Advertisements and commercials in today’s society are an essential part of American’s daily lives. Everywhere we go, advertisements are catching everyone’s eyes and grabbing our attention. The target of an ad is to attract a society’s attention so that the community will buy the company’s product. Although that seems pretty simple, there is a complex process that is integrated into advertisements. Companies target certain audiences so that their advertisements connect to the individual customers.
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There are three key concepts when analyzing advertisements. These three appeals are Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Ethos is using character, credibility, or ethics to persuade a targeted audience. This means that an audience tends to trust someone that is well respected and trusted. If companies use ethos in an effective manner then the company will eventually build their name and the foundation of their company. Pathos is the second key concept and it translates to using emotions and passions to persuade an argument. typically when a company uses pathos in an ad they attempt to connect to the individual customers and use those emotions of the customers to persuade them to purchase the items in their ad. The third and final key concept is Logos, and it translates to logic. When companies use logos in their commercials or advertisements, they use logical reasoning to persuade the customer why they should buy the product.
An Advertisement that clearly shows these three key concepts is a well-known Truck commercial. In this particular commercial produced by Chevrolet Called “Maddie”. The advertisement starts with a young woman who lives on her own with her dog. Using a backward timeline it ventures back to when she first got her dog, Maddie. The commercial goes back to the first day she got the dog and the commercial shows when the dog has been there for her, like her first break up, birthdays, learning to drive her first car which is a Chevy, graduation, and when she moves out of her parents’ house into her own apartment and takes Maddie with her. Using a backward timeline allows the audience to look back through their own lives to when they were children or to the time when they got their first dog or pet. Chevy uses their main advertising tricks to accomplish the goal of appealing to their audience. They use Maddie (the dog) as an analogy to represent the car. A golden retriever has always been known as a man’s best friend, much like the car is a driver’s best friend implying that Chevy Automotive’s are another one of man’s best friends. It also hints that Chevrolets are reliable and will be there for drivers through everything just like a dog or best friend would be. This specific advertisement uses all three of the key concepts that are used when making effective ads, by intertwining each Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Chevy uses Ethos whiling claiming to be there for their customers like dogs are there for humans. The ad also effectively uses Pathos, while showing the bond between the dog owner and the dog as they both grew older. Finally, Chevy uses logos when revealing how reliable and durable their cars are.
The Chevy advertisement uses pathos and logos more efficiently throughout the ad than ethos. Although the concept of ethos is weak it is still detectable in certain parts of the ad. The two main characters in the ad are the young woman and the dog and the story is laid out to show what all they have been through together. Since the commercial is targeted to connect with dog owners, most people who have a dog will respect the way dog’s owner feel and Chevy for their automotive’s for being there just like a best friend through it all. Since the audience can connect on many levels with the dog owner and the message of a man’s best friend I believe it could give Chevy some costumes but overall I don’t believe that it was effective enough to promote certain cars or trucks. The ad is promoting the brand and their durability of their automotive’s.
Pathos is the most used key concept used throughout the ad. At the end of the commercial it shows the grown girl and the old dog in a room that you can imply is a vets office where she is kissing and hugging on the dog because the dog is dying due to old age, the ad then reads “A best friend for life’s journeys” this connects with ethos, because once again its connecting to the overall theme of a dog is a man’s best friend, and a car can be a drivers best friend. This will evoke the emotions of those dog owners who understand the feeling of losing a pet, and for those who need a new car. Through the message of the ad, you can see where they try to convince you that when driving a Chevy you will have memories with those whom you love and you will go on “life journeys” with.
Logos is a very key aspect of advertisements. If ads do not have any logical reasoning behind it then the ad is pointless. The main purpose of the ad is to persuade the audience to buy a Chevy due to loyalty, companionship, and friendship which the dog represents, much like Chevy promises to give to their future buyers. Buying a new car is like having a companion who will be there for every special journey if that means learning to drive, or drive across the country. The ad conveys that Chevys are loyal automotive’s, like a friend who will never let you down. This specific message is a message to those who haven’t ever bought a Chevy, it is promoting to those who are new to the brand. The reasoning of companionship, trustworthiness, friendship, loyalty is why they want you to buy a Chevy because Chevys have those traits and they try to claim that other car brands don’t.
Through the uses of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, I think Chevy did a good job of promoting to future buyers of their brand, but it didn’t do much justice to those who are already Chevy customers, because it did not promote a new product to show off to those who already know what their brand is about.
Modern society is full of advertisements and commercials they are everywhere we go, from inside our very own homes, to on the Interstate or the grocery store. It is extremely significant to analyze the ads you see on a day to day basis so individual costumers understand the meaning behind the ads. Every ad we come across incorporates rhetorical appeals, purposes, and is targets a particular audience.
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