Exploring the Effectiveness of Propaganda and Counter- Propaganda in Contemporary Society
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In this contemporary age of information in a democratic society, we sift through the messages and decide for ourselves which product to buy, which production we go to, the political party we support, etc. This power of independent thought is brought into question by one particular product: cigarettes. It is the only product on the market that when used as per the manufacturer's specifications, will actually harm the user, and the only mention of them in the public media is grossly anti-smoking; yet the act of smoking persists. Some could chalk this up to the fact that they are addictive, but how does one start in this day and age? How do cigarettes, despite a massive image war in the media, still hold themselves to be symbols of power, intellect, independence and mystery? My essay about tobacco advertising and its propagandistic properties attempts to explore the functionality of pro and anti smoking ads, and explain why 40 years after the abolition of tobacco advertising that cigarettes can be more commonly associated with a rebellious teen leaning on a brick wall, than a a cancer patient. The format is an interactive essay which contains links to many relevant videos at designated times in the essay (which is why I selected "exhibit", as it is the closest to what I believe it to be).