Getting to the Point (A Comparison of Rhetorical Strategies) Essay

1182 Words Nov 4th, 2013 5 Pages
Lutz vs. O’Neill: Getting to the Point
Advertising is all around us. Companies of all sorts rely heavily on internet, television, print, and various other types of media outlets as means to reach their audience. Advertising aims to bring in more customers and thereby, more profit. All of this is complicated by the fact that, out of the vast number of products and services available, companies want to prove that theirs are the best. From this is born the tricky and unique language of advertising. In their respective articles, With These Words, I Can Sell You Anything and The Language of Advertising, both William Lutz and Charles A. O’Neill discuss popular ploys used by marketing advertisers to rope in the most customers. Lutz takes a
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In contrast, O’Neill never specifically tells us which side he is on; that of the consumer or of the advertising agencies. Also, O’Neill does target a more specific audience. In his introductory paragraphs, O’Neill discusses World War II and the following post war era. Based on this, he seems to be targeting an older demographic, or at least one that is somewhat familiar with the culture of the mid-to-late 1950s. He later specifies his audience even further when he suggests that the people who will really know what he’s talking about are “everyone who grows up in the Western world”. This obviously works to his advantage when it comes to the readers who do, in fact, know what he is talking about. Those who can identify with the specific time and place that O’Neill describes are those he is seeking to captivate and will likely succeed in doing so. On the other hand, those who are not part of the target audience are left out to dry.
In addition, O’Neill’s choice of language may further separate his target audience from those adjacent to his standpoint. He often makes valid points but clouds them with colorful language that doesn’t always support his reasoning. When he writes about TV jingles being “filed away in your neocortex”, what it may be like to move “your grandfather’s 1957 Edsel” out of the barn, and the human desire to be sexually attractive

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