Rhetorical Devices and Strategies: Coca Cola and Grove Press

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Rhetorical Devices and Strategies: Coca Cola and Grove Press

Within society power struggles are inevitable and in the business world it is no different. The letters of correspondence between an executive of the Coca-Cola Company, Ira C. Herbert and a representative of Grove Press, Richard Seaver express their different viewpoints on the use of Coca-Cola’s slogan “It’s the Real Thing”, in an advertisement promoting Diary of a Harlem Schoolteacher by Jim Haskins. Both Herbert and Seaver attempt to out smart each other through their use of rhetorical techniques and strategies. Herbert initiates the first letter, which demands that Seaver, a representative of Grove Press, immediately terminate the use of the catchphrase “It’s the Real Thing”. He beings and ends the letter with a seemingly polite, professional tone and uses the greeting, “Dear Mr. Seaver”, and concluding with “Sincerely, Ira C. Herbert”. However Herbert’s’ sincerity becomes highly questionable based on his tone and other rhetorical techniques in the duration of his letter. In the opening line of paragraph three, Herbert states that, “We believe you will agree that it is undesirable for our companies to make simultaneous use of “the real thing” in connection with our respective products.” The word choice demonstrates an arrogant tone, as Herbert essentially assumes that Seaver and Grove Press will automatically agree with his point. Coca-Cola is a huge company located in New York and well known throughout the nation while Grove Press is an independent publishing company located in Georgia. Herbert expects Grove Press to be inferior because of the size difference in companies and makes that clear through his presumptuous attitude. Furthermore Herbert goes on to use logos in paragraph three when he says, “There will always be likelihood of confusion as to the source or sponsorship of the goods, and the use by such prominent companies would dilute the distinctiveness of the trade slogan and...
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