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Group Assignment 4: “The Persuaders” Documentary

A great PBS Frontline documentary on the persuasion industry, in both advertising and politics. This website offers a variety of instructional materials, and to watch the documentary, click on the “Watch the full program” link on the right top corner of the screen.

Group assignment 4 is to watch the movie “The Persuaders” and answer the 5 questions at the bottom of this page (underneath the link for the movie). Post your responses (just one set of answers for the entire group) in your group’s discussion board, under the title “Final Answers.” The movie is enjoyable, and lasts about 90 minutes. Make your responses as long as they need to be to answer the questions adequately. This assignment is intended to help you to understand the content of the chapters, and to give you some ideas to ponder in completing the last homework assignment. Good luck!

Click on the link below to watch the video:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/persuaders/

The questions you must answer for group assignment 4:

1. When creating an ad for “Song Airlines,” Spade says that he did not want to make the ad a “literal delivery of a benefit.” What does he mean by this and why is he trying to avoid it?

2. Why is studying cults useful in understanding persuasion and how to market a product?

3. The French advertising guru Coltaire Rapaille believes that the power of words is not in their literal definitions. Where/how do words acquire their meanings and associations, according to Rapaille?

4. Rapaille wants to know more about the “reptilian mind” of the consumer more than the “mammalian mind.” Why does Rappaille find the reptilian mind more important when it comes to persuasion?

5. Rapaille once told a French company that “In America, the cheese is dead.” Frank Luntz says that he watches a lot of television to find the “pulse” or “vibe” of Americans. What main point about the effective ability to persuade are they both making?

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