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"the Power of Advertising." Explore the Nature, Purpose and Effectiveness of Rhetoric as Used in Some Adverts of Your Choice

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"The power of advertising." Explore the nature, purpose and effectiveness of rhetoric as used in some adverts of your choice

Advertisements appear in various forms within the media such as television, radio, national press and magazines. This has resulted in advertising becoming a multi-billion dollar industry, with the most profitable agency network, Dentsu, making over $1.9 billion revenue in 2003 alone. Advertising is a competitive market so therefore it must be effective in 'selling' whatever it offers to an audience frequently bombarded with an array of advertisements.

This essay concentrates on the how the text within magazine advertisement uses rhetorical devices to gain the interest and captivation of the desired clientele.

The purpose of persuasive language varies as a result of what the advert is intending to sell to an audience. The vast majority of magazine advertisements aim to give the reader a positive impression of the product so that it results in a purchase of the product for sale. An example of this is seen in appendix one, an advert for Revlon Fabulash mascara. The purpose of this advert is clear: to sell the mascara. The slogan used to describe not only tells the reader that you would get "famously full-on lashes", the alliteration presents the effect the product would have on the life of the reader. The words 'full-on' persuades the reader that this mascara will have a lifestyle associated with the product. The style in which 'full-on' is emboldened and curved in comparison the rest of the slogan emphasises the most rhetorical part of the text to the perspective buyer. The connotation made is that the mascara will make you as 'full-on' and bold as the famous Hollywood actress pictured, Kate Bosworth. This notion is furthermore emphasised by the description of the resulting lashes as becoming 'famously full on' implies to the reader they can be just like a movie star. According to Jean Kilbourne (, advertisements "sell [...] images and concepts of sex, worth, [...] sexuality and popularity". Appendix one sells the idea of popularity in particular as says the word 'famous' within the text. The rhetorical text sells the reader a lifestyle as a consequence of purchasing the product; an effective devise to target audience who purchase the lifestyle magazine advertisement is featured.

Another advertisement offering a product to give a particular lifestyle is the Lux advert in appendix two. The purpose of this advertisement is to sell the target audience a shower gel by presenting a stylistic lifestyle. The brand name is in a gold font which appears refined and associated with wealth and prestige as well as the font of the slogan and product description is sophisticated and mature persuading the reader that to purchase this product would mean that they would be as stylistic as the celebrity pictured as she is renown for her "ÑŒber-stylish" (Unilever character in Sex in the City. Similar to that of appendix one, appendix two presents the idea of becoming like a 'star'. The slogan, " Brings out the star in you" portrays that this product would make you a star like the pictured actress. This is an effective rhetorical device as it acts as it once again implies you can have the lifestyle alike the actress and thus become a star. According to Unilever, the name behind the 'Lux' brand, the actress, Sarah Jessica Parker, "epitomises the modern Lux woman: comfortable and confident in her femininity, experienced in the ways of the world and understands how style and beauty really work" ( Unilever has successfully used rhetorical language and font to portray the image of sophistication, selling the reader the idea that they are as stylish and wise 'of the world' by purchasing a product from Lux.

Within all advertisement, there is a clear intended target audience; rhetorical text coincides with this idea as "rhetorically orientated discourse is composed in light of those who will hear or read this discourse." (Diplofoundation Appendix three concurs with this notion as the language is intended to persuade a specific female clientele. The first word helps reinforces this intended rhetoric as the connotation of the word "our" written in an un-capitalised, grey font. The rhetoric used represents Dove as a down-to-earth company of whom the reader can relate to on a more personal level. The effect of Dove appearing down-to earth makes the product appear to be intended for the ordinary woman rather than the rich or famous. A furthermore implication to strengthen the idea that Dove is for the 'ordinary woman' is by the images within the advertisement. The models are to be perceived as ordinary women who have curvy, feminine figures but in addition, Dove chose to state that the women are ordinary women in ordinary jobs as an effective rhetoric device as it shows the intended customer that the product works to the 'everyday' woman. The statement, "and we haven't cheated the figures" is debatably the most effective use of rhetoric within the advertisement. Dove has successfully used a double intendre as a consequence of the word 'figures'. This word could either represent the findings as a consequence of the survey completed, or it could represent the models within the advertisement. Humour is a successful element of rhetoric as it portrays the 'grounded' personae Dove is trying to achieve.

This advertisement is part of Dove's new campaign, 'Campaign for Real Beauty'. Dove states, "Dove was concerned that limited portrayal of beauty was preventing women from recognising and enjoying beauty in themselves and others." ( Dove has consequently created a chain of advertisements; another example from this campaign is in appendix four. This advert is differs in style comparison to appendix three but it still successfully uses rhetorical devices to help captivate the target market. The most apparent device is the handwritten text, which incorporates Dove as a more 'personal' brand. The purpose for this shows also connects with the idea of 'cheating' mentioned in regards to appendix three. It purposely shows Dove as not only being 'grounded', but also shows that they are being truthful about the subject as it is in the format of a personal fax sent from the pictured woman. The language the woman, Sahar, uses is friendly and welcoming to the



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