Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example - Subaru Advertisement
1. A casual look at the ‘four-wheeled defibrillator’ advertisement drives one’s adrenalin. It is not only the picture of the car and the caption ‘Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru,’ that makes for a compelling look, but what is stated between the photo and the caption that makes one’s head go dizzy. There is a definite target audience that the advertisement strikes with venom; for a car that comes with good value for money should impress the adventurous. Published in January 2011 issue of Car 101 magazine, Subaru, by including such alluring phrases as, need for speed; pump a little adrenaline; shock to your heart; and hit the accelerator. By doing so, the advertiser is effectively wooing its targeted audience by introducing literary tools of ethos, pathos and logos.
2. The idea behind categorizing the Subaru Impreza WRX is to give Subaru’s loyal customers the urge to try the new 2011 model car that hit the market. By stating that the car had a new bodywork to enhance comfort and space; wider wheels and tires to give the car smooth driving experience and safety; and stiffer rear sub-frame bushings to cushion the occupants against injuries that may occur in the event of an accident, the advertisers are in fact stating indirectly what the new car is capable of. The car is designed for speed, but with speed should come safety and driving experience, and so, by stating the obvious; Subaru is reaching out to their loyal customers by offering a car that has performance matched by safety. It is understandable that such cars attract those with money and aspire for high speeds; the young, adventurous men and women. The car may be a sleeping beauty; the bright blue color of the Subaru WRX dominates a background of mixed colors, making the car the center of attraction. With a 2.5 liter turbo charged boxer engine layout, the advertisers are luring the young, adventurous men and women to test this beauty. What makes the advertisement that much more appealing is that the car has been placed in a setting that is astonishingly silent. This gives the car remarkable ambiguity. Why else would the advertisers mention that this sleeping beauty can rip the highway from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds flat! Add this to a matching price comparable with the best in its class, and the Subaru is everyone’s dream car.
In showing a sleepy, yet sprightly blue car clamped on a railing, the advertisement is successful in touching the emotional senses (pathos) of the audience. For all those daredevils who love speed, to see a monster of a machine standing clamped to a railing in a serene environment, the advertisement lifts the emotional bonding the adventurous men and women would have to this mean machine. There is an eerie silence, and the car seems to be quarantined. How could such a beast be left isolated from the fast and furious? When analogized with the caption ‘Pump a little adrenaline into your life with Impreza WRX. 265-horsepower,’ it is obvious that the advertiser is seeking to distinguish the men from the boys. By touching on the audiences’ emotional senses, the advertiser is asking them to free the mean machine from its cruel confinement and let it zoom into the sunset. In using factual evidence (ethos) to prove that the Subaru WRX is a powerhouse waiting to be tamed, the advertisement gives credibility to the car. As an afterthought, there is a silent questioning of the audience on whether the car should be kept in confinement, and also clamped down. This is where the advertiser uses logos. The advertisement enhances credibility by propagating on the Subaru’s superior performance and pricing. No organization would provide such credible information on a public domain if they didn’t know their facts, and by saying that the Subaru WRX is a powerhouse, they are in fact challenging other car manufacturers in their market segment to prove them wrong. The caption too, is so informative that it directly asks the audience whether they can disagree with their statistics. While it would have had a different impact on the audience if the car was in a different environment, this advertisement actually reaches the heart of Subaru lovers.
3. In asking how they (the audience) would react if the car in the picture was to be theirs, the writer uses a logical phrase (logos) to draw attention to the social problem. By silently questioning the audience to ‘imagine if your Subaru was the one in the advertisement that is clamped to the floor, and forlorn, how you would react?’ the advertiser has shaken the die-hard mindset of a Subaru owner. A man is known to love his car, and if that car happens to be pinned up like that of the advertisement, it was sure to awaken his conscious. This is precisely what the advertiser seeks. He wants his audience to feel for the car, nurture the car, and want the car. The advertiser wants his audience to have the same feeling they would have if they were to see their son or daughter in a similar position. Such personal revelation will ignite curiosity and affinity for the unknown, or the known, and drive people to reach out for it is any capacity. Thus, by instigating the audience to reflect through an advertisement that has a car tied to an uncertain future, the advertiser has ensured that his or her work to ‘lure’ customers to Subaru is achieved. Thus, by reaching out to those people who the advertiser believes are true followers of the car, he draws them to the next stage; that of enquiry. In summing up the advertisement, it can be said that the advertiser was able to use his mastery in writing to appeal to the emotional sense of the audience, and in doing so, he was more than successful. The photo and the supporting caption persuade readers to stop, look, and read what the advertisement has to offer them. There is no doubt that people who are loyal to Subaru will find the advertisement a shift from their earlier successful ones. After all, this is what the advertisement wanted, and what it got.
In releasing an advertisement that appeals to the audience, the writer has used the three main tools of persuasion; Pathos, Logos, and Ethos to good effect. The picture too is captivating, and the sight of a lonely car in a workshop gives rise to an emotional outburst among Subaru lovers. It wouldn’t seem appropriate for a certain brand of car lover to see his or her favorite car in a workshop; all chained up and in isolation. This emotional bonding is what the advertiser seeks to awaken among his audiences, and the advertisement has been successful in doing just that.
Spitz, J. (2011). Subaru advertising photographs, page #3. Cars101.com. Retrieved 29 March
2015, from http://www.cars101.com/subaru/ads_subaru3.html