1. What is the product or service being promoted or advertised? Be as specific as possible: for example, don’t just say ‘paint’, say “Behr brand half gallon paint” 2. What medium was your commercial — that is, TV? sign on the road? newspaper? And again, be specific about the source; not just ‘the newspaper’, but, ‘which newspaper, on what day?”, etc. And these following questions are essentially the core of a ‘rhetorical analysis’ of any kind: II Part Two: Audience 3. Who do you see as the main ‘intended audience’ for this product/service? WHY — what makes you think this? 4. Is this ad ‘seasonal’ in any way, or, related to a particular ‘time frame’, or is it pretty much an all year round thing? If it is seasonal, indicate the season ‘aimed at’, and how you can tell it is that season or special time? III Part Three: The Appeals Looking at The Appeals What I want to clarify is, any and every type of reason or ‘support’ falls under one of the categories of ethos, pathos, or logos, whether a person KNOWS this or not. That is, as I said early on in class, Aristotle just one day NAMED the things he observed people doing every day when they talked with each other, or in the case of rhetoric, ‘argued’ with each other. He realized that what people do naturally when trying to give reasons for something fall into three main categories that tend to ‘work’ at convincing people — (1) logos, or just plain common sense logical reasoning, WITH the additions of data, facts, figures; (2) ethos, or, how trustworthy, believable (credible), ‘expert’, or respected a source of info is, as WELL as the person speaking/writing himself; and (3) pathos — anything that appeals to any emotion possible, or, ‘feelings’, and which ALSO includesanything nonverbal that is used to stir feelings, notably visual images and sounds/music. So, my point is, while you have effortlessly already used logos, ethos, and pathos your whole entire life, it’s only recently that you have been forced to learn their names. And why? because in learning RHETORIC, you need to learn the tools of how to do it well. This includes knowing that if you had to come up with an argument and your mind was blank or you didn’t really have any personal interest in it, you could still construct a good case by consciously thinking of what MAKES a good case, namely — the three different appeals, and adapting them to your audience and what their situation and needs might be. Another reminder is that not all the appeals work in every case; some might only have one that’s going to work, or two out of three, or sort of all three but one stronger than the other, etc. etc. etc. But knowing your building blocks, as it were, is what gives you the ability to try your best at constructing an argument. It can ALSO help you EVALUATE someone else’s argument so that you can ‘critically listen/read and then think’ about what they’re trying to get you to agree with. Anyway, such is the core value of knowing the Appeals. So for your selected commercials, I want you to : 5. List any of the three appeals you notice/hear in the ad. Tell me exactly what it was and if you think it ‘worked.’ If all three appeals are present, tell me about each one. If only one or two are used, then tell me about that one or the two of them. 6.Do you think these appeals were effective, for this product, and for the intended audience? WHY or WHY NOT, you have to tell me why/why not, since that is key to a rhetorical analysis.
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