Essay on Rhetorical Analysis

809 Words Mar 30th, 2013 4 Pages
Rhetorical Analysis of Pedigree Advertisements Advertisements are everywhere. From billboards, to magazines, to newspapers, flyers and TV commercials, chances are that you won’t go a day without observing some sort of ad. In most cases, companies use these ads as persuasive tools, deploying rhetorical appeals—logos, pathos, and ethos—to move their audiences to think or act in a certain way. The two magazine ads featured here, both endorsing Pedigree products, serve as excellent examples of how these modes of persuasion are strategically used. In the first example, we see an exaggerated, humorous depiction of yellow Labrador retriever using its “superdog” strength, which it apparently acquired from eating Pedigree, to dig up a …show more content…
Although the image in the ad contributes to a lighthearted, humorous tone, the choice of color—mostly blacks, grays, and whites—establishes a sense of authority, as if Pedigree is confident about the product there are selling. The use of all-capital letters and an authoritative typeface for the short, declarative statement placed above and to the right of the image reinforce this ethos appeal. Perhaps more importantly, the company logo in the upper-right-corner symbolizes the caring and trustworthy reputation of Pedigree, well known for their pet adoption drives and quality products. The second advertisement, which shows an unhappy but adorable dog behind a chain-length fence, illustrates another approach that companies may take to persuade their audiences. This magazine ad exhibits a strong pathetic appeal: the dog’s sad eyes, the restricting cage, the dark, dreary background, and the heartrending narrative placed next to the image all compel the viewer to feel sorry for the homeless dog. As we look at this color photograph, our eyes first fix upon the dog’s somber eyes, cut off from freedom behind the metal fence. Next, we move to the brightly colored story in the upper-left-hand corner, with its rounded, warmhearted font, which seems to signify a promising solution to the gloomy problem behind it, an appeal to logos. The close-up shot of the dog puts us in the shelter, looking

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