A Rhetorical Analysis: Buzzed Driving

Topics: Ethanol, Alcohol law, United States Pages: 5 (801 words) Published: June 18, 2014

A Rhetorical Analysis: Buzzed Driving

Advertisements are everywhere you look. They are on the internet, television, billboards, in magazines etc. Advertisements are meant to convince the audience of something. Whether it be to buy a particular item, to travel to a specific destination, or to say no to drugs and alcohol. In order for an ad to properly convince its audience it should demonstrate emotion, logic, and credibility. In the advertisement above, The U.S Department of Transportation attempts to warn viewers that, “Buzz driving is drunk driving,” in what I believe is an effective way.

Upon first glance of the advertisement I notice a man crying. He looks as though he has been in a car accident. His hands show cuts, there is a bandage on his head, and what appears to be blood stains on his cheeks. His hand is covering half of his face, indicating remorse. His surroundings indicate that he may be in jail or an interrogation room. I read the words again, “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.” I presume he has severely injured or has possibly killed someone. Even without text, the image properly induces emotions in the viewers. It is very important for an advertisement to really make its audience feel sadness, happiness, remorse, anger etc. because naturally, humans directly relate emotion to everything in their lives. When you add emotion to an advertisement you enable the audience to associate the ad to their own lives. Even still, without context, neither I, nor the audience would be able to properly assess this advertisement. Indeed, buzzed driving is drunk driving. According to blog author and auto accident lawyer, Steve Gurstan, “Many people still believe that it is okay to drive if they are just buzzed.” I agree with Mr. Gurstan. As a college student and an occasional drinker, I have personally witnessed many people announce their ability to drive after having only consumed a few drinks. However, I feel the statement in this particular advertisement would be more effective if it included a statistic or a fact. For example: In Michigan the legal driving limit for Blood Alcohol Content or BAC is .08. That is approximately one beer or one shot per hour. In other words, if you drink a beer, you need to wait at least an hour before driving. According to the AdCouncil, 10,322 people were killed in alcohol related accidents in 2012. Facts and statistics give the audience evidence that buzzed driving really is drunk driving. The AdCouncil is one of the largest public service advertisement companies in the United States. Their logo is indicated on the bottom left hand corner of the advertisement. I believe the AdCouncil to be a credible source due to the simple fact that they are a pro bono advertisement company, meaning, they do not earn a profitable gain by producing such an ad. The AdCouncil appears to be generally concerned about its audience and wishes to educate people on the detrimental effects of buzzed driving. Also, appearing on the bottom right hand corner of the ad is a logo and the words, “The U.S Department of Transportation.” The U.S Department of Transportation or DOT is responsible for the safety, adequacy, and efficiency of transportation systems and services. Their job is to make sure our roads are properly repaired, adequately marked with the correct road signs, efficiently built, and safely travelled by all drivers in the United States. Upon seeing this endorsement and learning the value of the DOT in the United States I have concluded that they are a definite credible source. It is very important to show a credible source on an ad. Credibility gives the advertisement proof. The ad is saying to its audience, The Department of Transportation supports the claim that buzzed driving is drunk driving. Therefore, it must be true. In conclusion, I feel this advertisement featured by the AdCouncil and endorsed by The U.S Department of Transportation accurately expresses logic, emotion, and...

Cited: "Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving." Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2014.
Gurstan, Steven. "How Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving." Michigan Auto Law. N.p., 12 Dec. 2012. Web. 31 May 2014.
"About Us." / Ad Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2014.
Kane, Robert M. "The United States Department of Transportation." The United States Department of Transportation. N.p., 3 Jan. 2009. Web. 31 May 2014.
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