The Debate On Feminine Napkins Critical Thinkings Example
Advertising firms have been constantly on the lookout for ways on how to have a captured audience that would patronize their products. In order to increase their sales, companies spend millions on advertisements all over the world to promote their products using various media such as television, radio, social networks, and on print. By spending huge amounts in terms of advertisements, companies are poised to receive enormous returns of investment on top of brand recall that would encourage more consumers to buy their products. For this paper, the advertisements pertaining to women’s sanitary napkins, Always and Stayfree, will be compared. The Stayfree advertisement was uploaded in 2014. The premise of the advertisement is that when a woman wears a pad, she cannot move the way she wants. The commercial’s target audience is women on the go, especially those who lead very active lives. These women could be working women, mothers who spend time in the gym, women who engage in sports and fitness, and any other women who simply want to enjoy life and still feel free and comfortable despite experiencing having her menstrual cycle. In terms of airing, the Stayfree commercial would appeal to all women regardless if one is working or a stay-at-home mom, thus, it appears on all TV channels both during the day and night. On the other hand, the commercial on Always sanitary napkins was uploaded in 2012. The background story behind the advertisement is that women always check on themselves if they have a stain on their clothes or in bed. Thus, this commercial would also appeal to all types of women and would most likely appear on all TV networks. This paper will compare and contrast both commercials and determine which is more effective in delivering their message to the audience using various rhetorical strategies and techniques.
Women are always confronted with the unease of having their menses monthly. Most, if not all, of their activities are affected by limited movements, moodiness, menstrual cramps, and menstrual migraine, among others. This unwelcome monthly disruption began during adolescence when children started noticing and experiencing hormonal upheavals resulting to physical and emotional changes. As such, both commercials address women’s needs for protection during their monthly cycles.
In the Stayfree commercial, the commercial uses a narrative to depict how women are when they have their menstrual cycle. Mannequins represented how women freeze and become limited in their movements. Using the rhetorical strategy narration successfully shows how women feel uncomfortable because of the size and width of their sanitary napkin, which inhibits them from engaging in their regular activities such as simply walking on the streets, attending gym class, or strolling in the park, among others. The use of narration gives the notion that despite their menstrual cycle, there is a way for women to still engage in their chosen activities and enjoy the feeling of freedom.
Another strategy that the commercial employed is Pathos, which pertains to appeal to the emotions, needs, values, and receptivity of the audience (Weida & Stolley, 2013). The use of this strategy gives women the “aha!” feeling of being able to relate to how other women are during those instances. It creates a sense of community with other women because it is something that they all experience in a given time. The commercial wants to establish that women should still feel free and move the way they want regardless of their menstrual cycle. It is a shout of self-determination to fulfill what women want to achieve, a show of independence, and freedom from boundaries.
The Always sanitary napkins advertisement was shot at night and focused on the idea that by using the napkin, women are protected at least eight hours a day, without fear of any leaks. The commercial used Logos or the rhetorical strategy that appeals to the audience’s reasoning (Weida & Stolley, 2013) when it comes to grasping the message of the advertisement. Logos may be inductive or deductive reasoning. In the commercial, the approach used was inductive reasoning, which presents facts first prior to making (Weida & Stolley, 2013). First, the commercial showed the woman about to rise from the bed in the middle of the night to check whether she has stains on her nightgown or the bed. The commercial demonstrates that even when a woman is about to sleep or is already asleep, she is still very conscious of her menstrual cycle. She has to constantly check on herself, which could be caused by involuntary bodily movements while asleep. Thus, instead of being able to rest and sleep soundly, she (and her partner) is awakened in the middle of the night to change napkins. The inductive reasoning explanation is that because of her menstrual cycle, the woman thinks that she will inevitably stain her dress and the bed, and should therefore change her sanitary napkin to avoid it from happening. Thus, if she does not want that to happen, she has to wake up late at night to change again. However, by using Always sanitary napkins, she is protected for eight hours, which would result to comfortable and restful sleep for her and her partner. Just like the other commercial, Always sanitary napkins wants to assure women that they can experience leak protection regardless of movements they do both consciously and not, thus, the commercial appeals to all types of women who wants the guarantee of comfort and ease during their menstrual cycle.
The Always sanitary napkins commercial also uses the Epizeuxis rhetorical device, which is the repetition of one specific word for emphasis (“Examples of Rhetorical Devices”). In the advertisement, the word “Check” was used many times to stress what women who feel unprotected and restricted in their movements feel whenever they have their menstrual cycle. They always have to check, check, check, every time to ensure there are no leaks and stains. Somehow, Pathos can also be observed as another related rhetorical strategy used because all women can easily relate to the woman’s sentiments in the commercial. The value of the commercial is that it encourages women to buy this sanitary napkin because of its promise of up to eight hours of protection, which gives women more leverage and leeway when it comes to their activities and movements even during night time.
Between the two commercials, I think the Stayfree sanitary napkins would influence women to buy the product because of how the commercial used narration and Pathos as rhetorical strategies. By showing the various activities that women engage in and the effects of having their menstrual cycle, women are more prone to sympathize and empathize with the Stayfree commercial. The interplay of words and the use of colors in the advertisement also made it attractive and more pleasing to the eyes. Thus, it is more likely that women would respond better and actually buy the Stayfree product.
Stayfree commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Gt6b3ZUIE
Always commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrDed_WUnnE
“Examples of Rhetorical Devices.” N.d. Web. 12 March 2015. <http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-rhetorical-devices.html>.
Weida, Stacy, & Stolley, Karl. “Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion.” 2013. Web. 11 March 2015. <https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/04/>.