Thursday, February 23, 2012

Get ready to succumb to persuasion!

Persuasion. We are subject to it every single day no matter where we go. It is present everywhere in our country today. Companies, organizations, politicians, celebrities, and your friends all are trying to persuade you to do activities or purchase something or invest your precious time into doing something. America is full of persuasive speech and advertisement in the media, television, and everyday life. What makes a good persuasive argument? What makes you want to partake in something that you would not normally do? What sells that product to you over anything else you might buy?
These questions are trivial in figuring out how somebody buys something. I see persuasive tactics everywhere I go whether it is in a store or something else like an amusement park or political advertisements. I am not easily persuaded into buying frivolous things unless the salesman or the advertisement makes an irresistible offer. Most Americans are like me and need to be completely sold on an item before they spend their hard earned money on the said item.  A great example of a persuasive tactic is trying to draw somebody by promising them that an item, whether it be a deodorant or drink, will automatically make them popular and draw members of the opposite sex closer.
Let’s take a look at the persuasiveness of an Axe commercial now that we are on deodorants. In this commercial the producers use the situation of one man who lures thousands of beautiful women in with several quick sprays of Axe deodorant is aerosol form. Wow pretty persuasive, eh? I would say so this ad uses persuasiveness to appeal to man’s greatest weakness women. The commercial is basically saying no matter what you look like use Axe, it will bring the women to you in droves!

I find the persuasive rhetorical techniques used in this commercial as well as many other commercials completely ridiculous but yet they work. People are willing to buy an item just to try to relive the moment that the commercial or advertisement promises. link for the axe commercial.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Make a good thesis statement!

Whether you are a politician, lobbyist, commercial designer or a college student who has to deliver a speech, you must be able to appeal to your audience. Starting with an attention grabbing thesis is a great way to capture your target audience’s attention. When preparing a speech, the speaker needs to keep his or her audience in mind and make sure he or she has a perfectly crafted thesis statement.
One of the biggest flaws a speaker can have is not being able to hold the audience’s attention. I am talking about this topic because in less than a week our class will begin to give speeches about commercials. I for one am nervous about this undertaking so I thought I would write about an important facet of public speaking—using a solid thesis to grab the listeners’ attention.
Not only will a well prepared, well thought out thesis be imperative to a grabbing an audience’s attention, it will also help them understand the point you are trying to get across. In class, we looked at several examples of written speeches. With the good speeches we were able to quickly understand what the writer/speaker was talking about and the thesis grabbed our attention (well at least mine). Having my audience’s attention will make my presentation go so much easier than if they were bored out of their minds.
So as we make our final preparations on our speeches, it is essential that we use a good thesis. It is also important that we establish our thesis in the beginning and not in the middle or end of the speech. Without a carefully prepared thesis, our audience will not have the foggiest clue about what message we are trying to get across. This thesis will need to be delivered quickly and have a clear and concise point that everybody will be able to understand.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ethos In the Advertising Industry

With the recent super bowl as well as American advertising industry, the people of this country are told everyday what products or services are good and worth buying. Everywhere we turn we are faced with advertisements for everything from cars to silly inventions like the Sham Wow. These ads draw us in subliminally and make us want to invest substantial money into the offered products. What makes us want to buy these products? Why do we go out of our way to spend money on foolish things that we do not need? The answer is simple, rhetorical methods make us lust for these items.
When one watches a car commercial he or she is immediately thrust into a world of style and luxury. The individual automatically thinks, “Wow that could be me in the car picking up the attractive man or woman, and driving through the big cities or beach areas.” Commercials like these use ethos to establish their message and promote their product.  The ethos makes the viewer develop a mindset and encourages the development of new character in the viewer. Commercial that establish a good ethos, use intelligence, sophistication, and try to be emotionally and visually pleasing to the audience.
In Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler commercial (“Its Half Time America”), ethos is used extremely effectively as well as at the right time. It is played during half time of the Super Bowl when many Americans are watching television. The producers of this commercial knew how and when to use rhetoric to bring out the emotions of the American people. As an American, when I watched this commercial I felt inspired and confident that America is going to be stronger than ever in the future and the once dilapidated American automobile industry is now on the rise.
The ethos of this commercial resonated deep in my mind as I had feelings of national pride an hope for this country. This commercial also made me think of buying American goods (especially cars) instead of spending money on foreign products. Ethos can make or break a commericial and the ethos of Eastwood commercial displayed intelligence, passion for the continuation of America as a power, and the revival of the Detroit auto industry.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kairos and American Politics

When the word rhetoric comes up, we, the American people, always think of a shady politician trying to convince the public about one thing or another. Since we began exploring the topic of rhetoric and how it ties in with our democratic society, it has been hard for me to not separate rhetoric from politics. As the campaign for the 2012 presidential election heats up, I have been watching closely. A great example of a rhetorical device being used is “kairos.” Before reading the chapter about kairos in our Rhetoric and Civic Life book, I had not the slightest clue about what “a kairos” was.
Now that I know what kairos is, I can see it all around me, especially in the political realm. Kairos is used a way to make a point at the most effective moment. For example, when there is  a spree of violence in a city, officials automatically want to tighten controls on weapons and impose stiffer penalties for criminals. In the political realm of the United States today, kairos is used all the time. It is often used at the right rhetorical time to establish a spearhead for a political campaign as well as to gather support for a politician or his or her policies.
Whenever President Barack Obama seems to fail or make a mistake on something such as the economy or universal health care, his opponents are very fast to step up and criticize him and propose their own methods that they claim will work better than what the President did. Democrats and republicans are both guilty when it comes to using kairos to bash their opponents and propose their own ideas. Kairos is extremely commonplace in the political world, you can just turn on the television and watch public figures use it. As race for the Whitehouse heats up, we are most certainly guaranteed to see kairos used to a large extent.