The British during World War Two were masters of all kinds of media propaganda and they provide a variety of lessons into the powerful elements of effective public persuasion

The British during World War Two were masters of all kinds of media propaganda and they provide a variety of lessons into the powerful elements of effective public persuasion. Here the British had to influence the minds of their own citizens as well as convince the citizens of the United States to act in optimal ways respectively. Analysis of these two campaigns for their strategies, tactics, goals and effectiveness shows that the British government involved a high degree of customization and forethought into their campaigns in relation to their goals of the target audience behavior.
The British Home Front campaign had a series of clear goals that they wanted to achieve. Being led by the various ministers of information, the Ministry of Information’s chief goal was to mentally prepare the British people for the inevitable war that would reach their island nation. They also needed to re-spark the feelings of nationalism within its citizens that would allow them to work hard and possibly die for their nation.
As the 1930s philosopher Bertrand Russell stated “countries need propaganda to convince their people to endure hardships and acts of sacrifice for their nation.”
Firstly, they used films for propoganda. An example of this would be the film “Salvage with a Smile.” This film explains exactly how and what should be recycled for the war effort.
Another example “Dig for Victory” which was sponsored by the Ministries of Information and Agriculture. This film is about the benefits of citizens growing their own vegetables. The film displays images of happy citizens growing their own food while the commentator delivers his lines. The script of the film is written in a plain and simple way clearly telling the listener that growing your own food will aid the country. The film also goes on to say that growing food can be fun for social events. This is a direct use of the tool “socialpsychological” adaptations. The messages and information are shaped around the unique social and mental makeup of the British culture. The propagandists were British and thus knew the intricacies of British culture; like the need for social events and framed the information around this. The film says that gardening is a great way to socialize during the blitz, thus convincing the people to act a certain way and motivates them via unique social-psychological needs.
The third one was primary historical source that effectively used emotional hooks was the realm of film. The movie “London Can Take It” was an emotional hook masterpiece. Created by the Ministry of Information and the film aimed to show American audiences the reality and struggles the British civilians were going through to win the Battle of Britain and to preserve their country.The film also showed signs of being customized to the American audience.
The film also focused on the struggles of daily civilian life and the hardships that the British people had to live through. The narrator at one point describes the British people as going to work and spending the night at their respective war posts. This was aimed at Americans who also had a large civilian working base who could related to images of British people going to work and become moved by the thought of serving every night at a war post.
The film also goes for images that were designed to make an impact on American feelings towards the war. One part of the film showed and elderly couple and small children trying to sleep while bombs are being dropped outside their shelter. Images like these were and are enough to gain the empathy or at least the attention of any viewer. These images also made the British people very relatable to American audiences and thus easier to sympathize with. This is in direct opposition to the way the film shows the Germans bombers described as “creatures of the night…scurry back to their own shores”, making them seem very inhuman.
To make the Germans seem even more evil the narrator and film crews were clear to show the targets of the German bombers, being “churches, hospitals, flats” or in other words innocent civilian or religious centers. This is example of emotional propaganda’s favorite tool of exaggeration. The film also target hatred for the Germans by showing pictures such as bombed out churches. This pointing out of the enemies wrongdoings is a technique. This technique calls on the propagandist to direct the attention of the viewers to the negative aspect of the enemy to make themselves look good by comparison. When this is done, the enemy will look even worse if they refute the point in the wrong way.