Advertisements for Cars: a Formal Analysis

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Justin Smith 9/4/2013 Professor Seahorn Advanced Writing Advertisements for Cars: A Formal Analysis Commercials. Advertisements. They are everywhere in the modern world. Most people see them as a unique art form to help decide what products to use in everyday life while others think of them as annoyances designed to make you buy something in-between their favorite shows on TV. Way back before most people caught on to the point of commercials, Aristotle had theorized a set of rules for appeals he called logos (logc), ethos (ethics), and pathos (emotion). Many centuries later, a man named Jim Fowles had come up with a set of 15 basic appeals used in advertisements that stems from Aristotle’s rules. Knowing these rules of appeal, one could argue that every advertisement in the world follows these laws to persuade one to do whatever it is it tells you to do, be it buy a car, buy deodorant, or even eat out at a certain restaurant. The point is to toy with an audience (mostly using visuals) to make a point in buying their product. These ads have the power to move someone into buying whichever product they see fit for their needs and standards and there’s no better example to talk about than automobile ads. Every model of car has a unique niche to occupy in the world and people buy different models for different reasons. Someone rich who would want to show off would buy a flashy convertible sports car. A worker would use a truck to help move materials around because of how powerful the engines are. A mother with a large family would opt for a minivan for these spacy models can hold a large number of people. Every car advertisement uses Jib Fowles’ basic rules of appeal and the Aristotelian appeals of ethos and pathos to persuade a particular audience into using their model/make and each ad uses these “rules” in different fashions. One notable commercial was a 1995 TV

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