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Rhetoric Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By slimmoxie
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The aim of every advertisement is to reach out to as many people as possible and relay the intended information to them. The hallmark of its effectiveness is only measurable through determination of its levels of persuasion. It is not very easy to appeal to a given mass and have the ability to change their beliefs, behaviors, intentions, motivations and attitudes. To do so, there are a number of factors, that different and distinct, that must be brought together intricately to create a complex appeal mechanism. To achieve the intended purpose within the set limits, an advertisement or campaign must employ the different modes of persuasion that are ethical strategies used for rhetorical appeal. These strategies are categorized rhetoric devices that classify the appeal that an advertisement might have on the audience. They are; pathos, logos and ethos.
Pathos is an appeal on the emotions of an audience. It is responsible for eliciting sympathy and empathy from the target audience. Logos is the logical appeal that an advertisement might have on the audience. It is the aspect that deals with facts and figures. Ethos is particularly concerned with the authority the proposers of a given campaign have on the given field. The qualifications that a creator or an advertiser may have with regard to the content of their advertisement will definitely influence the audience’s ability to relate with the advert.
In 2007, a UK charitable organization that offers extensive treatment for people in substance abuse released an advertising campaign that reminded people that not many people who abused drugs lived to long age. The advertisement featured two old ladies using cocaine, an octogenarian couple injecting drugs into their veins, an old man smoking crack on a pipe and a lady injecting drugs between her toes. At the end of the advertisement there is the tagline “There is no such thing as an old junkie; Take back your future”
Just like any advert that will appeal to the target audience, it has a creative side that tells a serious story in an almost hilarious way. The overall effect is that the humor infused (despite being dark humor) expresses the seriousness of the situation in a jocular manner but hits the point precisely. In showing the ‘old junkies’ the creators bring to terms the facts and the idea of how out of place they seem sends the core message. It is by far and wide a successful advert if the persuasion it has is anything to go by. This persuasion has been achieved through the use of different ethical strategies to achieve the dramatic masterpiece.
Coming from Focus 12 Rescue Center, a widely known organization that does charity rehabilitation work, the advert has some credibility on the message it is trying to drive home. The center is definitely well informed on such issues and must have the data to support it as well as the ability to stop it. It is so obvious that they have mastery of content and know much about drugs. The idea of injecting between the toes further underlines this. It comes as a shocker and the sublimity created by the old lady sinking in the seat after injecting herself showing the gravity of the matter.
Further still, the persuasion of the advertisement is undoubted since the entire clip is 1.05 minutes of pathos. The emotion that the advert elicits is unrivalled. The most appalling thing is the transition from the ‘elderly home’ setting in the beginning to the crack house that the thesis creates. The choice of an almost sepia color scheme serves to show how pale the life there is and the gravity of the issue. The setting and locale directly appeals to the feelings of the audience as does the mood. Bing Crosby’s performance of James’ Monaco’s composition as fading background music as the life fades away from the old lady slumping in her seat goes further to elicit the hopelessness of a substance abuser. The advert as whole is a satirical piece. It scoffs the idea that there are old age drug addicts; toying with the idea as laughable. The unnatural acts of the advert are hilarious but the mood is extremely pitiable. It is not very easy to draw contrasting feelings from an advert at the same time, especially in just a minute. This therefore shows that the advert hits a milestone in eliciting the feelings of the audience.
The advert is obviously informed and the tagline is direct and precise. Just as logos would suggest, an advert that persuades its audience must have facts and figures as well as deep rooted information. Whereas there are no facts and figures that are provided in the advert, the tagline summarizes the seriousness of the matter. It gives one fact; people who abuse drugs do not live too long! The unforgiving attitude that the tagline flies in with is not an appeal, it is a sound warming. It cautions the drug users that lest they get help they will not live long. The advert has widely been shared and discussed on social media for long. It has also won an award and this strengthens the fact that while it is a mastery of artistic creation, it is a persuasive piece. With consideration of the different rhetorical appeals, it hits the milestones as a creative advert that definitely reached the target audience in a great way.

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