Propaganda affects us all. It can be very difficult to recognize. The only major difference between the two is that advertising sells products, and propaganda sells ideals.
Increasingly, the corporate advertising of goods and services is being coupled with political, "moral" and religious value messages. Many people say that they don't pay attention to TV commercials and are not affected by them. They are mistaken. You might watch 1000 commercials for every time that you actually purchase something, or maybe you only shop for clothes at second hand stores, buy only used cars and bake your own bread. You are affected by advertising nonetheless. Much of the effective material is not in commercial advertisement, but in the TV shows that are broken up by it. It is called programming, probably for a reason.
Television shows and commercial advertisements have a lot in common, but television shows have more time to present complex messages. These can include simple things like product placement (E.T. and Reece's Pieces), which are relatively harmless, but messages are often geared towards behavior modification. This is propaganda.
We have reality shows to tell us how to be normal and show us how to react to stressful situations. We have talent search programs, which tell us what we should consider to be good and acceptable musical fare. We have sitcoms, which guide us through social and moral dilemmas. We have dating shows to show us what should be desirable in a partner, and shows like "Jerry Springer" to show us what is unacceptable.
Meanwhile, we quietly absorb the other messages about how to dress, what to buy, eat, and drink. The TV people are glamorous, and we quietly want to be like the successful happy ones, and avoid being like the ones carried off by the police. We are primates (creationists can ignore this, you will anyway) and we have a lot of things in common with our tree-dwelling cousins. Monkey see, monkey do. We copy behavior without consciously deciding to do so.Propaganda uses the same tools as advertising, but the messages are angled somewhat differently.
Propaganda tells us who we can trust, like the Government and its many agencies, well-dressed people driving shiny new vehicles, and the police. We should know better, and those of us who are paying attention, do. Propaganda also shows us who and what to hate. Dirty-clothes people who are all that way because they are bad. Poor, lazy people who all need to get a job. Foreigners who all want to destroy our way of life, except for the EU of course. Anybody who is different from the normal people that we see is suspect.
As people spend more time indoors looking at the idiot tube, real world experience decreases. We can shop and work from home. The TV people might be the people we see most frequently, this is certainly so with children who rarely play outside anymore. We learn from what we see, and when what you see isn't real, then you can learn unrealistic things without knowing any better. Soon people grow to trust, fear, or hate other people based on their representation on the screen. We never see it coming.
Propaganda programming most affects individuals who lack the life experience to see that they are being manipulated. By the time they go into the real world, if ever, they have firm notions of what to think based on years of vicarious experience. They can recognize bad people by their clothes and habits; they saw such things on "COPS." They know not to trust anyone that friendly, TV police would pick out of a crowd. Obliging "rebellious" youths even buy their bad-person-rebel uniforms at "HOT TOPIC" so the cops can easily identify them as such. If the TV is right, all Veterans are unstable, all bikers are bad, and all kids who push drugs wear ratty clothes and leather. Good people are clean, well fed, get good grades, are likable, and look just like everybody else who is good. (See: Friends, Seinfeld, and similar shlock.)
People often judge others based on what they see and sub-conscious associations relative to their "experience." It would seem that TV, first widely used by Hitler, is the best propaganda tool yet conceived. Corporate and governmental agencies employ armies of expert industrial psychologists to modify our beliefs. They produce messages designed to be appealing and persuasive to most, all the while representing other ideas as backwards, or otherwise inferior. The messages are repeatedly worked into commercials, movies or TV. Then they poll people to gauge the effectiveness of those messages for future reference.
Ideally, the entire culture becomes brainwashed as effectively as any fundamentalist Christian cult. We become predictable, docile, homogenous and paranoid of anyone not like us, all without conscious thought. We become weak. It is time to become conscious. A good start is unplugging your TV.