Aristotle's Rhetoric and the Ethics of Modern Advertising Essays

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Aristotle's Rhetoric outlines the three main purposes of rhetoric as political, legal, and ceremonial. Persuasion is the main point of all three of the main venues for rhetoric. Rhetoric “may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion” (Aristotle 22). Rhetoric can also be seen as a primer to explain the methods of persuasion used in modern-day commercials and advertisements. While the classic methods of effecting persuasion are pertinent to our understanding of how different forms of advertising work, there are also a host of modern day techniques that have changed the landscape of rhetoric. Namely, what has changed is three-fold. First, modern-day advertising has a much more visual …show more content…
In Corbett and Connor's Rhetoric for the Modern Student, they offer an analysis of a magazine ad as representing the best of all three of these techniques. However corporate the voice or tone of the ad is, they point out that “a reassuring ethos does emerge from this [a] sentence and the three subsequent sentences of this paragraph” (Corbett, Connors 3). By addressing the reader as you, the ad points to knowing the goodness of the audience as well. In saying “Which will make you look good, no matter what you're wearing,” (2) the juxtaposition of the glossy photo with the readers' sense of style intends to lure the readers' emotions by complimenting the reader. Finally, logos in employed by giving the reader of the advertisement the sense that for the money, you would be remiss not to purchase the copier. “That's a fraction of the money you won't have to spend on color copies” (2). Thus the ad tugs at emotions, has an ethical approach, and employs logos, or the logical side of the readers' susceptibility. Another example of how ethos, pathos, and logos are used as methods of persuasion is in the Greenpeace advertisement seen below. 3
Logos is employed in the advertisement by appealing to the reader's sense of factual data and statistics within the fine print at the bottom of the advertisement by giving the audience a short history of how the Boreal forest is being destroyed. The ad states the facts and

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