According to Faigley and Selzer rhetorical analysis can be defined as “an effort to understand how people attempt to influence others through language and more broadly every kind of important symbolic action. ” In other words rhetoric is a language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience in order for a goal to be met. The history of persuasion can be dated back to Ancient Greeks and Aristotle who were the first known to have studied logic and persuasion.
These are techniques still heavily used in contemporary society today whether it be in every day conversation or in advertisements on television. All too often in contemporary American society companies use a group of appeals to persuade an audience. These very effective appeals are known as ethos, pathos and logos. Using these appeals, one can capture the audiences’ emotion all in an attempt to persuade an audience to buy into what they are saying and purchase a product. As a college athlete I find myself paying close attention to athletic commercials and advertisements.
The example that will be used for this assignment will be the Nike advertisement “Strut”. In this ad the product Nike is trying to persuade the audience to purchase is an all conditioned gear shoe. This is a product that Nike claims will not only meet the need of the everyday athlete but also the athlete that is touch with nature and loves to be outdoors. According to the ad Nike has produced a shoe that is a necessity for any outdoorsman who is in touch with nature. The ad states “Don’t pity the trout, get in there with it.
This ad is a prime example of Nike using the appeals of ethos, pathos and logos to convince an audience to buy a product. Carter pg 2 Ethos according to Merriam-Webster is the “distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution. ” The establishment of ethos is very important in today’s society because there are so many options to choose from when analyzing and purchasing a product. The good thing for Nike is that they have established themselves as a top of the line athletic brand over the years which allow their ethos to be credible in most arenas.
Ethos is established in this ad through name brand recognition and the claim that the ACG Nike shoe will allow you to walk with fish. This is a claim that suggests that anyone that loves rivers, creeks, lakes and being one with nature will benefit from owning a pair of these shoes. The ad portrays a symbolic meaning when you analyze the creation of the camouflage green color of the word Strut as well as the layers of moss that hang from the word. This suggest in principle that this is a durable shoe specifically made for wet terrain and the outdoors.
This ad from an aesthetic point does a great job of appealing to anyone Carter pg. 3 the nature loving outdoorsman. The ad also states “We’ve evolved a lot in 20 years” and that also provides credible ethos because it shows longevity in the process of the study to make the perfect shoe for someone who loves being outdoors. This will establish trust for a perspective buyer. Pathos can be seen in this ad as well. Nike does a good job evoking emotion and pity in this ad. Nike states, “But don’t pity the trout, get in there with it and walk hand and fin”.
Nike is trying to imply that because a trout can’t jump from rock to rock or climb mountains if you buy these shoes you can now have fun with the trout instead of feeling sorry for the creature that can only swim. The use of emotion is very effective in this ad because it gives the reader a sense of pity. Pity is a great play on ones emotions to buy a product. If one loves the outdoors Nike has drawn on their emotion to play with the fish because the fish cannot play with them.
The ad also uses the term “Amphibiously yours” in the closing of the letter to potential buyers. This is a very creative and polite way to let people further know that Nike supports and understands the need of an outdoorsman. Even though the ad was more focused on other appeals it does throw in a logical claim to appeal to those in need of logos in order to make a decision to purchase. The ad states that “because you are wearing the Nike ACG blazerboot that means your feet have gills that breathe water in and drain it right back out again.
By making that statement Nike is playing on its design of a shoe that has “fins” which will make it easier to handle what nature puts in front of anyone wearing this shoe. Logos comes in play when a company speaks on a design and how it will benefit the consumer. It does this by noting the gill like design in the shoe which enables water to enter and exit the shoe efficiently while running through water. This is a claim by Nike that this ACG blazerboot will enable the consumer to venture through all terrains no matter if it’s dry or wet.