Student Handout #1
Persuasive Techniques in Advertising

The Greek philosopher Aristotle divided the means of persuasion into three categories--Ethos, Pathos, Logos. These categories can be applied to the persuasive strategies used by advertisers.
Rhetoric - using language effectively to please or persuade.

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Pathos: an appeal to emotion.

An advertisement using pathos will attempt to evoke an emotional response in the consumer.Sometimes, it is a positive emotion such as happiness: an image of people enjoying themselves while drinking Pepsi. Other times,advertisers will use negative emotions such as pain: a person having back problems after buying the “wrong” mattress. Pathos can also include emotions such as fear and guilt: images of a starving child persuade you to send money. It may be used to persuade the audience that an action they take, such as purchasing the product, can prevent something negative from happening.

Logos: an appeal to logic or reason.

An advertisement using logos will give you the evidence and statistics you need to fully understand what the product does. The logos of an advertisement will be the "straight facts" about the product: One glass of Florida orange juice contains 75% of your daily Vitamin C needs. They often use comparatives or superlatives such as -er or -est.

Ethos: an appeal to credibility or character.

An advertisement using ethos will try to convince you that the company is more reliable, honest, and credible; therefore, you should buy its product. Ethos often involves statistics from reliable experts, such as nine out of ten dentists agree that Crest is the better than any other brand or America's dieters choose Lean Cuisine. Often, a celebrity endorses a product to lend it more credibility: Rihanna appears in Gucci advertisements.


Student Handout #2Persuasive Techniques in Advertising
Remember that many advertisements will use more than one of these persuasive techniques.
Print advertisements:

_ A car is endorsed by JD Powers and Associates.
_ Brawny towels are the “quicker picker upper”.
_ Geico advertisement that promises, “So easy a caveman could do it.”
_ "Every Kiss Begins with Kay" for Kay jewelers.
_Three out of four doctors recommend this product."
_ Maria Sharapova takes pictures with a Canon camera.
_ In a taste test, four out of five people preferred Pepsi.
_ The new Iphone 3G allows faster connection to read your email or surf the web.
_Old Navy ad shows two males and two females with big smiles.
Look at the advertisements placed around the room. Label them P, L or E (or a combination of these) according to the number:

Television advertisements

Label these P, L, or E (or a combination of these) – write the relevant letter(s) next to the link.

Describe the persuasive techniques used in the following (there may be more than one in an advertisement).

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