2005 AP English III Essay

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In this mock press release from The Onion, the author satirizes the way products are marketed to consumers. He seems to think that the methods used by advertisers are exaggerated and manipulative. The author shows his contempt for marketing techniques by using irony, diction, and hyperboles. The use of irony is evident in this mock press release. The author uses this irony to point out logical flaws sometimes seen in advertisements. For instance, a woman claims that “after wearing MagnaSoles for seven weeks, [she’s] noticed a significant decrease in pain” (lines 59-60). Customer testimonials are often used as an advertising technique. However, this particular one is showing irony because the injury of a sprained ankle could clearly be healed by time in seven weeks—not necessarily because of some miracle product. The audience recognizes this irony and finds it humorous. Another irony that the author is showing is the description of an “intelligent-looking man in a white lab coat” (lines 67-68). This is ironic because he is not necessarily intelligent, he merely appears to be intelligent. This parodies the advertising technique of using actors to sell products, as opposed to actual certified specialists. All of these examples of irony clearly show misleading tactics of marketers.
The author’s use of comical diction emphasizes the audacious tone that real advertisements use to sell their products. However, this author flouts that bold tone by use of sarcastic and exaggerated word choice. For example, he mocks the scientific words typically used by using made up words. He creates terms like “pain nuclei,” “kilofrankels,” and “comfortrons.” By inserting this satirical diction, the author is creating a connection to scientific vocabulary typically used in advertising. Consumers are often misled by vocabulary that they are unfamiliar with, and this author is satirically proving that. Specifically, he uses the term “pseudoscience” which sounds, to an uninformed ear,

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