Teaching the Persuasive Technique – Name-Calling

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. Name-calling denounces values, laughs at opponents, or puts down ideas. Labels with a negative connotation such as tree-huggers are often used. Slanted language loaded with emotions makes the audience feel uneasy.

Advertisements use name-calling when one product puts down a similar product by saying theirs is superior. One product points out what is wrong with another.

Political candidates also use name-calling to make their opponent appear undesirable. The idea is to link a person to a negative idea.  


  • makes fun of an opponent
  • intends to do damage
  • makes the audience suspicious
  • creates uneasy feelings
  • used by politicians and companies

Question to Identify Name-Calling

  • What does the name mean?
  • What idea is associated with the person or idea?
  • How did the words make me feel?
  • Does the script appeal to emotions or intellect?
  • Is the purpose positive or negative?
Name-Calling Persuasive Technique



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

Name-Calling Advertisements

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

This film features a montage of five videos. See which does the best job at name-calling.

Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign Advertisement against Donald Trump

In many political campaigns, opponents sling words at each other. Included are advertisements from both candidates. 

Donald Trump Presidential Campaign Advertisement against Hillary Clinton

Check out the other posts in this series.

Loaded Terms


Gay Miller

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