Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The "Good Life" in Post War America

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The "Good Life" in Post War America

Chapter 15 of PR!, “Public Ultimatums” by Stuart Ewen discusses wartime advertising propaganda which depicted a product-defined vision of the American future.  In October 1943, NAM leaders formed the Committee for Economic Development (CED) which designed “a post-war chart for American industry” (Ewen, 342).  In effect, they worked to find jobs for former soldiers and help manufacturers sustain the highest level of employment and production as possible.  To safeguard American business, NAM began to focus on lower class immigrant, instead of the middle class, since they were soldiers who would be returning to America from the war.

Businesses addressed these groups through wartime advertising.  Companies produced public relations ads which emphasized corporate participation in the war effort and depicted pictures of postwar America as a society where modern appliances such as TV’s, washing machines, were the birthright of all Americans (Ewen, 343).  Ads also used family images to promote consumption as the “good life” which would be easily attainable for all citizens after the war.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post and a nice illustration.

Yes, wartime advertising offered an opportunity to sell the war, Americanism, and the free market ideals of American business. You might say that there was a triple purpose here: wartime propaganda, selling the brand, and promoting a free enterprise society to counter new deal propaganda for further government intervention into the economy.

3/29/2009 11:39 AM  

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