Just Empty Every Pocket. This rings true for anyone who's had a car they love though. The oodles of options available for aftermarket upgrades - I just can't stay away from websites with them. But that's the appeal of a Jeep - the outdoors and ruggedness of it.
It's pretty easy to connect the dots from its origin of being a military vehicle to now. Once it broke into the civilian market, it ran away with the ruggedness theme and never looked back. The 70's really caught that stride of civilian vehicles being built for that offroading experience.
A Jeep Ad from 1973
Like the 1973 ad above shows, Jeeps were always about the feeling of going anywhere you really want to. "Go where the crowd can't follow" and "Head out where the real fun begins." The entire five minute video talks about features designed for the ultimate experience for offroading and they do that effectively. The visual rhetoric is pretty straight-forward - the narrator talks about features, they visually show them in action. Finding an advertisement being run over 30 seconds nowadays is fairly hard, especially five minutes.
The Ethos of having a trusted military brand behind a 4x4 vehicle seems pretty convincing. Not to mention that the Logos of stating features like a gas can skid plate, recirculating ball system, suspended brake and suspended clutch pedal meant for offroading is meant to reason with you why this vehicle handles offroading like a champ. The weakest part of the message deals with Pathos - the emotion just isn't there. For a five-minute ad, this video states their argument for their vehicle, but it does not show very much emotion. They use this technique of narration with offroading shots quite a bit but you hear nothing from the man actually driving. Judging by the fact that they do list out the Jeep's features extensively, this ad's purpose is to get you to compare it to the other options available so you can choose this one.
A 1981 Jeep Ad
Now fast-forward a decade later and they've established their brand even more. This video above shows them trying to break out of that offroading niche into another market - the family vehicle. This is interesting because it starts out with what everyone knows about the Jeep CJ: it's a military, government and rally race vehicle. It however changes gears to the core of the message - it's a family vehicle.
Their visual rhetoric is getting fairly stronger - they start with putting it on a plateau to show it better than the rest and then make "the legend" even better. With this one, they use their credibility of a dependable vehicle for use as a family one. Logically, it would make sense to have a reliable vehicle for your family and you can even have adventures and vacations with them. When they talk about going out on the town or vacationing, they show two very different jeeps as well. They're starting to use some more emotion in this one, but it's still not strong in the message. One Jeep is shown as glamorous and the other is speeding along a beach with a mirror off.
The targeted audience seems to be those on the fence about Jeeps. The message of "here's what you already know" but then "here's what you didn't know" message statement tries to persuade the viewer into changing their mind about it.
An ad from the 90's
Since car manufacturers come out with new models of vehicles every so often, Jeep had to make a statement about their new Wrangler. A new design means new people interested now. This commercial above humorously shows a new owner of a Jeep with some older ones relating and poking fun at him. The Ethos and Logos have been established now for the brand - so they rely on their Pathos of the message: "If you haven't tried it yet, it's not too late." The remark about the guy being a rookie is a slight nudge to current owners to establish some connection to them so they know Jeep recognizes its customers. The logos is stunted to just a few lines as they state some features and then go back to a man enjoying nature. This shows the shift of using reasoning and facts to persuade and showing more and more emotion and credibility to appeal to consumers.
2016 Jeep Super Bowl Ad
The Superbowl is just about as much about the football game as it is about the ads. I've said this before, but people watch the game just for the ads and to be on top of what the best ones were. This Jeep commercial should be the best of the best they have to offer then. It's got a strong message with its song, 4x4ever, which just seals everything together. It's interesting to note they show their entire vehicle line-up, not just Wranglers. This is the epitome of using their Ethos as a dependable offroad vehicle company and showing the Pathos for adventurous, fun-loving, rugged people. Don't even get me started on the fact that they showed the Jeep Wave (I squealed a bit inside when I saw the commercial live). The Logos is now subsided in this commercial: there are no mentions of features or specifications. You already know it's capable, so their reasoning lies behind showing you what you could use the jeep for.
Another 2016 Jeep Super Bowl Commercial
This is another commercial from the Superbowl. It's amazing how different it is with its melancholic and sad beginning about war and sadness. The music crescendo with Jeep's history brings forth a hopeful and glad Pathos towards the end. It's spot in history can never be replaced. The narration solidifies its Ethos and Logos - a recognizable icon of history that many adhere to already and so can you.
I believe it's pretty telling of the 1973 ad compared to the 2016 Superbowl Portraits commercial of the growth in rhetoric appeal. What started as a list of features grew into two very different but emotional ads that illicit feelings. one shows power, courage and adventure while the other shows sadness, pride and belonging. It goes from very dry to very palatable in terms of watching. The Jeep wasn't the only thing that changed however. The 70s and the 2000s vary so greatly. Advertisers became skilled in their tools as new studies found 30 second ads to be the sweet spot for attention. Music production skills became more and more advanced as well as more widespread to the masses to use. The evolution of media though hasn't stopped and will continue to develop. It's the job of persuaders of today - whether advertisers or public relations - to use tools and new technology to captivate their audience.
Rhetorical appeals don't exist strictly for analyzing old texts. Regardless of the medium, they can be utilized or ignored by a communicator. Although digital writing may lack certain emotion and tone, a communicator can persuasively appeal to their audience. That's why emojis even exist. Even when radio was a huge medium in the 20th century, people would listen to radio show hosts because they were enticed to do so.
Logos, as Sean Morey explains in The Digital Writer, is the logic behind your argument. The "Spock" appeal - backing your argument with facts, computations, empirical data and the like (p. 43). Ethos is the credibility of the communicator to which the audience is judging. If a person has no trust in the person speaking facts, they won't believe the facts. Morey gives the example of professional basketball players wearing Michael Jordan's shoes and providing advertising for the shoe. At the same time, the shoe designers can also give testament to the shoe's quality as well to provide the reasons why they're so great (p. 47-48). Pathos plays into the audience's emotions. An audience may not be predisposed to feeling pride before a message, but a communicator can give descriptors that the audience can identify with that make them feel proud. Morey gives an example of a politician flattering an audience by calling American's hard-working and independent so they identify with her (p. 51). Kairos involves the timing of persuasion - how to make use of time to effectively make an argument. Media coverage for gun control was very prominent after any mass shooting occurs in the United States. People advocate gun control immediately afterward because of importance and relevance to current events.
An Old Spice Commercial.
Old Spice's ad campaign was very well done. A series of commercials with Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews that garnered millions of views - people wanting to watch the ad over and over again. It did what Old Spice wanted - people watching and caring for Old Spice. These ads first started in 2010.
The Ethos - Old Spice is a very big brand now. They weren't always that way. The first commercial with Mustafa garnered over 53 million views! This commercial above came out five years after the first one became so popular. Terry Crews had been doing a few commercials by himself with his own boisterous style. It came to be expected that Old Spice's commercials were silly and fun. This commercial still proves that Old Spice can be trusted to have a fun time.
The Pathos - The commercial plays off contention and humor. Mustafa's commercials were targeted towards women's classiness and Crews's were always about men's power. When they collide in this commercial it's a battle between the two, women and men and it goes for a contention between the two to make the watchers almost choose which side they're on.
The power of Old Spice
Logos - The viewer knows how ridiculous the entire commercial is, and Old Spice knows that. Of course men want to please their spouses, but how does a deodorant do all that? It smells good and that's what your spouse would want, so you should buy it.
Kairos - This commercial was done in 2015 after both Crews and Mustafa both had commercials with different personalities. With their "Smellitment" campaign, Old Spice continued their trend of crazy commercials and being successful at it.
In short, the purpose of this commercial is to get you to buy Old Spice - Bearglove or Timber, either way you're still buying one. If Old Spice can keep making these commercials and is obviously making profits, their product must be good. Emotionally, I feel relief from laughing because it's charming. The mild dispute in the commercial doesn't make me feel conflicted or angry. If Old Spice is selling so much deodorant and is making these great commercials, I figured I must buy one, and I did and still do since like 2012. The timing of this particular commercial was great because it brought back Mustafa and Crews together, surprisingly in a fun way.
10/10 would advertise for Old Spice.
Why are we on the internet? It's fun, it's addictive, it's soul-crushing, it's heart-warming, it's everything we want it to be. It's communication through and through. The PBS Idea Channel describes communities of practice. I think this explains internet websites as a whole.
When I go to a particular website and go through the comments, everyone is communicating on the general topic of the website or webpage. When I watch a new episode for a show and read comments, and as the video says, "we are all doing it in a social context that gives meaning to what we do." I want to know the general feedback for strong (or weak) episodes and have a dialogue open to discuss the show to make my investment more meaningful. Take Game of Thrones, for example: I'm completely guilty of skipping the books but also reading spoilers online and current fan theories so I can follow the show. With this show as well, there are tons of interconnected theories that just make the reveals so much more meaningful if I'm proven to be correct in the theory I chose to believe. I wouldn't have these theories (they're not my constructs, but are my beliefs) had I not joined in the community. I share these theories with my friends who casually watch the show and my friends who have read the books twice and we all get that much more out of the show.
When your fan theory pays off after six seasons.
One such place I frequent is reddit.com. A website full of communities that make up the whole. I think it's a good assumption that most everyone reading this has heard of it, but here's a great informative video.
CGP Grey explains reddit
One such "subreddit" I read is called Life Pro Tips. people share tips about anything and everything in life - however, there are common dialects and unspoken expectations in the subreddit. Frequently, someone will post a new pro tip, it will get upvoted and then someone either corrects or changes the pro tip entirely to something new. This top comment in turn is almost always expected. Everyone always goes to the top comment for a tip because if there are mistakes or better tips, they will be upvoted and seen. A common comment is "The true LPT is always the top comment." This is a form of dialect because this community always wants the top comment to be an expansion on the original LPT which produces more conversation. For an example of this, check this thread out.
I like webcomics. I'm currently reading Dumbing of Age. There's a new comic each day with a comments section for that specific comic. Visually, they appear in a chronological hierarchy and replies are indented over to show which comment is the parent. It does get confusing but at the same time you can easily scroll through and read all or some of them. The creator enjoys creating suspense and will often leave the last panel on a day for a reveal. A common phrase is "Damn You Willis," the last name of the creator. He even names his twitter handle after this joke. It's a fun community where the author actively moderates and interacts with readers.
When you realize you have to wait another day.
Now speaking of Twitter, I frequent the site a lot. As a whole, Twitter uses hashtags to group together individual tweets about something. But my community is personal, as is everyone else's. My personal profile's sphere of influence is dictated by who follows me and who I follow.7 I follow about six times more accounts than those that follow me - what I say only reaches those select few who follow me. But I'm received information from all those other accounts that I'm following. Some accounts just exist to post a user's content while others exist just to share others by retweeting. I enjoy Twitter because the dialect used is short and in the now. No one expects you to go dig up that tweet from last year - or even a day ago. It's meant to be what you see is happening now and it's very interesting when people post updates on their personal lives. It doesn't get bogged down by big tweets either because of the 144 character limit. They do show you "What You Missed" between log ins, which is nice but sometimes not needed. I don't use Twitter to really communicate out to people, but to receive communication from other people.
Sean Morey in The Digital Writer explains the focus on kairos: "the timing of a message is more important than ever" (p. 40). I think Twitter is the ultimate example of this because of trending hashtags, circulating memes, viral videos and other multimodal media often make their way through Twitter because of retweets.
I do believe there are dialects on the internet. Each community has their own specific rules and often they are unspoken. From moderation of communication to how they use information, it's important to understand the community to which you are sharing. A misstep in your rhetoric could make you lose your credibility.
The Meaning of Rhetoric:
For the longest time, I had heard of rhetorical questions. That was my first and only introduction to anything that had to do with rhetoric. So when I took English classes that started teaching rhetoric, it became kind of confusing. Rhetorical questions are stupid and ones you don't answer - how does it go from this to meaning persuasion? Turns out rhetoric is a tiny bit more complex.
I specify now that rhetoric is the functional organization of discourse within its social and cultural context, in all its aspects, exception made for its realization as a strictly formal metalanguage - in formal logic, mathematics, and in sciences who metalanguages share the same features. In other words: rhetoric is all of language, in its realization as discourse.
I enjoy this quote because Valesio states:
Jacob Robertson, in this video, describes anything from talking to someone, drawing a picture, having a job interview, those are rhetorical choices. Even refraining from talking or communicating to someone, is a method of using rhetoric.
It's all of language: the purpose, context, construction, grammar, the perceived message, effectiveness, feedback and many more. The organized arrangement of letters in a structured sentence given inflection to convey the spoken or written message.
At the same time it can be not spoken and still conveyed with an inflection that could be perceived differently like the image above. The deals end up popping out more to get shoppers to use buy these items due to bigger savings. But these items could only have these prices because they must sign up for a members' card. Buy in to the card so you can buy cheaper groceries - advertisements are a form of (sometimes a bit more obvious) rhetoric. I really do only shop at Kroger due to their deals.
According to Sean Morey in The Digital Writer, Theodore Roosevelt said "Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big" (p. 10). Morey refutes Roosevelt and says rhetoric is action, that his words create action. Protesters nowadays protest to take action for a cause and in doing so, convince others to protest.
To persuade someone to take action by taking action yourself is also a form of rhetoric. Rhetoric is persuasion is more than just words or actions by themselves - it's everything that is a factor to the audience in making their decisions.
This image is rhetorically stating the difference between a boss and a leader. Bosses are a derogatory term for people who choose not to work while leaders are at the forefront and working. This image exists to persuade the viewer to acknowledge the difference and possibly change their mindset from bossing people to leading people. I like this image because I never really thought about how hard it really is to lead until I had to, and in some cases, I wasn't the right person for the job.
One thing I love, and the internet does too, are superbowl ads.
Companies with great, funny or inspiring ads make me respect them more - especially if they're bold and pull it off. I'm sure spending 5 million dollars on average for the ad space helps the companies when millions of viewers watch the Super Bowl "only for the ads" (myself included). Not to mention the hundreds of articles based solely on showing the commercials and rating them. In the case of gaining my respect, Mini really stuck out for me. The message is to "Defy labels" and within six seconds they point out "the gay car" label.
I thought that was the perfect way to state their message. It's 2016 and gay marriage in America just became legal not even a year before this aired. Football has a ton of different viewers, some who agree and some who disagree with marriage equality laws. Mini could have left out that small 4 second segment and still have the message, yet they didn't and took that stance. Granted, I've been to some rural areas in Georgia with people who probably would have spontaneously combusted having seen this and seeing this ad really played into that for me. This form of rhetoric convinced me that Mini is in line with my beliefs which plays into customer trust. I've never owned a Mini, but I would be even prouder to own one if I did.
Coming in contact with more definitions of Rhetoric certainly helped me understand that holistically, rhetoric really is everything. I can't count the number of times I am at work in meetings and trying to convince people of how to proceed, how to improve, etc. Even at my valet job, I have hundreds of people complain about paying for parking, but I explain to them that without the service, there would literally be no spots for them to be able to consistently park. Conversations like that always make me think more about comprising in arguments versus trying to win, and that's how I mainly use rhetoric in my life.
What makes you buy certain items?
What's your favorite super bowl ad and why?
Do you have specific examples of using rhetoric?