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.