rhetorical analysis on commercial

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Rhetorical Analysis
Nolan’s Cheddar isn’t the most recognized or known brand, but those who have seen the commercial for it know that it’s “seriously strong” cheese. This advertisement features a curious mouse, who is apparently on top of the world, and a mouse trap. Set in the trap is a chunk of Nolan’s Cheddar, which seems to have extreme powers. The commercial was the winner of the 2010 Best TV Advertisement Award, and is very humorous and a little surprising.

The little mouse comes out of a mouse hole in the wall, and is wondering down a shady old hallway while upbeat music plays. It sniffs its way around, when it finds a mouse trap with cheese in it. As expected, the mouse makes its way over to the trap, and starts to inspect the cheese and eventually takes a bite out of it. In result of the cheerful music, the audience, who is anyone watching television, expects that the mouse might actually escape death. All of a sudden, a little ‘ding’ in the music goes off, and the audience is lead to believe that the mouse has had an idea because it moves and gets on top of the trap. The upbeat music turns out to be the song, “Top of the World” by The Carpenters. Just as the mouse climbs onto the trap, the song says ‘I’m on top of the world’ giving a feeling of how the mouse probably feels at that moment.

Just as the mouse is at the highest point in its life, a loud ‘snap’ is heard, the music stops, and the screen goes black. The audience then believes that the mouse is dead, just as any mouse would be. Gloomy music called, “The End” by The Doors, begins to play as the screen simultaneously comes back to life with a visual of the mouse stuck in the trap. One can see the mouse is still breathing, as its stomach rises and falls repeatedly with the cheese lying to the side. The helpless mouse is almost heartbreaking, and it appeals to the audience’s emotional senses using pathos. Unexpectedly, the song switches, and “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor comes on as the bar on the mouse trap is lifted by the skinny arms of the mouse. With every beat of the music, the mouse lifts then brings down the bar as if it is lifting weights at a gym. The mouse soon gets into the groove of the music, and bobs its head like the bar is weightless. The ad ends with a picture of the mouse eating the cheese and a caption saying, “Nolan’s Chedder… Seriously Strong,” showing to the audience that the only reason the mouse survived was because it ate the cheese and the cheese made it strong.

The purpose of this advertisement was to show the audience, anyone watching TV, that Nolan’s Cheddar is strong and tasty. They did this in such a way that it was clever and funny, and definitely entertaining. Being that it won the award for the best TV advertisement, it was a hit to several types of crowds. There are many different tones that I noticed in this commercial. The first one was in the beginning which is a wondering and cheerful type tone while the mouse is discovering the cheese. The next tone that was displayed was depressing and sorrowful when we are lead to believe the mouse is dead, and the last tone was amusing and witty while the mouse is jamming with the music and lifting the bar.

Several things stood out to me in this ad, but the two things that stood out the most were the selection of music, and the mouse bobbing its head along with the music. The music selection was perfect and matched the tone of the commercial. The words in the songs contributed because they matched it also. When the mouse started bobbing its head to the music, that was the most humorous part of the whole ad. It made me wonder how they got effects that advanced, and I watched that part repeatedly because I found it very comical. It wasn’t the way anything was said that caught my attention, but the way it was presented. If the music had still been gloomy, then the bobbing of the head would’ve looked like the mouse twitching on its death bed instead of a triumphant...
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