Rhetorical Analysis - Part 4
Anti-Wal-Mart Advertisement Claim: Wal-Mart’s uncharacteristic low prices on merchandise in comparison to other businesses have jeopardized the survival of smaller companies - Rhetorical Analysis introduction. When anyone in general thinks about Wal-Mart, they would probably think to themselves that it is a great place to shop for merchandise and apparel, and how there is so much selection. While they think of the previously mentioned, their number one reason in all likelyhood for considering Wal-Mart is the low prices. This advertisement uses Wal-Mart’s motto ”Always Low Prices. Always.
” against them by adding the attacking shark plus the phrase ”Predator of the Poor”, using pathos (emotional) appeal through fear, and ethos (ethical) appeal. If the viewer does not know about Wal-Mart and how they have the lowest prices on merchandise in comparison to everyone else anywhere, then they would have a hard time understanding the logos (logical) appeal. The purpose of this ad and argument is to show anyone and everyone (since Wal-Mart is a place for anyone to go and buy merchandise) the dark side of Wal-Mart, and how they possibly take down other smaller businesses.
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If a person would like to reach out to someone through an advertisement in a convincing and persuading manner, pathos would arguably be the strongest way to do it. In this ad, pathos is the main appeal for which the creator was aiming. With the close-up view of the shark looking as if it was about to attack the camera, the main element of pathos for this particular ad is fear. The phrase “Predator of the Poor” is intended to show two appeals simultaneously: pathos and ethos.
After seeing the attacking shark, the intended result of striking initial fear into the viewer supports the purpose of the predator phrase, which is to generate anger in the viewer, and possibly sympathy for other smaller businesses that have been destroyed in Wal-Mart’s stampede. As mentioned earlier, the phrase “Predator of the Poor” has ethos appeal in addition to pathos appeal. This is the main part of the advertisement the creator wants to show the ethical side.
After appealing to the emotions of the viewer by producing fear and anger, the creater shows that Wal-Mart taking down their competition in such an easy fashion, and this raises the ethical side of the ad. Over time, if Wal-Mart continues to take out its competition, theoretically they may be our only option when it comes to shopping for merchandise. The creator of this ad seeks to show how this affects everyone in the long run, and it is not limited to only other businesses.
As far as the logos is concerned, this advertisement lacked this area of appeal. The best example that could have possibly qualified as logical appeal was the Wal-Mart logo at the top right of the ad, representing a very well-known, generally prestigious and world-renowned company, mainly because of the affordable prices on merchandise. However, besides the Wal-Mart logo, there was a shark, the phrase ”Predator of the Poor”, and fine print below the phrase, which was far too small to read.
The fine print was irrelevant in regard to the purpose of the ad, and that area of space could have been saved for more facts and statistics. For a viewer of the ad who does not know the details of Wal-Mart, they may have a hard time understanding what the creator was aiming for in the ad. When people see an advertisement, they usually do not want to put the effort into reading it, unless something in that advertisement catches their eye.
This ad was successful in that regard when the creator put a close-up view of a shark looking like it would attack the camera in the ad. The creator is successful in the emotional and ethical appeals in the argument, and successfully sends the message that Wal-Mart is a shark, attacking those who cannot compete, devouring them in their path to be the only one left standing. While more evidence could have been displayed in the ad to support the logical appeal, the message was successfully sent.