WWI Propaganda

Three Examples by Jacob Phillips

Poster 1

This poster employs a very effective device by evoking personal responsibility in the audience. "You have in your pocket", "your country"; the propaganda works to isolate your position in supporting the war effort. The simplicity of the design makes the text stand out all the more, ensuring that the reader gets the message loud and clear.
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Poster 2

This poster also uses a tactic of placing responsibility in the individual reader, commanding you to go and help. It introduces a sense of guilt: were over here, relaxing and surfing, while they, the real men, are over there in the trenches, fighting for our freedom to relax. Though not shown graphically, two distinct yet similar images are implied. On one hand, a young, tanned, clean, happy man lying on the surf, fit from his days of swimming and frolicking. On the other, a young man, dirty, tired, suffering, lying in the mud, fir from his days of combat and grueling labor.
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Poster 3

There is clear sexual appeal here. A young, attractive woman (meant to represent America) wearing a revealing (by 1910's standards) dress, is standing holding her hands out in a pleading manner. The personification serves to make a firmer image of America, so by "signing your country's pledge", you are really signing her pledge. The color theme and the flag are obviously American, so patriotic appeal is a prominent mode in this piece of propaganda.
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