Propaganda and “The Bandwagon” Method of Persuasion

Persuasion Bandwagon or Bandwagon Persuasion?

Whenever it is necessary to get a crowd or group of people to join together for one purpose you may choose to use propaganda and "the bandwagon method of persuasion."   This is not a new concept of course, the phrase bandwagon has been around a long time for a reason, it refers to a situation where others join or act  in unison with a group for a specific purpose. This method of persuasion is described in this short article found on Changing Minds(Persuasion Bandwagon).

Persuasion, Everybody's doing it...

Make it appear that many people have joined the cause already, and that they are having lots of fun or getting significant advantage.

Show that those who join early will get the better prizes, such as positions of authority or other advantages.

Link your topic of persuasion to morality and values, showing that those who join sooner are more moral and pretty much better people all around.

Make a loud noise. Use bright colors. Play a fanfare. Become impossible to miss. Be in-your-face until they join up.

Bandwagon Persuasion is all around  us.

A political party holds a rally with much flag-waving and razz-a-ma-tazz.

A new religious group ensures all of its members attend services and become active participants in recruiting new members.


The Bandwagon persuasion method uses social evidence to legitimize itself and become attractive. The idea behind the persuasion plays heavily on the need for belonging, making the group a desirable place to be. This type of persuasion may also use the scarcity principle, showing that it is better to join sooner or later.

The term 'bandwagon' came from the Temperance movement, where an open wagon would literally have a band on it and drive around town picking up drunks who would symbolically 'get on the wagon' of alcohol-free (and religious) living.

I think advertising uses this persuasion method very well. Just look at Apple. How many people really need all the beeps and whistles on the iPhone? Yet, consumers line up for hours just to say that they have it already,that they got it the opening day. I am mystified by this but it works everytime. Apple convinces people that they will sell out immediately and that the product will be impossible to find so that if they want to have the gadget of the moment they have to be there the first day. Clearly, propaganda and the "bandwagon method" of persuasion work like a charm. Genius.


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