J-E-L-L-0!: a Rhetorical Analysis

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J-E-L-L-0!: A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS In my recent study of a 1980’s advertisement for Jell-O, I was intrigued by the use of sharing a brand new recipe for “moister, fruitier Rainbow Cake.” This particular advertisement was very effective because it reached out to two audiences, children and adults, while maintaining appeal on all three levels of proofs: pathos, ethos and logos. The recipe appealed to adults, especially those who bake, by providing an improvement upon what seemed to be a favorite. Having the recipe in full view rather than hidden within the box of Jell-O lends a hand to impulse shopping thus promoting sales. This is clearly a very clever use of ethos: appealing to the audience based upon the company’s stable reputation of providing delicious and rather healthy treats. In addition, in order to use the recipe, it has to be developed and made. If, after production, it meets the required standards, i.e. it tastes good, then logically, it is worth sharing; this is a perfect example of logos. Since two of the ingredients are Jell-O and Cool Whip, it must be a quick and tasty treat so how could it not be a hit?! The second and main audience, children, are attracted by the familiar large, bold font stating “Jell-O,” a favorite treat of most children. The simple text combined with the smiling child and the very large, colorful cake in the advertisement, can immediately remind any child of his/her love of sweets and relate directly to the happiness they too feel when they have Jell-O. Children are also very influential upon their parents shopping and when reminded of something yummy they enjoy, children ALWAYS ask for it. Between the appeal of a new recipe and a child’s plea, Jell-O has a very good chance of making it into the grocery cart!

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