NSA propaganda

My love of all things propaganda has a new fetish. AdAge.com reports on a new series of ads from the National Security Agency (NSA), urging military personnel to closely guard military secrets. This is nothing new. A famous poster released during WWI warned that “Loose Lips Might Sink Ships.” An entire subgenre of propaganda poster during WWII offered similar warnings.

These new posters are definitely pretty, but I’m most intrigued that our new “war” has brought with it a return to iconic imagery and punchy sloganeering. Something else about this intrigues me more, though.

Propaganda posters from both world wars are increasingly prominently featured in museums and for sale in boutiques and over the Web. Images from those posters are copied and altered and mimicked by movie posters and book jackets, among other representations. Comparisons between this “war on terrorism” and earlier conflicts have been prominent in political rhetoric since September. These images from NSA seem deliberately designed to recall images of earlier propaganda posters to further cement those connections in our minds.

This idea of propaganda as propaganda is not, I suspect, new, but I’m intrigued by this angle of it.

Visit the AdAge.com link to view full versions of each poster.


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