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Advertising

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Explain how logos, ethos and pathos are used in advertising.

Advertising is a form of communication for marketing used to encourage, persuade or manipulate the audience to continue or take new actions. Many companies, be it a popular brand like apple or a local brand like F&N, use advertising to market their products. In order for these advertisements to be effective they need to be rhetoric and so, use the three forms of rhetoric: Pathos, Logos and Ethos to persuade the audience to purchase their products.

Logos is the appeal to logic or reasoning. Advertising companies use logos by providing the audience with the evidence and statistics they need to fully understand the product better. This is sufficient to get people to understand the product better and to get them thinking about how the product can be useful to them if they are to purchase it. For example, advertisements give “evidence” as the explanation of why a particular shampoo will improve the shine or health of our hair. Also, car advertisements are prime examples of appeals to the reason of the would-be buyer: safety features, environmental concerns, price itself. As such, half the job is done in advertising as the audience knows what they are committing to by purchasing the product.

However, just getting the audience to think about purchasing the product is not the end of the job of advertisements. So advertisements also use pathos and ethos. Ethos refers to the appeal to credibility of the product. Advertisements use ethos by stating statistics from reliable experts. Also, they get celebrities to endorse their products. Celebrities have a presumed authority. When they offer testimony to a product, it is very powerful in convincing the audience. For example, if a sportsman is to advertise and endorse a newly released Nike shoe, the audience would be lead to believe that if they do purchase the shoes they too can have the same performance as the sportsman. Also, the audience think that since such a popular person is using the product they should too. This plays a significant role in persuading the audience to give serious thoughts about buying the product.

Moreover, many companies use pathos in their advertisements. Pathos is an appeal to the audience emotion. An advertisement using pathos will attempt to evoke an emotional response in the audience. Sometimes, it is a positive emotion such as happiness: an image of people enjoying themselves while using the product. Other times, advertisers will use negative emotions such as pain: a person having problems after buying the “wrong” product. Also, the visual elements in print advertisements include pictures, color, typefaces, and their arrangement or design. The group of smiling, well-dressed, seemingly carefree individuals in beer advertisements tugs at the viewer's desire for a similar good time, just as the image of the adorable puppy in the Humane Society advertisements tries to link our feelings to pity them.

In conclusion, Appeals to pathos, logos, and ethos work together synergistically in advertising, though pathos, the appeal to our emotions, is generally the strongest. Logos, the appeal to reason, usually doesn't predominate, because a clear head could bring the kind of scrutiny that argues against purchasing the product. Ethos too plays a key role in advertising these days where the audience are easily influenced by celebrities and want to follow their idols in owning the same products. However, all three forms of rhetoric, Pathos, Ethos and Logos, must work together in an advertisement to persuade the audience to go ahead and buy the product. All three forms are equally important in the making of an advertisement as different audience have different ways of being convinced to purchase the product.

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