Rhetorical Analysis of Ad

The power of an advert is its ability to convince the audience to believe its message. Advertisers employ pathos, ethos, and logos to persuade their audience to buy their products. The effectiveness of these appeals determines the power of an advert to persuade the audience believes whichever information is being given. One of the brands that try to make their ads as persuasive as possible is Red Bull, a manufacturer of an energy drink consumed in various countries worldwide. The Red Bull ad below has a statement, “MINDS, LIKE PENCILS, WORK BETTER WHEN SHARP,” and a sketch of a human with a bull’s head flying while seated on a pencil. Based on the features of the ad, it appears that the author used ethos and pathos effectively but did not employ logos, making it less persuasive to the audience.

Red Bull Advertising

(Kastner and Partners 1)

The advert has features that provide an idea about the target audience. The target audience for the Redbull advert is scholars or students. The slogan on the advert is “MINDS, LIKE PENCILS, WORK BETTER WHEN SHARP .”The man is seated on a pencil with a sharp end, and his hand is holding a book and in front of him is what looks like a computer (Kastner and Partners 1). All the items suggest that he is a student or a scholar. Students and scholars or scholars need pencils, books, and laptops.

The advert also employs pathos. Pathos is used in advertisements or other public announcements to evoke the audience’s emotions (Copper and Rosemary 38). An example of pathos is when the pursued says, “It is very exciting to enjoy a can of Red Bull when doing your study” or “It is so sad to see parents allowing children to play in the cold. In the image, the sitting position of the man with the bull’s head creates a sense of comfort while the smile evokes happiness in the audience. Imagining that the bull is smiling is alone enough to evoke happiness in the audience. The sense of motion in the graphic evokes excitement in the audience. Pathos makes the audience believe the message and want to be associated with it. It can also create a sense of pity and make the audience sad about an issue (Copper and Rosemary 38). In the case of the Red Bull advert being analyzed, pathos is employed to evoke happiness and a sense of comfort. Everyone would need a drink that brings about happiness. The sense of happiness evoked by the image is reinforced by the writings below saying, “RED BULL GIVES YOU WINGS” (Kastner and Partners 1). The statement makes the audience understand why the man with the bull’s head is laughing. The graphic and the writing works together to convince the audience that Red Bull is the best energy drink for someone who wants to win.

The advert also employs ethos. It involves the use of credibility or the authority of the persuader to convince the audience (Cooper and Rosemary 38). A good example of ethos is when one says, “As an experienced doctor, I can assure you that this medication will clear your illnesses within a week. The mention of the words “experienced doctor” makes the audience believe what one is saying because one is an expert in the field. Another example of ethos is when one says, “The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every person above the age of sixteen should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Here, the mention of WHO gives the whole statement credibility and can convince the audience to believe in whatever one is saying. In the case of the Red Bull advert, the words “MINDS, LIKE PENCILS, WORK BETTER WHEN SHARP” (Kastner and Partners 1). This statement is authoritative because of how it is written with confidence. The confidence in the statement is reinforced by the fact that it is written in capital letters.

The advert being explored does not employ logos making it less effective in persuading the audience to believe that the brand sharpens the mind. Logos is an appeal to logic or reason and may involve using evidence to support the persuader’s statement (Cooper and Rosemary 39). An example of using a logo in persuasion is when someone says,” The census data clearly shows that that the number of women in the country was double that of men .”Here, the census data shows that the number of women is higher than that of men. The appeal to reason in the advert is not apparent, but the two cans of Red Bull make the audience understand what it is all about. In addition, the man featured in the advert has a reddish head of a bull. This, together with the statement at the bottom, “RED BULL GIVES YOU WIIINGS,” makes it clear that the advert is for the brand. However, having Red Bull at the bottom of the advert makes the audience associate it will all the good things about it written at the top and relate it to the graphic.

The genre in which the advert belongs is not specific, but it was retrieved from Kastner and Partners advertisement agency. The advertisement made by the agency targets different groups depending on the brand they feature. In the case of the Red Bull advert, the most probable target group is young people, especially those still in school. It associates the brand with a sharp mind (Kastner & Partners 1). The fact that this advert is on the website for Kastner and Partners advertisement agency may not have impacted its content because the firm does not deal with specific types of advertisement. It advertises different brands from different manufacturers.

In conclusion, the Red Bull advert employed only pathos and ethos but not logos, making it less effective in convincing the audience about the brand. The audience would have wanted to know how the brand sharpens the mind like a pencil and how many people use it in the US or elsewhere. In other words, it was important for the advert to have a credible source of evidence to support its claims. The persuader should have included statements such as “Over eighty percent of athletes love Red Bull .”Such a statement would appeal to logic better than what is given in the advertisement. Such a statement would convince the audience that the brand is good because many people are already using it. Although the ad did not employ logos, it included elements to let the audience know the advertised brand.

Works Cited

Cooper, Sheila, and Rosemary Patton.  Writing Logically, Thinking Critically . , 2015. Print.

Kastner and Partners.Red Bull Energy Drink – “Study 1”. 2020. Accessed on September 5, 2022, from,https://www.adforum.com/creative-work/ad/player/12656264/study-1/red-bull-energy-drink

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Rhetorical Analysis of the Two Ads


Advertising campaigns, which gained particular popularity at the stage of development of information society, in fact, have an ancient historical foundation. Almost any advertisement of a product, call to action, or propaganda is reduced to the point that evokes in the consumer feelings and emotions or calls to their consciousness. Widely used media technologies are based on rhetorical methods that became relevant in Ancient Greece. This essay is aimed at a rhetorical analysis of the two proposed ads in order to identify the means of Pathos, Ethos, and Logos.

The first advertisement poster consists of two independent vertical parts. While on the left side is a picture of the celebrity, Taylor Swift, which is particularly popular with young audiences, the right side is the main marketing text. In terms of design solutions, the image has a harmonious two-color range, combining purple and cream shades. It is interesting to clarify that in the right part of the poster, there is a direct reference to the name of the singer, interpreted as a verb: “Taylor Swift = Swift Pick.” This advertising poster’s main task is to draw teens’ attention to the importance of drinking milk instead of sugary drinks.

The second advertisement, which was chosen for analysis, has a more pronounced emotional context. The poster depicts two boys in a familiar environment for teenagers — the school gym. Although the hands of one of the characters hold a red ball, the other stands with a machine gun. The text of the advertisement above the heads of children calls for guessing what is forbidden in America. At the bottom of the poster, an unexpected answer is given, as well as a link to the site.

Body by Milk

Rhetorical analysis of the advertising image with Taylor Swift can easily detect three Aristotelian elements — Pathos, Logos, and Ethos. First of all, it should be remembered that Pathos implies a direct appeal to the emotions and feelings of the consumer (Hellerman). By engaging in customers’ feelings, marketers can influence their opinion, namely, to make them drink more milk. Often, emotions have a more significant impact on consciousness than logic, therefore, placing famous faces on the poster is crucial. Hence, the choice of celebrity, in this case, is that since teenagers who saw the advertising poster, probably will not pass by. Taylor is a star among young audiences, and marketers are keen to raise interest in customers with just a picture of the singer. Moreover, it should be clarified that the Pathos category for this advertising is not limited to placing a picture of a celebrity on the sheet. If one looks at the text, one can notice that marketers call for quite common problems among teenagers — overweight and muscle mass. In other words, this advertising causes in the minds of consumers, whether they are schoolchildren or their parents, a sense of care about their health, which indeed directs the purchase of milk, not a carbonated drink.

In addition, when further analyzing the advertising poster, it can be seen that it contains elements of Ethos. First of all, it should be recalled that, as a rule, the use of this rhetorical category is reduced to representing the authority of a person seeking to convince consumers (Hellerman). Often such references are limited to an indication of the author’s competence, titles, or well-deserved awards. In advertising technology, Ethos refers to the use of well-known persons as sales representatives so that the client has an associative connection between the product and the famous person. From this position, Taylor Swift can be considered as the advertising face of the brand, which is tantamount to the emergence in the minds of consumers of the scheme “Taylor recommends drinking milk,” although, in fact, such statements are absent. Verbal constructions are describing the authority of the information presented in the advertisement. In particular, the first three words of the central part of the marketing text boil down to what some researchers assume about the benefits of milk. Moreover, it is not difficult to notice that there are no direct references or references to research, but this does not prevent marketers from using these words. As a result, customers with a low level of critical thinking will believe these words because “some” experts said so.

The logo of this poster is less visible but still present. The logo is a reference to numbers, statistics, or direct scientific proof, aiming to reach the mind of the client (Hellerman). If the consumer is told that 9 out of 10 dentists choose toothpaste, it becomes difficult to resist the majority. In this case, the Logos is based on the lowest sentence, which indicates that three servings of milk per day are required. It would seem to be a small part, but in fact, there is a direct reference to the subsequent thought that it is essential to drink three because this is what Taylor, researchers, or marketers say. Either way, there is a number that resonates in the minds of more rational consumers.

Moms Demand Action

Pathos is most pronounced in this social advertising because the first idea that is highlighted is the conflict. It is evident that children and assault rifles are incredibly incongruous elements, hence, conscious placement of the rifles in the hands of a child entails philosophical reflection in the consciousness of the consumer on the question of the seriousness. In other words, marketers tend to call people to a sense of dissonance of reality. In addition, the concept of the poster is expressed as a quick game, in which the viewer must determine which of the presented, the ball or rifle is officially prohibited in the U.S. It is extremely likely that a person will first think about weapons, but the inscription on the bottom that the game of dodgeball using the ball is illegal will be a surprise. It is safe to say that marketers turn to a sense of civic justice, patriotism, and love for the country and cultural traditions when they create such a minigame. In addition, it should be noted that for this announcement, there is a serious implication, which marketers have put in the image. In particular, for all Americans, the hot topic is the Columbine, Colorado massacre, where two teenagers (as in the advertisement) with guns in their hands killed their peers. This connection plays a fundamental role in exciting the consumer of information, so it is the ultimate form of Pathos.

First of all, it should be noted that there is no direct reference to Ethos in this social advertising. The quick analysis does not allow to find any references to authoritative sources or names. At the same time, if looking at the ad text from a different angle, it is possible to highlight the pronoun “we,” which is presented in the most intriguing part of the ad. In this case, “we” are the Americans, the U.S. government, that has approved such an absurd situation: a ban on playing ball, but a permit for weapons. The viewer watching this poster unknowingly associate themselves with the “we,” believing that they are also involved in this policy. In turn, this makes the citizen responsible for injustice, which can be interpreted as a unique form of Ethos. In other words, authority is the viewer themselves because people tend to trust themselves the most.

What is true for the application of the Ethos in the announcement is also true for Logos: an initial review does not reveal any significant elements. Nevertheless, the analytical work helps to focus on the sentence that says “we” (Americans) have banned dodgeball because it is too harsh. Although there are no direct statistics here, the logic of the text lies in forming a cultural-historical background in the minds of citizens about the adoption of this ban, the effect of democratic voting, and the importance of peaceful measures. In other words, it is quite possible to assert that the Logos of this social poster lies in causing the viewer to think about adopting such an unfair law.

To sum up, it is essential to note that Aristotelian categories of rhetoric, such as Logos, Pathos, and Ethos, are not in the past, but are widely used in modern advertising technology. The advertising banners presented in this analysis demonstrated a unique and harmonious combination of the three elements: while one work focused on Ethos, the other was more focused on Pathos. Nevertheless, it is on the integration of all categories manages to create a poster that resonates with the soul and consciousness of the consumer and encourages them to particular thoughts, ideas, or actions.

Hellerman, Jason. “Ethos, Pathos, Logos and the 20 Most Effective Ways to Advertise [Infographic].” No Film School , Web.

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ENGLISH 2100T (34774) – Writing 1, Fall 2020

A blogs@baruch site, blog post #6: brief rhetorical analysis of a commercial.

Select a commercial that is approximately 30 seconds long, and provide a rhetorical analysis of the commercial. In your analysis, comment on how the commercial appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos (or if it does not appeal to one or more of these dimensions of rhetoric). Also, comment on a rhetorical device that the commercial employs (See list of rhetorical devices ). Your response should be eight to 12 sentences long. Please include a link to the commercial.

20 thoughts on “ Blog Post #6: Brief Rhetorical Analysis of a Commercial ”

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In a Wendy’s breakfast commercial about Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9cisMBnIgw ), there were great appeals to the audience by using aesthetic images of the burger, bacon, eggs, and the honey butter chicken biscuit. First, the commercial portrayed Wendy’s burger as the rising sun with the lines, “Tomorrow, it can only be better with Wendy’s breakfast.” Following that, bacons appeared with the pun, “A tomorrow that says BAE-can, not BAE-cant.” This is a usage of anaphora, repeating the word “tomorrow” in the beginning of the two sentences and in addition, some personification to “tomorrow” by making it say something. There was a use of metaphor with the line “when eggs rain like opportunity.” The word “tomorrow” is repeated many times throughout the ad like “tomorrow brings even more like a honey butter chicken biscuit” and “no matter what, tomorrow is looking good,” etc. I think this ad did a great job as it did make me want to have some of the breakfast items in it. The narration put emphasis on some words to make it dramatic, as with the actions like cracking eggs and spreading the sauce, and seemed to make what they’re saying sound like facts.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLwML2PagbY This is a commercial of the Mercedes-Benz intelligent drive. In the commercial, people hold the chickens and move their bodies with the music. The chickens move forward and move back when the music sings, “up site down.” And the chickens make a round when the music sings, “ round and round.” The dancing chickens and the music impassion me to move my body also. The word “up site down and round” repeated several times in the music. There is the use of simile and metaphor. They describe the intelligent drive as these chickens that have magic body control. In the background, these white lines represent the road. Seems like the chickens are driving on the road. I really like this commercial because it is very funny. I still think about these dancing chickens after I close the video.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IrXtsd5LKQ This commercial of Popeyes did a great job of convincing their audience to buy their deals. The commercial started with the opening line of the spokeswoman of Popeyes saying, “You know why Louisiana food is the best food in the world?” The man replied, “Because we slow cook.” This right away showed logos, since they’re using the logic that slow cooking creates the best meals. The next images were of how the fried chicken was being prepared using the slow cooking method. These images illustrated Popeyes as only cooking their fried chicken in the kitchen which gave the feeling of homemade fresh meals. This demonstrated ethos since Popeyes was seen as a credible source for homemade food. The spokeswoman later on said, “How good? I’m talking four pieces for only five dollar good. You heard me, four for five dollar good.” The rhetorical device that was used was an epistrophe since the end of the phrase was being constantly repeated, which emphasized the five dollar deal for having four chicken pieces. The emotion of having a good home-cooked meal for a good deal illustrated the rhetorical device of pathos. The commercial illustrated that Popeyes meals were homemade, delicious, and affordable. They also displayed their prices with a clear font size above the meals, which captured the audience’s attention to seeing the deal that they’re getting at Popeyes. The commercial at the end concluded with their classic ringtone saying, “Love that Chicken at Popeyes.” The last few seconds of the commercial the audience was left thinking about Popeyes, since it was the last word that was shown before the ad ended. I think this commercial did a good job since I was left wanting to get Popeyes afterwards.

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I chose Australian Bananas “Lasting Energy” 30 sec TV Commercial. In this advertisement, it shows people that bananas are a good snack. In the advertisement, people who want to eat sweets in the office are beaten by big gloves. The people by the pool, those playing on the grass, and those playing with friends all eat bananas and show happy expressions. At first, I was puzzled about this, but immediately I understood the meaning of this ad. This advertisement uses epistrophe, which mean repetition words or expressions at the end of consecutive phrases, clauses, sentences. The advertisement keeps repeating “That’s a nana”, “is nana” and “nana” to let the audience give the audience a feeling of believing that bananas are a good snack. I believe the audience will go back to the supermarket to buy bananas after watching this advertisement. Place on the table and enjoy them slowly.


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In this commercial for Grammarly ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLFiZfvL_L8 ), there is no speaking at all. All of the information the advertisement has been trying to show is through images, actions, and emotions of the character. At the beginning of the commercial, the student seems to be nervous about her writing piece, so we can infer that it is probably an important academic paper. Later on, the video shows how her continuous usage of Grammarly helps to build her writing proficiency. Her emotions transform from anxiety to happiness and excitement. This is where the commercial tells people that you will be satisfied with your writings along with your emotions if you use this software. Moreover, it also shows people how convenient it is to use this software because the writer will not have to manually cite the source, instead, the software will cite it for you. All the writer has to do is to copy and paste the citation. The commercial grabs my attention a lot especially because I am also a student who will write tons of papers not only for academic purposes but also for job-related ones. It is obvious that I will want to check every part of my writing to ensure it is probably perfect to submit. I will say that the commercial uses logos and pathos for the most part. The logos takes place when the message in the video is telling you how the use of a writing tool like Grammarly will enhance the quality of the paper. The last scene in the video where the student gets an “A+” from her professor also indicates the usefulness of this technology. On the other hand, pathos is used where the student in the video shows how anxious she is when it comes to writing a paper without understanding the expectation of her professor. I believe that a lot of the students will face the same situation and feeling when he or she is not sure about how the quality of the final paper will be. When the student in the video gets happy in the end, this somehow convinces the audience that the software can make you happy too. Both of these emotional scenarios can make the audience resonate with when it comes to the difficulty of writing and the gratitude when getting a good grade from the paper written.

Also, I am not very sure if the commercial has demonstrated any of the rhetorical devices since most of them are related to words while the commercial I picked has zero speaking. As I check through the list of the devices, I did not really see any matches with it, but I could be wrong.

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This is the M&M’s commercial. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vc3NZyK2is ) In the video, there are two M&M’s act as human. The yellow one holds a bag of M&M’s in front of a fan and said, “The crispy M&M’s are back” because the red one let him tell their fans. Then the red one comes in and said, “not those fans”. The yellow point of the other two types fans and ask is this fan. There is uses antanaclasis. It uses two different meanings of fans to create humor in the commercial. The first time I watch this, I was confused about their conversation. I realized these two are talking about different fans. It is a fun commercial and put point into audiences’ mind in a humorous way.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h_-vBYui_U This is a commercial about water. This commercial uses logos for most parts. It shows the cause and effect relationship to tell the customers the importance of water. For example, “drinking water is essential to your health that’s why you need to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day.” This illustrates a cause and effect relationship, it focuses on the relationship that because water keeps people healthy, so we need to drink it. Additionally, this commercial also uses some rhetorical devices. For example, “Unlike power drinks or soft drinks, water is truly the only drink that can quench your thirst.” This example uses comparison and hypobole to highlight and exaggerate the benefits of water – to quench your thirst. The use of the word “only” and compare to power drinks and soft drinks are for the purpose to emphasize only water can quench thirst.

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The commercial on Sugar Bites is created with the purpose of engaging the audience (dominantly parents) to be aware of sugary drinks that they are buying for their kids. In order to gain credibility, the ad included statistical reasoning on why sugary drinks are bad. As the ad begins, the music sets a serious and formal tone for the narrator behind the scene who explains how sugary drinks “can destroy teeth, cause obesity, and lead to type II diabetes.” The use of facts increases credibility because the ad is saying more than just sugary drinks are bad but providing the consequences that can arise as a result of drinking sugary drinks. As mentioned earlier about the background music, it is important to know that the type of music in the background can influence the viewer’s mood. A piece of more serious music in the background informs the viewer that what’s coming up is serious for closer attention. Later in the ad, an animation of teeth coming out of the juice playing along with a tearing sound in the background can tense up the viewer to let them realize the horribleness of sugar drinks. The use of music and animation in the ad plays a role in switching the viewer’s mood and emotion from being unconscious to conscious of the issue with drinking sugary drinks. After all, logical reasoning is present as the viewer comes to see the “monster” behind sugary drinks and is able to conclude in complement with the facts that drinks are bad and thus you shouldn’t buy drinks that are bad for you. The rhetorical devices used in the ad include personification of sugar when claiming that “Sugar Bites” and a call to action for parents to “Protect their kids.” These techniques together help to emphasize the reconsideration for parents to avoid buying sugary drinks on sale for their kids after considering the level of high sugar in many drinks and the consequences they can bring. Though the ad was only 30s, I think it was enough to make this point clear to the audience given the way ethos, logos, and pathos was structured and formulated.


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This ad from McDonald’s is really short, however, it leaves you with the sensation of wanting to eat fries (believe me). In this ad, they make a close up to the fries that allows you to see how crunchy it is. They also use the background music which is like music you would hear when entering heaven to portray the message that the fries are so good they would take you to heaven when you eat them. Something that really impressed me was the way they incorporated real life in the commercial. As a consumer I am always complaining about the fact that I can be with I friend, I order food and ask her if she wants some, she says she does not want and when she sees it she starts eating my food. I am impressed because they used a real life situation in their ad which makes the viewer relate to the ad and convince them that next time, instead of ordering one, they should order two fries.


Finally, McDonald’s does not use logos because they do not want their audience to be aware of the amount of diseases that can come from eating to much fries, it can cause you diabetes and high cholesterol, but McDonalds prefers to not say this in the ad because if they do they would lose clients.

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Amazon Prime’s 30 second commercial about their convenient and fast subscription is one that you would not want to skip. The reason is because they have no speakers, but a musician that sings a happy song. This commercial have the rhetoric device meiosis, where less emphasis of the product presented to achieve a greater effect. Advertisement like these allow the watchers to enjoy watching it more. Amazon Prime was not exaggerated, but just included for like four seconds. The pathos within this commercial is strong, because it is all musician and no speaker, the commercial depends on acting and having watchers to have emotions when watching the commercial. The girl shows sympathy to the street musician and donates a dog costume to them to help them earn more money. As a watcher myself, I feel some consolation. For logos, the commercial relates to everyday street life, seeing a street musician not doing well with a dog and a everyday street cart girl that buys a cute dog costume off amazon prime…getting the product fast, the street musician start doing well. As for ethos, amazon is a big company. The subscription Amazon Prime guarantees buyer product quality and fast service. The commercial is full with ethos since many people use Amazon Prime.


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEMFAx_8cvc This ad is about a flea, tick, and worm spot-on treatment for cats by Bravecto for Cats. In the commercial, ethos was used as a rhetorical device to help appeal to the audience. They stated in the ad that their product is the “loooooooooooooooongest” lasting treatment in the industry, providing a fact. They delivered the message with strong confidence. Even though they did not go into details about how their product is the longest lasting but they used their company’s credibility to appeal to the audience. In addition, emphasis was used on “loooooooooooooooongest.” By using an immense amount of “o’s” causes the audience to pay attention to it and to keep that in mind. In a way, pathos was used in the commercial. “You can spend less time treating and more time doing this *man dancing and dabbing*” This phrase appeals to humans preferring convenience over complication by showing how it would be more convenient for people to use their product and how they can spend that time on whatever they want. By adding the man dancing part causes the audience to feel like it was relatable and how they should purchase the product.

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This video is a commercial on Milk by Dairy Farmers of Ontario. The commercial uses pathos and logos to explain why milk is so great and all the benefits that it can give. It talks about how milk can inspire someone to be like a “morning person” and how milk can keep up with a person at any age. It shows a woman smiling when drinking it, a woman pushing through a rough time doing her job, and a child growing taller with upbeat music in the background. The video also shows a child drinking milk and smiling, saying that if milk can make that happen, it is “pretty special.” Also, it talks about how it makes the organs in the body function and “creme brulee cremmy.” It evokes the feeling of joy and perseverance to the people watching the ad. The people also think about the good that milk brings to children’s health. A rhetorical device that the commercial uses is anaphora, which is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning. It repeats the words “it can” often to show what milk can do for someone and what people can inspire to be. It gives the person watching the commercial hope and inspiration that milk can change and is good for the body.


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This is a commercial about a bar of chocolate by Butterfingers. A rhetorical device that this commercial use is homoioteleuton, which is using the last sound of words in repetition. The commercial says, “Crispity, crunchity, and butterity.” and this phrase uses the “ity” sound in each adjective to express the feeling of eating a Butterfinger. The commercial uses mostly pathos. At the beginning of the commercial is a skit. The employee savors the Butterfinger is a hint that it is delicious. When he receives a fake phone call, he puts down his Butterfinger and another employee tries to steal it away adding to the emphasis on that a Butterfinger is really good. Then the employee on the phone catches him and pins him to a wall with a stapler to show the obsession of Butterfingers and that it is worth fighting over. Overall, this skit was meant for a humorous effect. It later shows a graphic a split Butterfinger and describing them with the mentioned adjectives to give a feeling of savory.

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Everytime I see this commercial it makes me want to cry, which means that this commercial is appealing to the emotion of the viewers (pathos). They show abused and neglected animals to urge people to call and donate their money. When people see these animals they’re going to feel bad for them and most likely give away their money. The animals are shown locked in cages, with cuts, they look miserable and starved and with this people will feel bad for them because they don’t deserve that kind of treatment. By using pathos this commercial is persuading the viewers to call and donate. They are also using ethos because they’re using a famous person to be the face of the commercial and they have her telling people to call and donate. People will also be persuaded to do so because if they know who she is they will see her as a credible source and trust what she’s saying and call to donate. Through the use of the ASPCA’s ethos pathos they’re urging people to help the neglected and abused animals get help which is the sole purpose of the commercial.

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This video is a commercial by Nike. In the commercial, a woman is exercising in Nike’s sportswear. The commercial uses anaphora, which is the repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases. The narrator in the background said “nobody is going to get you out of bed in the morning. Nobody is going to be there to cheer for you. Nobody is going to push you to keep going when you hit the wall. Nobody is going to make you be who you want to be.” As the woman is exercising, the narrative is saying “Nobody is…” in an encouraging tone to make the commercial more appealing to the audiences. It delivers a message that Nike’s sportswear can bring out the best of you. This commercial also uses pathos because Nike wants the audiences to feel what they want them to feel. The narrator said “Nobody is gonna just do it for you. You have to do it yourself.” This is very appealing because the music in the background is very motivating and along with the narrator, it makes it very persuasive. It sounds like a life lesson. At the end of the commercial, it shows the Nike logo and its slogan, “Just Do It.” It just makes me want to buy some Nike right now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW4_y0efc-4&list=TLPQMDUxMDIwMjATe0x0DAS5Og&index=1

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XZYB2vrwgc This is a commercial about Ham by company PRIMO. In the commerical, there are only two people, the father and the son, and the father is making his son a sandwitch with cheese and ham. The son later stated, his mother’s way to do the sandwitch is ham and cheese, which here the commercial used chiasmus by creating an inverted relationship with different parallels. The commercial pointed out the most important part in the sandwtich is the ham by placing it at first. Later when the father recorecct the order both of them start to enjoy the sandwitch with joy. The setting is at home probably morning or noon which could relate to most of the families and by showing the expression of joyful while eating the sandwitch made by PRIMO’s ham could make the audience curious about how it acutally tastes. Since the commercial is trying to relate to the family market and by showing expressions on how enjoyful the ham could be, the commerical is using patho and it also reflect how PRIMO knows their audience on what they want. Though the commerical most laid on how joyful is to taste the sandwitch made by their ham, they still attracted people by how easy it could to make launch or breakest with simply adding a few hams into the bread, not only save times but also meet the flavour needs. That is definetly attractive to most people who are busy at work or school and do not have effcient time to make foods.

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12.4 Analyzing Advertisements: Descriptive Summary and Rhetorical Analysis

When we view a painting, it’s often because we’ve chosen to do so—usually by visiting a museum. Advertisements, on the other hand, enter our field of vision whether we want them to or not. In both print and digital media, advertisements swirl around us. They pop up on websites, appear in our social media feeds, fill the magazines we read, and interrupt the television shows that we watch. They’re everywhere, and because they’re such a routine part of the visual information we take in each day, it’s important to think critically about how these images are designed and for what purpose.

The Elements of Advertisements

We may not consider advertisements to be works of art, but they’re certainly created with an incredible attention to detail and to the viewer’s experience, just like the other examples of paintings and films discussed in this chapter. For that reason, you can use the same techniques for analyzing art work and movies when analyzing advertisements. For example, when analyzing a print advertisement like the one below, it would be important to observe the use of color, tone, perspective, movement, and how the various objects and individuals are arranged in relation to each other, among other elements.

“A dog makes your life happier. Adopt.”

Similarly, when analyzing a commercial, it would be important to observe not only the visual elements but the audio and narrative elements, as well. Commercials may not come close to the depth of character and plot development that films achieve, but they still tell us stories, often quite effectively. (Keep in mind that plenty of people watch the Super Bowl not for the football game but for the especially entertaining commercial breaks.)

The Rhetoric of Advertisements

The reason that ads are created with such care is because, like any image, they are designed to produce effects. Like a painting, they might lead us to reflect on our identity, our culture, or our values. Like a film, they might elicit our emotions or give us a unique narrative experience. Of course, we all know the primary effect that advertisers hope their advertisements will have. Advertisements are meant to persuade us: to spend money, to use products, and to support candidates or causes, among other possibilities. One could argue that all images are persuasive in one way or another, but advertisements are explicitly so. They want something from us, and they’re not shy about asking for it. Consider the example below.

“Liking isn’t helping.”

Because advertisements are persuasive, you can analyze the rhetoric of an ad just like you can with any other text that’s trying to support a particular claim or point of view. Doing so will help you figure out why a particular advertisement was created and whether or not you want to accept its message. The chapter on “Writing Situations” in this textbook offers more information about how to analyze the rhetorical situation of a text. When thinking about advertisements, though, it’s especially important to ask yourself about:

  • The Writer: Who created the ad? What mindset or point of view might this person, group, or organization bring to the subject matter of the ad?
  • The Purpose: What is the ad meant to do? What effect is it supposed to have on the viewer?
  • The Audience: Who are the targeted viewers of the ad? What mindset or point of view could these individuals have, and how could that affect how the ad is received?
  • The Exigence: What motivated the creation of the ad in the first place? What perceived need or larger situation is the ad responding to?

To get some practice analyzing the rhetorical situation of an advertisement, study the sample ad below. What can you determine about its writer, purpose, audience, and exigence?


In addition to analyzing an advertisement’s rhetorical situation (who created it, for whom, and why) you can also analyze the rhetorical appeals that the ad uses in order to achieve its purpose. That is, what features of the ad make it persuasive? Again, you should refer to the chapter on “Writing Situations” in this textbook for more information about rhetorical appeals. A good place to begin, though, is to consider the use of ethos, pathos, and logos in an advertisement. You can consider:

  • Ethos: How does the advertisement establish its credibility? Is there anything about the advertisement itself (its professionalism, its quality, its tone) that persuades viewers to accept its message? Is there anything about the creators or sponsors of the advertisement (their authority, their prestige) that persuades viewers to accept its message?
  • Pathos: How does the advertisement speak to a viewer’s emotions? Does it try to make the viewer happy, angry, fearful, or distressed (among other possibilities) in order to affect the viewer’s judgment of the message?
  • Logos: How does the advertisement use logical argument and support to communicate its message? Does it make reasonable claims? Are those claims supported with sound evidence?

To get some practice analyzing the rhetorical appeals of an advertisement, study the sample ad below. What can you determine about its use of ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade the viewer?

“The choice is yours, and it’s simple.”

In many ways, analyzing the rhetoric of an advertisement is like analyzing the rhetoric of any text. It’s always important to think about the writer, purpose, audience, and exigence, as well as about rhetorical appeals like ethos, pathos, and logos. That said, there are special considerations to keep in mind when analyzing the rhetoric of an advertisement.

Advertisements are a genre quite unlike the other texts you’ll read and write about in College Composition, many of which are long-form academic essays. Advertisements are also different from the other visual genres discussed in this chapter, particularly when you think about how quickly ads are meant do their work. While we might spend an hour or more watching a film or several minutes contemplating a work of art, we usually just glance at a print advertisement or watch a few seconds of a commercial. In order to understand how an ad could possibly persuade a viewer in so short a time, we have to consider how they use features such as:

  • Brief, catchy slogans or dialogue
  • “Power words” that draw attention and elicit emotion (free, easy, exciting, delicious, etc.)
  • Attention-grabbing fonts, images, and sounds
  • Use of white space and color to quickly direct the viewer’s focus
  • Foregrounding or repetition of key words, product names, or sponsors
  • Use of name recognition or endorsement to establish authority

To get some practice analyzing how ads use these strategies, consider the sample ad below.

McDonald’s. “On your right.”

The Ideology of Advertisements

One of the most effective ways for an advertisement to persuade us is by appealing to our values and assumptions. We often support candidates and organizations whose ads support our own worldview, for instance. Similarly, we may purchase products because we believe our bodies, attitudes, and choices should resemble those of the models or spokespeople endorsing them. To fully understand how ads try to persuade us, it’s necessary to think about how they try to confirm our assumptions (or our fears) about ourselves, our culture, and our world.

Of course, even when the values and assumptions embedded in an advertisement are not part of a deliberate attempt to persuade us, it’s important to notice them and think critically about them.  Advertisements are powerful. They’re everywhere. They can be flashy, provocative, and even fun. For these reasons, advertisements can normalize some beliefs (about race, for example, or body image or gender roles) and challenge or exclude others.

The critical theories already introduced in this chapter will help you to understand how the advertisements you analyze participate in our culture’s conversations about gender, race, class, and many other topics. You can find more information about these theories in this textbook’s chapter on “Literary Theory in the College Composition Classroom.”

An example of one scholar using critical theory (in this case, gender studies) to study advertisements is The Gender Ads Project by Scott A. Lukas. This site collects and analyzes advertisements in order to understand how they influence our ideas about gender and sexuality.

To practice thinking about how ads can reveal or even shape our assumptions about gender, consider the sample advertisement below.


Writing Exercise: Analyze an Advertisement

Use the strategies for visual analysis that you’ve learned about in this chapter to analyze the rhetoric of a print ad or commercial of your choice. Compose an analysis that:

  • Describes the advertisement using the visual and narrative elements discussed in this chapter.
  • Explains the advertisement’s rhetorical situation and use of rhetorical appeals.
  • Explains how the advertisement reflects or challenges prominent cultural ideas about gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, or any of the other cultural issues discussed in this chapter.

Continue Reading: 12.5 Analyzing Public Art: Descriptive Summary and Rhetorical Analysis

Composition for Commodores Copyright © 2023 by Mollie Chambers; Karin Hooks; Donna Hunt; Kim Karshner; Josh Kesterson; Geoff Polk; Amy Scott-Douglass; Justin Sevenker; Jewon Woo; and other LCCC Faculty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Resources: Discussions and Assignments

Module 8 discussion: ad rhetorical analysis.

A rhetorical analysis requires taking a closer look at the persuasiveness of a message. In this discussion forum, you will find an advertisement of any sort—a video, print, or radio ad—and complete a critical analysis.

STEP 1 : Post a link to the advertisement you’ve selected. Analyze its effectiveness by first answering the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the ad?
  • What is the argument of the ad?
  • Who is the “author” of the ad?
  • Who is the intended audience for the ad?
  • What is the tone of the ad?
  • What is the style and tone of the ad?
  • What kind of supporting appeals, evidence, or examples does this ad use or rely on?

Write a summary paragraph about why you believe the ad is effective or ineffective. This paragraph should include a  claim  (whether or not you think it is effective),  evidence,  as demonstrated in the ad, and  support  for that evidence (as explained in the reading on critical analysis from the module).

STEP 2 : Respond in two separate posts to two classmates (in at least 75 words). Explicitly address their examples and try to extend, complicate, or redirect their points in a substantive, knowledge-demonstrating way.

  • Discussion: Advertisement Rhetorical Analysis. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution

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Rhetorical Analysis of Nike “Want It All” Advertisement

Rhetorical analysis of ‘want it all’ advertisement by nike .

Ads are created to affect. However, few of them make their mark and are effective as expected. It is because to persuade your audience can be difficult. Only if your ad has the right appeal, it will reach its target. For a strong appeal, ads use rhetoric whose appeal can be strong or weak. A good advertisement has a strong rhetorical appeal. It has ethos, pathos and logos. Apart from being appealing to the eyes, ads must also appeal to the other senses. Effective ads connect with the hearts of the audience. They do not just use logos or the logical appeal but also ethos and pathos. Nike is known to have made some of the most interesting ads whose theme is mostly energy, courage and dreams. These ads are designed to appeal to people interested in sports. However, they appeal to a broader target audience and the reason is their use of creativity and imagination. Nike advertisements even if they primarily target sports lovers celebrate aspirations and victory. This is why a larger audience loves them. These ads are about ambition, achievement, success and goals.

This is the analysis of a Nike ad released in 2017. Nike is a brand of sports shoes, apparel and equipment. The brand is well known around the world by its logo and brand name. The swoosh logo easily sets it apart from the competition. One among the best known brands in sports and athletic wear, Nike competes with Adidas, Under Armour and Puma . While it has built a great brand image, the brand still invests a lot in marketing and advertising. It brings special creativity to its ads so as to make them shine. Outstanding ads rely on creativity and are made to strike the right chord with the audience. This ad like most other advertisements by Nike is also based on the theme of energy and dreams. Most of the Nike ads are about pushing the line, dreaming, sweating and achieving. Sports are all about energy and courage and this fact is known to millions of sports fans all around the world. Whenever, it is an advertisement by Nike, the themes are bound to be related to courage and enthusiasm.

This  ad starts with a kid watching others play basketball. He is standing by a basketball court where some other kids – teenagers above his age – are playing. The dream sequence continues and passes through stages. From there it reaches a training court. Teenagers are practicing in the court. They are learning from a coach. In the next scene, the kid has grown up. He is watching basketball on TV and dribbling inside his room. His mother cries from another room to stop dribbling. The kid keeps growing and he is a basketball player now. He is playing for his team. The dream sequence continues and shows him growing. He passes through several phases of failures and wins before he becomes a major player. At last, it shows him winning in the basketball court. The ad shows you should not stop because you will at last win. If you are unstoppable you will win.

The ad consists of all the three appeals including ethos, pathos and logos .

Ethos – It means ethical appeal or appeal to the ethics. This appeal is related to the people’s sense of ethics. The ad does not show anything unethical and gains credibility from the Nike sign. It is because Nike is a brand name that millions around the world rely upon and admire. This is how the ad strikes credibility.

Pathos – It is the appeal to emotions. The ad does have a deep emotional appeal. Every heart wants to win. However, to win, you need unending energy and you need to persevere. The ad appeals to the emotions by showing that every young heart has dreams and it aspires to reach its dream. Emotions are there inside every heart. The kid in the ad just symbolises the dreams nestled in the hearts of all basketball fans. These emotions lend us strength and then perseverance and regular practice helps you win.

Logos – After ethos and pathos, it is the logos part that lends strength to the advertisement’s appeal. Logos is the logical part of the advertisement and the logic lies not just in the product but the emotions and spirit it reflects.

The logic of Nike lies in the spirit of basketball which is to never let go and to never stop. Millions of sports fans find logic in this spirit around the world. To add logic the ad stresses upon perseverance and hard work. In this way the ad is rich in terms of all the three appeals. It has ethos, pathos and logos all the three and it has also the creativity needed to strike the right chord with the sports fans. The advertisement ends at “Want it all” – or the heart aspires to achieve everything that it dreams of.

Nike is known to have made some of the world’s best ads whose aim is to inspire energy in its fans. Nike is a sports brand and its customers are mainly the athletes and sports fans. The success of the ad depends upon how much appeal it contains and Nike has done it successfully in this ad. Overall, the ad is highly effective and it does what it intends to do – to connect with the audiences. Nike is among the best of the sport shoes and apparel brands. It has a very large segment of fans and followers all around the globe. These ads help it successfully connect with its followers and to keep their imaginations engaged. High engagement level also translates into higher sales and revenue plus a strong brand image.


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