In The Rhetoric of Advertising, Stuart Hirschberg identifies the various unique ways through which advertisers generate ads to get the appeal of their target audiences thus increasing their sales. Stuart mainly looks at how various ads are created in a unique way to attract the different consumers in the broader market. The article looks at the techniques these advertisements use to prove to their customers that their product is the best despite any obvious consequences that come with manufacturing the given product. Stuart uses the example of smoking tobacco, which is never pleasant. There is choking smoke, coughing, or a burning sensation. Advertisers for such a product will use an outdoor setting to shun the thought of shortness of breath or any lung related diseases far from the consumers mind.
He goes ahead to examine the emotional appeal many of the advertisements aim for. According to Stuart, many ads will take a personal approach to the consumer. They will aim at creating a connection with the customer through addressing him or her on an individual basis so that the individual generates an emotional bond with the advertisement and in the end connect with the product. In some instances, advertisements will begin with evoking anxiety within the consumer then bring forth the product as the solution to the problem at hand. For example, an ad for bathing soap will show how a child gets exposure to germs and the dangers of these germs. The thought of exposure to bacteria will raise anxiety within parents and thus will purchase the soap to keep their children safe. I agree with the article because I feel that what Stuart brings forth is exactly what advertisers use to appeal to their audiences. I am a consumer of the various products that are usually advertised, and the article expresses the sentiments I hold concerning the ads.
My favorite quote from the article is By showing cigarette packs set against the background of grass glistening with morning dew or budding streams or cascading waterfalls, they subtly guide the audiences response away from what is dry, hot congested, or burning towards what is open, airy, moist, cool, and clean" (292,293). Stuart uses a bit of sarcasm to bring out the idea of smoking and cigarettes as something pleasant. He compares it to a serene and green environment, which is the opposite of everything that surrounds cigarettes. I like the quote because Stuart clearly shows the reader how many advertisers will hide the truth concerning the harm of their products behind pleasant settings and emotional appeal. It is also essential because many can learn how to separate what is true and what is false no matter how the ad is created.
The article aims at addressing consumers of various products within the market. It is not focused on a single advertisement but takes a general look at ads that are available on the consumer market. It is, therefore, directed to product users in general. I believe the piece was persuasive to the target audience. I am one of the targeted consumers, and I get the rhetoric and strategy behind the various ads I see on TV. As Stuart says, ads, of course, can elicit responses by attempting to manipulate consumers through negative as well as positive emotional appeals (294). What Stuart expresses as the techniques used by advertisers often work because, in the end, consumers will purchase these products.
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