Propaganda Posters- Compare and contrast

The propaganda poster ‘Daddy, what did you do’ was a British government-made poster which was created for the purpose of recruiting men for the army. Another propaganda poster is ‘Lieb Vaterland’ which was made by the German government to persuade their country to stay strong and keep them positive. Both these poster have similarities and differences. They are mostly different in their colour, purpose and symbols.

The British poster has a flat colour scheme mostly composed of neutral tones. Shades of brown dominate the scene, whilst the green and blue offer contrast. Additional colours shown in the poster are white and yellow. The blue helps represent the purity and innocence of the girl as she asks her father about his activities.

On the other hand, in the German poster, the colours used are those that represent Germany and their enemy, the Triple Entente: France, UK and Russia. The British sailor is wearing a blue and white uniform while the French officer is in blue, red and gold. The Russian officer, though, is seen wearing a green uniform. The German man is drawn wearing a brown uniform with a rifle strapped across his back. Being the only one with a weapon, the German’s show that they have the most power. The colours are bright because it is an encouraging and supporting poster.

Morover, on the British propaganda, the symbols used are the words ‘Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?’ as well as the boy with the toy soldiers, the little girl reading a book on her fathers lap and the father himself. The young boy playing with the toy soldiers shows that the idea of going to war and fighting for your country was a praiseworthy action. The wordings, coming from the girl to her father, suggest that the war is already over and she wants to know her fathers involvement in the Great War. By the contemplative expression on his face, we can tell that he doesn’t know he contributed and is ashamed and feeling guilty for not doing so. The ‘YOU is written in this was because it emphasizes the fact that it is directly aiming at the men of Britain to join the army. The method used for this poster is guilt.

In contrast, the symbols used in the German propaganda poster are the saying ‘Lieb Vaterland magst ruhig sein!’ as well as the four men, each representing their own country. The German saying in English translates to: ‘Dear homeland, have no fear’. The saying was used as moral support for the nation and enhancing the notion of nationalism. The German officer is holding two men by the necks while resting his foot on another man. The man he is stepping on is a British sailor and the two men he is grabbing are French and Russian officers. The German officer is drawn much larger than the others to show that the country is in control of the situation and is more superior. Furthermore, the German officer is seen to be calm and happy, as he is blowing smoke out of a pipe while the other three men have expressions of panic and defeat.

Even though the two posters have many differences, they also share some common aspects. Although the colour schemes in the posters are different, they both are bright and eye catching, which makes it easier for audiences walking by it to understand. As well, they both have the same amount of text and imagery and are clearly interpreted. Additionally, they share the same intended audience. In the British poster, the audiences they are hoping to reach are the public. More specifically, the young men of Britain, who would not want to end up ashamed like the man in the poster, and join the army. In the German poster, the public is their intended audience as well. This poster targets a larger audience though. It is not only for the men, but also for the women and children to assure them that Germany is in control and not to be afraid.

The two posters have several differences with some similarities.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. aishumanities2011
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 14:10:17

    Not a bad effort, your third and fifth paragraphs are more of a description rather than an analysis which is the purpose of this task.

    You have also contradicted yourself in your final paragraph regarding the intended audience for the posters.

    You need to make sure you are continually referring back to the assignment to make sure you are fitting all the criteria.


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