The difference between advertising and publicity is found in the communicative objective. The first has a persuasive objective that does not stand out as much in the second.
We speak of propaganda as the form of communication based on the diffusion of ideas and opinions in such a way that the main objective is to achieve a certain degree of persuasion in individuals. While advertising campaigns seek to publicize a good or service in a target audience, by means of propaganda actions it seeks to disseminate information that can decisively influence behaviors to direct them towards their specific cause.
Propaganda, unlike advertising, is therefore an informative action with a greater ideological intention, regardless of whether or not it seeks profit or profit. In other words, most of the advertising is created by profit-making companies, while the propagation usually originates from the work of social groups belonging to politics, religion or society.
Propaganda tries, through its media, to change people’s attitudes and direct their gaze and opinions towards the current represented in the informative action. To do this, it can use various ways to influence sentimental, ideological or consciousness.
However, the paths of advertising and propagation are often intertwined, since both mechanisms take into account the opinions or tastes of people when creating campaigns.
Basically, the goodness of a cause is presented in a totally partial and biased way, obviating or hiding its negative points and trying to create a certain level of empathy with the target audience. Apart from this, propaganda usually works thanks to the periodicity or repetition of propaganda actions that permeate the recipient and the use of hyperbole or excessive exaggeration.
Propaganda has gone through several more profound stages, many of them due to the use that totalitarian systems of the 20th century made of their techniques through large organizations or propaganda systems. Already at another level and thanks to the great effects it causes in public opinion, it is used in periods of political elections.
From the latter we can extract another difference between advertising and propaganda, and that is that the latter usually has more lasting results over time. In other words, their messages are more embedded in people’s behavior, more being invited to think about something or to be in a certain way than induced to buy a specific product.