Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Driving, Audience, Public Relations, Drunk Driving, Advertisement, Supreme Court, Appeal, Rhetoric

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/09

The rhetoric in many advertisements today is often too subtle for the average audience member to notice. When done correctly, the advertisement will make an impact without the viewer quite understanding how or why. Typically, however, when advertisements are working, many elements come into play. Pathos, logos, and ethos are the rhetoric that appeals to our argumentative sensibilities, and even our emotions. Meanwhile, advertisements also use master narratives and subtexts to influence audiences. Each of these devices is essential when delivery rhetoric to the audience. A specific example can be found in the included Heineken advertisement, aimed to prevent individuals from driving while intoxicated. Employing Aristotelian appeals and subtext aimed at the target audience, the advertisement is able to convey the dangers of drunk driving.
The ad, featuring a parking spot drawn around a tree, and featuring the words, “RESERVED FOR DRUNK DRIVERS,” immediately call upon two of the three Aristotelian appeals: logos and pathos. Logos symbolizes the internal consistency, or logic of the initial claim. In this case, the initial claim suggest that if an individual drives drunk, they may wreck their car. More specifically, they may wreck their car into a tree. While many of us believe when we drive drunk, we will not be the ones who crash, the advertisement logically states this spot is reserved for anybody driving drunk. It is not reserved for the other person who drove home drunk, but for anybody, including you or me. This appeal to our logical senses makes a plea toward pathos, or our emotional sensibilities. If the parking spot is for anybody, it could be for us, or our friends and family. Immediately we are able to envision our own vehicles or the vehicles of our loved ones cleaved in two by the tree. Emotions begin flowing freely as we try not to imagine the devastation a human body would experience in such an accident. We are soon beside ourselves, wondering how we were ever so blind as to think we could get away with driving drunk. More importantly, we are promising never to do it again, lest we claim our rightful parking spot, as we run into that tree, intoxicated.
With Aristotelian appeals clearly on the side of the advertisement, other rhetorical elements are also at work. There is not a master narrative in this advertisement, but rather information and subtexts the audience is required to bring with them. For example, the message that this specific spot is reserved for drunk drivers means nothing if the audience has no knowledge that driving while intoxicated is not only illegal, but also incredibly dangerous. Therefore, the audience must view the advertisement knowing this beforehand. Furthermore, the audience must also be aware that many drunk-driving incidents end in horrible accidents, resulting in serious bodily injury and sometimes death. Finally, the audience must view the advertisement, understanding beforehand that driving while intoxicated is avoidable. Understanding this allows the message to be received as a warning, rather than an acceptance of the inevitable. If individuals viewing the ad are able to understand, they can call a cab or a sober party to shuttle them home, an ad insinuating they may drive their vehicle into a tree on the way home will appear avoidable, thus allowing the viewer to desire making changes that would facilitate this possibility.
Finally, as with every advertisement, there is a target audience. However, anti-drunk driving advertisements have a more varied target audience than other advertisements. There is no specific race, ethnicity, gender, or age range. There are simply two kinds of people: those who understand drinking and driving is unsafe, and those who do not. The advertisement targets those who do not understand drunk driving is unsafe and can also end your life. Many previous anti-drunk driving advertisements have sought to change the minds of this target audience and, unfortunately, failed. For the sake of specificity, then, that is why these ads are so appealing to not only logos, but also pathos. The ads must appeal as deeply to human logic and emotion as possible in order to make the greatest impact, especially for those who continue to believe it will never happen to them. Some may think implying a drunk driver will collide with a tree on the way home, possibly killing him or herself and everybody in the process is harsh, but for the purpose of the target audience, it is necessary rhetoric.
In sum, while there are many approaches to rhetoric in advertising, in this case an appeal to logos and pathos is the best idea. It allows the audience to understand the illogical fallacy that drunk driving “chooses” who to impact and who not to impact. Furthermore, suggestive and shocking advertisements appeal to human emotions, reminding us all we are only one drink away from being like every drunk driver who came before us. While main narrative is essential in some ads, subtext is more helpful in this case, allowing the audience to understand drunk driving is illegal, dangerous, and can be avoided. The idea that it can be avoided is the most important, signifying to the audience that this does not have to be their parking spot. Finally, the target audience is any individual still unwilling to understand drunk driving can effect anybody; it strikes without prejudice and the only way to avoid it, is not to engage in the activity. With the use of these rhetorical elements, the advertisement is able to get across a powerful point, while still allowing the audience to remain blissfully ignorant to its devices.
Ad: http://www.toxel.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/dontdd4.jpg

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WePapers. (2020, December, 09) Advertisement Rhetoric Essay Sample. Retrieved March 02, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/advertisement-rhetoric-essay-sample/
"Advertisement Rhetoric Essay Sample." WePapers, 09 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/advertisement-rhetoric-essay-sample/. Accessed 02 March 2024.
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"Advertisement Rhetoric Essay Sample." WePapers, Dec 09, 2020. Accessed March 02, 2024. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/advertisement-rhetoric-essay-sample/
WePapers. 2020. "Advertisement Rhetoric Essay Sample." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved March 02, 2024. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/advertisement-rhetoric-essay-sample/).
"Advertisement Rhetoric Essay Sample," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 09-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/advertisement-rhetoric-essay-sample/. [Accessed: 02-Mar-2024].
Advertisement Rhetoric Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/advertisement-rhetoric-essay-sample/. Published Dec 09, 2020. Accessed March 02, 2024.
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