World Wars I and II left us with not only a global landscape changed forever politically and historically, but two of the biggest events in the 20th century left us with a wealth of propaganda artifacts that almost tell the story better than any history book. Some of the themes championed in these beautifully designed posters of food conservation, using resources carefully, sticking with the service no matter what, and encouraging women to do their part sound like wildly familiar themes today. I mean, carpooling! As applicable as some of the sentiments may be, of course the rampant use of racist images to dehumanize the enemy renders some of the images shocking to a modern eye. Though decidedly different than the wars that left us these posters, we are still in wartime. We might not see propaganda campaigns like these posters, but you might not have to look too hard to see the same kinds of appeals to fear, appeals to prejudice, and bandwagon methods of getting the word out today. Take a look at propaganda gone by and see what looks familiar.
Appealing to hard work on the homefront and good craftsmanship of artillery.
A message for the servicemen to avoid pick ups, 'good time' girls and prostitutes. The text at the bottom of the poster reads, "You can't beat the Axis if you get VD." Sound advice.
Part of the "Loose Lips" campaign to keep military strategy, secret. Not so different from keeping military blogs quiet, and a withdrawal timeline under wraps?
The original appeal for vegetarianism. Urging meat conservation to save money and resources.
Appealing to the emotions using hungry kids to urge sacrifice.
This I like. Pool your resources to make a united effort.
I could see this as a health ad to combat obesity and diabetes today. Then, it was to conserve resources, but it might be time for a rerun?
Investing in the country as a winning strategy. Not a bad idea, plus who can say no to the girl?
Dehumanizing the enemy, portraying him as a cartoon or animal is a common propaganda tool. This one does this (boy, does it) and uses guilt to spur hard work.
Uncle Sam has never been this mad, or this ripped. The racial slur again dehumanizes, and the image is a stirring call to action.
Who thought war could be good for the environment?
A gruesome call to keep secrets, secret.
The original "axis of evil" portrayed to appeal to prejudice and fear together.
A no "loose lips" campaign for the soldiers — warning that women can be spies too.
The original call to save gas and carpool — in the name of defeating Hitler.
A classic bandwagon appeal, perfect in its simplicity and resonance.
I think this slogan could work unchanged today.
Women were called to duty, and great posters like these helped.
I want to be his girl, and be a WOW. That's a winning slogan for sure.