President Bush called on citizens Wednesday during a speech in Detroit, Michigan, to consider a surge in ‘Support Our Troops’ bumper stickers in a final push to victory in Iraq. With American forces taking more casualties, and the number of dead surpassing the nearly 3,000 killed during the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Bush has come under criticism for his “shortsighted and poorly planned” policies in the Middle East.
Rememeber that memories are physical structures inside the brain, and the more a network a brain cells (memory) is “excited” it is thus reinforced. This is why the Nazi’s, and also “cult of personality” types, plant their symbols and faces everywhere. Constant “excitation” of memories or mindsets, especailly social group based mindsets, reinforces the target mindset to take hold of the target individuals mind (preferably all throughout the day).
Exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon well known to advertisers: people express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them. This effect has been nicknamed the “familiarity breeds liking” effect. In interpersonal attractiveness research studies, the term exposure principle is used to characterize the phenomenon in which the more often a person is seen by someone the more attractive and intelligent that person appears to be.
Simply exposing experimental subjects to a picture or a piece of music briefly led those subjects to later rate it more positively than other, similar stimuli which they had merely not been shown earlier. In another experiment, students were shown a Chinese character on a tachistoscope faster than could be perceived consciously. Later, students rated these characters as better than those to which they had not been exposed. When asked, the students were able to cite specific and detailed reasons why they preferred the characters that they did (which must have been at least partially rationalization).
The effect might be explained by the idea that recognizing a familiar environment makes us feel safe. This effect was first studied by Robert Zajonc. A related effect relevant to advertising and propaganda is the sleeper effect.
The new “surge” comes as no surprise after Bush recently called for another “surge” of some $670 million in a media PR propaganda.
All told, the (president’s proposed fiscal year 2008) budget calls for $668.2 million for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency that supervises all US government non-military propaganda.
At the same time Bush’s budget proposes steep cuts to federal funds for public broadcasting by nearly 25%. According to the Association of Public Television Stations, the Bush budget would cut up to $145 million from the $460 million proposed FY 2008 budget for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting.
And exactly one year ago, the (admitted) total for propaganda spending was $2.3 Billion (tax payer dollars) since 2003 alone.
The Administration spent $2.6 billion on contracts with advertising agencies ($2.4 billion), public relations firms ($297 million), and media organizations and individual members of the media ($25 million).
The Department of Defense spent the most on media contracts, with contracts worth $2.1 billion. The Department of Health and Human Services spent more than $300 million on these contracts, the Department of Treasury spent $252 million, and the Department of Homeland Security spent $24 million during this period.