Weasel Words Essay

Most people don’t realize it, but advertisements are all over the place, people are always trying to sell something. When watching a movie one might not notice but there are scenes where the main character is drinking something and they are always holding the drink with the logo facing towards the audience. Most people don’t notice it but it is a little trick for people to see that and also want the same drink. The language of advertising is very vague and open for interpretation, which is often for the reason why it’s misleading. William Lutz and Charles A. O’Neill both wrote articles explaining the different techniques that advertisers use in order to sell their products. They each take different sides in the fight of whether it is the consumer’s …show more content…
William Lutz writes about weasel words in his piece “With These Words, I Can Sell You Anything” and takes the side of it’s the producer’s fault and the consumer has to be aware of this problem. Weasel words are words that look like they have meaning but in reality have none at all. He explains that weasel words get their names from when weasels go into nests and pokes a small hole and sucks the insides of the eggs out (Lutz 358). The weasel continues to put the eggs back in the nest making it seem like nothing has changed but really the egg is hollow inside. Lutz gives examples like the word “help.” The word help is used all the time in the advertisement world and people assume that help means that its going to solve their problem, instead help means to aide not necessarily solve. Recently I got Mononucleosis and going shopping for things that can ease the process was hard. An example of this looking for cough drops they say a bunch of different things but something that caught my eye was it saying “soothes sore throats” and “relieves coughs” and seeing this I immediately thought to myself that this is going to make the process so much easier and its basically going to heal me. Instead it only “relieved” the cough for about ten minutes and “soothed” my throat for five minutes. I got caught by the weasel words and seeing …show more content…
In his writing “The Language of Advertising” he talks about the positives about advertising. The advertisers are there for one purpose and one purpose only: to make money. Without someone telling consumers why one product is something they need and should buy, consumers wouldn’t be as informed about products that can really help them. O’Neill believes that advertisement has a big purpose in todays society. O’Neill goes point-by-point explaining the reasons why advertisement is a good thing. The strategy of repetition is very effective because the way to get something stuck in someone’s head is repeatedly shoving it down their throats. O’Neill uses the example of the Kars for Kids radio commercial repeatedly saying the same thing over and over and in 2008 they end up raising $23 million which is very impressive for the charity (O’Neill 372). O’Neill also mentions one of the most effective ways of advertising is sex. Most people desire sex so if a products basically promises sex without actually promising sex, the product is going to sell. In Axe commercials they always show how the guy who sprayed Axe on himself is attracting all the ladies by his scent and most guys want that. Slogans are a good advertising technique because if its catchy people will recognize the brand. Getting celebrities is a very good technique because people look up to celebrities

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