Difference Between Advertising And Propaganda

These days, technology and multimedia have advanced a lot, while plenty of things, they know nothing about influence the people. However, these things are represented in an appealing and desirable manner. Therefore, big brands and companies benefit from this aspect of technology and multimedia, which affect consumers by using multiple strategies and tactics.

When it comes to difference between advertising and propaganda, they are commonly used in sales and marketing; however, they have a significantly different meaning. But, don’t worry, in this article we are going to help you understand these two terms better, and apply them to your business.


Advertising represents one of the four tools of promotion, which is used to spread awareness about the particular product or service, place, event, idea, organization, or even people. In this case, the concept of advertising is to raise interest and attract potential buyers or consumers.


Moreover, advertising should be a non-personal and effective means of communication, where a sponsor pays monetary compensation for running an ad. At the same time, he intends to reach a lot of people with one advertisement.

In other words, the ad is an original promotional message, used by one person, company, or brand to promote their products or services. Their goal is to get targeted interested audience and convert that interest into sales. The person or company who places an ad has full control over the message, while it is transmitted through various means of communication, to draw the attention of the audience.

For example, you can use print media, such as magazines, newspapers, flyers, posters, billboards, and so on, to attract new clients. On the other hand, more popular methods involve digital advertising, like email, mobile ads, pop-ups, and so on.


Unlike advertising, propaganda is a non-objective message used to manipulate large masses. In this case, the information doesn’t have to be accurate, in fact, it is often rumored, and biased. This type of message is usually generated to support a specific idea, attitude, change social trends, or support a particular cause.

In most cases, propaganda is used as a mean to promote a political agenda by using language-persuasive techniques. Therefore, it will initiate an emotional or irrational response from the audience. While many people consider propaganda as a negative mean of communication, it doesn’t always have to be.


In propaganda, the truth is a relative term; however, it might contain some facts which back up the popular opinion. Usually, propaganda comes in the form of speech, as it attempts to present a single viewpoint or idea, without considering two sides.

We already mention that information spread through propaganda is biased and deliberate, while the person who spreads this information is called propagandist. His goal is to influence a lot of people, or a targeted group, and make them adopt his ideas, or think and act in the same manner.

Key difference

Although these two terms are quite similar, we can draw apparent differences between them. Let’s take a look at some of them:

In advertising, a sponsor of the message wants to persuade the targeted group of people, to hire his services or buy his products, to increase the sales. He uses a highly-tailored message or an ad to attract the attention of consumers. On the other hand, propaganda is not as direct as advertising, and it’s used to promote a particular idea or political opinion.

When it comes to advertising, it often tells people what products or services to buy. For example, out of hundreds of items and varieties, an ad might persuade you to purchase a particular product. However, propaganda tells people what to think, and it’s designed to manipulate your opinion.