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Persuasion is the act of courting an audience into aligning their beliefs and/or actions with those of the persuader. The process of persuasion is not always detectable by the common eye and can include various tactics aimed at subconsciously altering an audience’s thoughts and feelings. These tactics can include strategic imagery, identification, and other methods covered in this course. Ultimately, persuasion is the art of being able to tap into an audience’s current convictions and make them feel comfortable enough to change them."Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art"- William Bernbach

Characteristics of Persuasion in the Media Age:

Persuasion is audience oriented.Persuasive effects are overdetermined.Much is left unsaid.Persuasion is ubiquitous but invisible.Persuasion variable are reflexive.(Borchers, pg 29)

Objectives for Persuaders:

Forming Relationships.Repetition.Electronic Eloquence.Commoditization.(Borchers, pg 31)

Examples of Persuasion:

Clink Here for Link to VideoAnother common example of persuasion we see often is public service announcements (PSAs). These are unique in the fact that their main goal is not to market or sell a product or service, but to benefit the general public. PSAs often raise awareness on important issues, and often compel people to action. Here is a great example about the dangers of texing and driving. Warning: this video is a bit graphic.

Click here for Link to Video

Growing Definition of Persuasion

Our understood definition of Persuasion continues to grow. As we dig deeper and learn more and more, it is evident that persuasion is not simply a colaboration of words used to "spin" others impression on certain ideas or things. It is not just a "sales tactic". It is much more than that. Persuasion is:

Language: what is said, how it's said, the implied meaning, the style, the image it creates, the power of the individual words.
Influential Images: photos, television, motion pictures, videos and film. More than that, its the elements used to "manipulate" the images and create the desired effect. Its the lighting, colors, shapes, angles, speed, direction, emotional appeal, source of proof and credibilty and recognition.
Audience Adaptation: It's learning everything you can about your targeted audience and strategically creating a "presentation" that appeals directly to them. It's understanding the past and demographics of each audience member and working hard to adapt to their needs and appeal to their desires.