Similarly, it is not uncommon to see celebrities promote products. Surprisingly, this form of advertising is a form of propaganda, as companies seek to transfer the authority of celebrities to their products.
While humans have varying levels of intelligence, they are all susceptible to irrational instincts and logical fallacies. As a result, Bernays is able to "engineer consent" and control the masses by appealing to human irrationality through information. The only way to counter the subtle messaging in propaganda is through media literacy education: identifying and decoding messages within media. With this skill, anyone can recognize propaganda, dismantle its message, and render it ineffective in influencing the individual. Moreover, understanding common techniques such as name-calling, glittering generalities, transfer, testimonials, etc, is essential to identification.
However, society can only get more complex and saturated with noise. Thus, people will face an even greater bombardment from advertising and propaganda. Consequently, there needs to be greater media literacy and critical thinking skills. The bar for propaganda susceptibility and ignorance is higher. The challenge lies in bridging the gap between education and irrationality.
Only knowledge and discernment can lead us to informed choices in an ever-increasingly complex society.