeted to an audience to join mass movements, organizations, trends, fads, or simply to “follow the crowd.”
If applied for the wrong purpose, propaganda techniques might have negative connotations. Although it could be said that not all advertising is propaganda, in our technocratic culture, propaganda is part of everyday persuasion that brings forth social interaction, values, and fads of post-industrial society.
With respect paid to classic and modern applications of these various techniques for persuasion via emotion, stay tuned for the next installment where we will move into some visceral examples of when and how we deploy these techniques for our clients.