Excessively complex, too much detail for effective propaganda


TL;DR Summary

  • This is an example of a poorly designed social media propaganda poster

In terms of design, it is complex and no one is making eye contact with the viewer. It takes too much time to understand what it is about and what it is trying to say. .There are enough details that it likely engages (Kahneman’s) System 2 thinking rather than the quick, intuitive, gut-level response of System 1. Propaganda works best when quickly invoking a System 1 response, rather than System 2.

I do not have TV so cannot comment on TV coverage. Our regional newspapers did do a lot of coverage on Bernie Sanders and there was no evidence that the media was “ignoring  Sanders outright” or was “routinely ignored”. That claim is the emotional hook needed to grab the target into Liking and Sharing. This poster might have been more effective if that was the main claim, presented prominently, rather than diluting the message with lots of words.


Thinking Fast and Slow author Kahneman, and creator of the “System 1 and System 2” thinking concept acknowledges that 11 of 12 studies cited in his chapter on “priming” were from weak studies. That chapter implied that “subtle cues in their environment can have strong effects on their behavior outside their awareness“. This does not mean his conclusions are wrong but that the evidence supporting his conclusions may be weak. This acknowledgement is independent of the System 1/System 2 thinking style issues.