Then when was in my early teenage years, I’ve watched women on TV rotting about their scars or their uneven complexion and how this certain face or body cream makes everything so perfect and pretty. Was also stunned with something that looked like gym equipment that stretches your body and makes you taller. There was an ice cream maker, a grease and stain remover, a portable sewing machine, a portable ladder-”almost everything you can think of is there. Then there was this time, now in my college years that I was able to catch a late night home shopping program on television.
I was stressed that time so I projected my stress towards many things. I started to criticize everything bout that program. What would I do with all those plastic containers? Isn’t that price range still high? Then came the comments of”Ugh, MGM burghs. ” Then started to scrutinize the male host’s diction. I complained how he and his co-host are just repeating things and that they were wasting air time.
Now that I’ve thought about it, my current emotional state at the moment was a major factor that made me notice those simple things about the program.
My criticisms may have been informal and random, but I realized that those judgments are acceptable. They were acceptable in a way that a performance always involves an audience. However, in this paper, we may have to attempt to look at the subject in a more objective manner. In communication, there are many concepts and theories that focus on how the audience takes a message that the communicator is trying to deliver. In a performance, the audience’s reaction or response is usually observed. According to Merriam Webster, a performance could be: 1 . N activity (such as singing a song or acting in a play) that a person or group does to entertain an audience 2. The way an actor performs a part in a play, movie, etc. 3. The act Of doing a job, an activity, etc. In its full definition, performance could be about a deed, an implementation, a public presentation, efficiency, behavior, parole or competence. According to objectifications. Com, a performance is “the accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed. ” How is a TV home shopping program a performance?
Such is a performance as it involves a presentation; the hosts present different objects and at the same time, they present themselves. It also involves efficiency; their performance should be able to accomplish the given ask, which is to sell. The chosen subject for this study is ABS-Cab’s O Shopping. This project is just established last year. It is a collaboration with CO O Shopping Corporation, one of the largest home shopping companies. According to Paolo Pinned, ABS-CB Business Development Head, this show aims to contribute something new to the shopping lifestyle of the Filipinos.
TV home shopping, however, is not entirely new to Filipinos. Pinned stated that Philippines is a market that is already familiar with this kind of shopping. The O Shopping Channel is already shown in some cable channels, in a 24/7 time frame. According to Eddie Bake, the president of CO O, their programs offer a wide variety of products–from kitchen to beauty products with affordable prices. Pinned said that Filipinos are already venturing into online shopping and business and such is similar to home shopping in a way that it introduces another option of buying things aside from going to the mall or the market.
Just as TV home shopping is similar to online shopping; it could also be compared with real life selling, like the one we see in the market. That is also a performance. However, in this study, I chose TV home shopping as a reference to be observed because it is very timely. In this time of technological advancement, there are many alternatives to past activities that are deemed to be more efficient and easy. TV Home Shopping Program as a performance of Rhetoric TV Home Shopping is related to advertising. Advertising aims not only to inform, but also to sell, which means that it involves an act of persuasion (Blood & Blood, 2007).
Aristotle three modes of persuasion are ethos, pathos and logos (Marten, 2006). Ethos relies on the “ethical considerations of social justice and morality and on the moral character of the speaker-writer: that is is/her credibility”. Meanwhile, pathos is usually the mode associated with advertising, and it deals with emotions. Logos, on the other hand, is associated with “objective proof or evidence. ” In O Shopping, the hosts present a certain product. They discuss its uses, its efficiency and its price. Their performance represent ethos themselves. In a show, you choose a host that is credible.
In this kind of program, it really doesn’t matter if the host is as famous as, say, Angelina Joliet. However, it counts. Popularity may signify credibility as it may imply trust from the masses. The hosts in O Shopping are to that famous but some are familiar to me, like Victor Anastasia. Since they are new faces to many audiences, they portray credibility through their performance; through the way they speak. I’ve learned that you can show credibility through confidence in speaking. Perhaps these hosts went through speaking workshops for their job to be done efficiently.
Second, the performance must have pathos. In a show, you choose a host that appeal to the masses. They could be appealing through their physical appearance. O Shopping hosts, of course, look decent. However, physical appeal is highly subjective. The more effective way of having appeal is showing or saying something that is of substance. “Muckraker an kayo. ” This phrase appeals to the masses especially when you’re selling a product. It shows pathos because it attracts practical people, and most, if not all people, want to acquire things that are cost-efficient.
It means same effects, same products, but people can get them for a lower price than what the local market gives. “Mass napalming nag tornado ninny. ” Who doesn’t want to make things easier? Most people are busy with their own obligations and they would want to refrain from being tired of doing other things. This phrase, indeed, reflects pathos. However, mere talk is not enough. Mere talk does not sell. The audience needs proof. As the famous saying goes, ‘to see is to believe”. Logos is about proof. It is about evidence. The last two phrases that were mentioned would be more effective and appealing if there were concrete evidences.
Is it really cost-efficient? You show the price. A comparison between your business company’s offered price and the local market’s would be good. Does it really make things easier? Show the audience how that plastic container helps in easy storage. Show them a comparison between other plastic notations. That is how logos works in home shopping networks. Usually, in programs like O Shopping, the screen is split into two. Both parts show the same object. However, one of the two parts show the one you’re selling and shows how it effectively works than the other one shown.
The one I saw on TV was a normal shower cap/filter compared with the shower cap being sold. The normal shower cap has less water flow force. The other part of the screen shows the other shower cap being able to clean off dog mess with ease. That is how the program shows logos. How is an audience involved? In a performance, the audience is analyses according to three main factors (Marten, 2006). 1. Demographics 2. Chirography’s 3. Technical knowledge Demographics are the objective factors such as age, gender, and education. Chirography’s are the subjective aspects such as values and lifestyle preferences.
Technical knowledge refers to the level of expertise the audience is expected to have. These factors are related to pathos. The performance done in home shopping programs is highly audience-related. In demographics, O Shopping may appeal to women in their forty, who are usually mothers. They may tract this certain audience when it comes to home and kitchen products. In chirography’s, housewives may want everything organized. Their lifestyle may involve a clean and well-organized system so the cabinets being sold are attractive to them because they have many compartments.
In the aspect of technical knowledge, the one who thinks of the performance would think about whether the audience like, perhaps, cooking. Would they understand the efficiency of these frying pans? The audience do not just give reactions to a performance but it also affects the performance. In theatre, the theme of the play must suit the age or reference of the audience. In communication, there is an approach called uses and gratifications approach (IS&G) which focuses on how the audience uses the media objects presented. The performer must know the need of the audience and answer the audience’s expectations.
It’s either you give what they want or persuade them to want what you are presenting. How is persuasion in home shopping programs done? Aristotle has four forms of rhetorical presentation (Blood & Blood, 2007): 1 . The use of the voice: to express emotion: Particularly in terms of the variation of speed, volume, accent and rhythm. 2. Use of example: a. Mention of facts supporting/refuting the argument b. Comparison c. Use of analogy: Here one may use fables or invent stories which mirror the present case. 3. Use of repetition: To emphasize the main points of the speech. 4.
Use of maxims: A general assertion. Listeners are delighted when a point is generalized which they happen to presuppose in the particular case. Use general truths to support or refute arguments. ‘One should guess at the sort of opinions that the audience happen already to have pre-supposed, and then speak in general about them. ‘ In home shopping programs, these forms are also related to ethos, pathos and logos. The hosts in O Shopping use their voice to convince. The voice varies; the speed is quite slow when explaining and the pitch becomes high to show exclamation or amazement at the product.
Use of example, as discussed, is shown through the evidences, proofs and comparison of objects. Analogy is shown through the concept that if this product makes a job done faster, then you should buy this. Repetition, as I have said in the introduction, is evident in the home shopping programs. When was watching O Shopping, about thirty minutes was used for a single product and about half of the time was used repeating what the hosts just said. In advertising, there is this concept of recall. Though recall does not equate to “persuasiveness” in all kinds of advertising it is important in home shopping programs.
Recall happens because of repetition and theft one form Of rhetorical presentation that I have seen in O Shopping. Use of maxims is shown through the pre-supposed thinking that all people want this kind of product because it makes life easier for them. Choosing products for home shopping programs are affected by the pre-supposed judgments about the targeted audience. If the targeted audience are teens, there could be a pre-supposed judgment that teens would like beauty reduces, and so the company would sell those products. Persuasive communications also involve central and secondary appeals.
The central appeal is the main objective of the performance. In home shopping programs, the central appeal is to sell. It is to show that this particular product is suited for the audience. The central appeal is shown through evidences. The secondary appeal, on the other hand, is something that attracts and persuades, but would not suffice if used alone as a persuasive force (Wells, 1968). In O Shopping, the secondary appeal may be the gifts that are given when you purchase the whole set of a product. These are the bonuses. In conclusion, home shopping programs involve performances we see on television.
They may be live or recorded. Still, the act is a performance that is all about rhetoric. The performer, or the host, is not the only one who does the performance. The audience, in many ways, also affect how the performance would go. Some performances that we see are paid. Likewise, home shopping programs are paid performances. The audience may see the products sold as the commodities but the people behind those programs see the audience as commodities. “Another reason why television is heavily involved in modification is that the audience itself is a commodity’ (Brunette, 201 1).
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