Tag: Propaganda Devices

Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Name Calling


Name calling is the final post in this series of persuasive techniques. It can include a large number of targets including denouncing values, laughter, or putting down ideas.

Advertisements use name calling when one product puts down a similar product by saying theirs is superior in some way.

Political candidates also use name calling to make their opponent appear undesirable.  


When using name calling, negative labels are used to describe a person or item. It creates fear and arouses prejudices in the hearers.


It’s a 10 Haircare

This ad makes fun of Donald Trump’s hair.

 T-Mobile “Drop The Balls” Super Bowl Ad

Cell phone companies have been putting each other down for years. In this ad, T-Mobile claims that Verizon got it wrong.

Verizon vs. AT&T “There’s a Map For That”

In this ad from AT&T, maps of coverage area with the words “5X More” imply that AT&T phones will not work in large areas of the country. 

Top 5 Pepsi vs Coke Commercials

Instead of adding just one commercial here, a montage of five are included in this video. See which does the best job at name calling.

Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign Advertisement against Donald Trump

In almost every political campaign, opponents sling words at each other. Included are advertisements from both candidates. 

Donald Trump Presidential Campaign Advertisement against Hillary Clinton

 Teaching the Persuasive Technique Name Calling with Commercials
Gay Miller


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Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Loaded Terms


This is the third post in a series of four on using persuasive techniques or propaganda devices. This post contains several commercials that use loaded terms to advertise their products. 

Loaded Terms Definition

Phrases with loaded terms have words that evoke strong emotions. Advertisements, speeches, and writers all use loaded terms.

Politicians use loaded words in speeches when trying to put a positive spin on delicate issues. Often speeches use words that trigger strong feelings. For example, the word terrorist causes the hearer to think of torture and a need for freedom.

Advertisements often use high-inference language to promote people or products. These words can arouse either strong positive or negative reactions. In the examples below, commercials use loaded words.

Loaded Terms in Advertisements

Expedia “Train” makes traveling the answer to many problems:

  • influence narrow minds
  • bridge continents
  • puncture prejudice
  • keep peace

Jeep Whole Again Super Bowl Commercial (2013)

This commercial speaks to the soldier who is away servicing his country. Oprah uses rich language to tell the soldier that he is missed and his family is waiting. Here are a few of the phrases:

  • a favorite dinner waiting
  • In our hearts, you’ve been missed.
  • You’ve been needed.
  • You’ve been cried for.

Evony: The King’s Return Battle of Evony 

This ad uses powerful images with only a few words, but they are powerful. The ad builds to a battle scene:

  • Brave fellows, your country is at stake.
  • Fight for liberty.
  • Ready!
  • Charge!
  • Let Your Reign Begin

Wendy’s 2017 Fresh Beef Commercial “Cold Storage”

This advertisement goes with staying away from something that is negative. No one wants frozen beef.

Fresh, Never-Frozen Beef



 Kia Super Bowl Commercial “The Perfect Getaway” 

While this commercial can be considered a testimonial since it features Pierce Brosnan, the language is quite descriptive especially the final line “Explosions.”


Teaching the Persuasive Technique Loaded Words with Commercials
Gay Miller



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Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Testimonial


In Part 2 of the series “Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Testimonial,” 2017 Super Bowl commercials are featured. Many stars came out to promote products. Actors, sports figures, and even Bill Nye the Science Guy promote products. With a 30-second spot costing $5 million, many companies went with big celebrities.

Testimonial Definition

Testimonial is when an expert, public figure, or celebrity promotes or supports a product, policy, or political candidate. Sometimes plain folk are used to show the product appeals to ordinary people.

Testimonial Questions to Think About

  • What makes this person a good representative to endorse this product?
  • Will the endorsement help sell the product? Explain why or why not.
  • Can you think of celebrities that actually hurt the product they were trying to promote?
  • What must a company consider before hiring a celebrity to endorse their product? For example, does age matter?

Testimonial in Advertisements


The Wix ad features Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman. She fights Jason Statham in a restaurant while the chef busily works on creating a website.



This Intel commercial stars Patriot’s Quarterback Tom Brady. Ironically, Brady was playing in the game.

T-Mobile’s “Unlimited Moves” casts Justin Bieber. The pop singer dresses in a tux while showing off some of his dance moves.


The 2017 Tide Super Bowl stars several well-known stars. Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski and NFL Legend Terry Bradshaw star with actor Jeffrey Tambor.

Kia Niro “Hero’s Journey” stars Melissa McCarthy. McCarthy tries to save the world with several stunting feats.

Lexus stars dancer Charles Lil’ Buck Riley. The ad includes some stunting dance moves.

The Mercedes-Benz ad features Steppenwolf’s song Born to be Wild. Peter Fonda wears his Easy Rider American flag jacket while he drives away in a Mercedes.

Bai stars Justin Timberland and Christopher Walken. This ad promotes the healthy drink using a simple conversation. The commercial ends with N-Sync’s song BaiBaiBai.

Mobile Strike stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. He uses famous one liners from his movies. “I’m Back,” and “Hasta la vista, baby,” promote the game.

Persil “The Professional!” features Bill Nye the Science Guy as a stain-fighting superhero. 

All-New Honda CR-V “Yearbooks” includes conversations from celebrities as high schoolers. Actors include Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Amy Adams, Magic Johnson, Steve Carell, Missy Elliot, Stan Lee, Jimmy Kimmel, and Viola Davis.



During the commercial, two dads are watching a wee pee football game. One dad notices a new Buick in the parking lot. The other makes the comment that if that is a new Buick then his son is Cam Newton. The son then magically transforms. After the game, another Buick pulls up. The coach says if that’s a Buick then I’m a supermodel.  The coach then turns into Miranda Kerr.

Teaching the Persuasive Technique Testimonial with Commercials

Gay Miller


Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=4158

Teaching Problems and Solutions with Songs


This post “Teaching Problems and Solutions with Songs” is the final one in a series of four. This link contains a handout with the list of the songs from all four posts as well as some graphic organizers that can be used to evaluate the songs. I want to send out a special thank you to Nancy Davis’s Middle School music class for some great song suggestions! In the comment area below, I would love to hear your suggestions. Remember the songs must be classroom friendly.

Overcomer by Mandisa

Kisha’s battle with cancer inspired Mandisa to write Overcomer. The video includes a number of real life stories including Former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Captain Mark Kelly, Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton, Good Morning America host Robin Roberts and Biggest Loser runner-up Hannah Curlee.

Wake Me Up by Avicii

This song has many interpretations, so there is not going to be one right answer. Students will probably take the words both literally and figuratively. ENJOY!

I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

This song was commissioned for the soundtrack of the 2013 movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The Hobbit follows the quest of Bilbo Baggins who is trying to win his share of the treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug. Students who have seen the film can name many problems and solution in the quest.

Skin (Sarabeth) by Rascal Flatts

This song tells the story of a girl’s struggle with cancer. You will tear up when you hear how the problem is solved. 

I’ll Walk by Bucky Covington

This song also tells a story with an unexpected twist.

We Shall Overcome

This song was first published in 1948 by Pete Seeger and has been rerecorded several times since then. Notable artists who recorded it include Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Peter, Paul & Mary and Toots & the Maytals. Martin Luther King, Jr. also recorded a spoken word version. Joan Baez sang the song at the March on Washington in 1963 before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave this famous “I Have a Dream” speech. 

U.S.A. For Africa

The video below,the remake of the song, raised money for Haiti. Students are probably more familiar with the artists in this newer version. 

Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson

Be sure to watch this video before showing it in class. Some of the pictures may not be suitable for all students.


Here are a few more you might try: 

  • A Horse with No Name by America (1971)
  • Colors of the Wind by Vanessa Williams from Disney’s Pocahontas (1995)
  • Hey there Delilah by Plain White T’s (2005)
  • Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson (2015)Songs for Teaching Problems and Solutions



Handout for This Blog Post

chevronribbonblueLinks to the Other Posts in this Teaching Text Structures with Songs Series

chevronribbonblueFREE Problems and Solutions Teaching Ideas


Teacher Pay Teacher Unit

Gay Miller


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