Some of the weirdest and most disturbing advertisements ever created are done so for military campaigns. They come in the form of propaganda leaflets, which are dropped by air or otherwise disseminated into a country or territory that is being invaded. Virtually every war since the beginning of the 20th century has produced these leaflets, which are also known as psyops or psychological operations and can be divided up into three categories: white, grey, and black. The intention is to use psychology and symbolism to influence members of the general population, inciting fear and, ultimately, compliance.
Governments use psyops in a variety of contexts but the most common is during war, when entire populations must be convinced that killing in the name of God and State is not murder. Citizens also need an emotional impetus to grant their government the impunity to kill civilians and children in the most brutal of ways, including via unmanned drones. All but a few countries in the world are currently engaged in war, so there are a lot of psyops in progress as you read this.
The following leaflets come to you thanks to the incredible archives of PsyWar.org. They are, in this author’s humble opinion, the most sinister psyop leaflets ever dropped:
These days, the internet has turned into a powerful new breeding ground for wartime psyops, but the psychological methods and imagery still follow the same tactics; you just have the added tools of chat rooms, social media, and forums as ways to manufacture consent.