Rhetorical Analysis Essay: an Example of a Web Page Case Study

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Topic: Entertainment & Media
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In the modern world of increasing competence, marketing needs to be as creative as possible. There are countless strategies that specialists use to attract potential clients. Indeed, great marketing professionals can make any ordinary product stand out. A great variety of methods has a common objective: to make an advertised product attractive.

When it comes to achieving that goal, most text ads use three basic rhetoric principles. Those are ethos, logos, pathos. These are persuasion techniques that have been around for ages. It was Aristotle who coined the terms, and the original Greek names are still in use today.

Introduction

What does each of these terms mean?

  • Ethos (which meant “character” in Ancient Greece) is an ethical appeal. One uses ethos to show to their audience that the information they give is credible and worth listening to.
  • Pathos (both “suffering” and “experience” in Greek) is the emotional appeal. It is about persuading an audience by appealing to their emotions.
  • Logos (the Greek word for “word”) is the appeal to logic and rational thinking. Citing authorities, facts, and statistics, giving historical and literal analogies means using logos.

Example of Rhetorical Analysis: Double Cola Web Page

Now that we know the theory let us see how it works. One of the companies that put these techniques in practice is The Double Cola Company. That is the modern company name, but there were some other ones throughout the brand history.

Back in 1922, two entrepreneurs, Charles D. Little and Joe S. Foster, established Good Grape Company to sell their new grape soda. Two years later, the name changed to Seminole Flavor Company. New drinks appeared at that time, too: Marvel Cola and Jumbo Cola. In 1933, the soda formula was improved, and the name Double Cola appeared.

Double-Cola Co. has a well-developed brand. They are a family-owned company. Double-Cola emphasizes its rich history and tradition of producing and selling high-quality products. Cola is a rather popular drink among all age groups, but young people tend to buy it more often. The company’s target audience is young, active, and well-off.

Double Cola’s pricing policy proves that its target audience is high-income. There is no doubt that most fizzy drinks are refreshing and tasty. The Double Cola claims to have “extraordinary beverages.” They aim to embrace the individuality of consumers. In turn, consumers should be ready to pay some extra for that unique experience.

Double Cola: Rhetorical Elements Analysis

One of the main components of media presence today is a company’s website. The Double Cola’s web page is an excellent example of how a company should approach their Internet image. The website is impressive. It is well-structured, modern, interactive, maintained well. It uses effective rhetoric strategies to attract the target audience.

It is evident that the management allocated substantial resources to perfect their web page. Thanks to a professional approach, we enjoy a site that offers an exciting experience. Let us take a look at particular details that make up the overall picture.

An effective way to persuade the audience is to use rhetorical appeal. The website presents the company’s products as an ideal choice for a young and wealthy consumer. However, the web page does not say it explicitly. It doesn’t inform the public that these beverages are more expensive than other fizzy drinks. Instead, they highlight the uniqueness of the product. That is another way to convey the same message with a different connotation. That is where logos, ethos, and pathos can help.

A historical logo of Ski Cola is a boy on water ski with a broad smile and a large bottle of Cola in his hands. On the website, we can see a link with the logo and a title: “Craving a “sip” of Ski History?” There are several practical rhetorical elements in play here.

It provokes various positive associations. Youngsters compare themselves to an athletic person with a stylish hairstyle. They can feel happy about being like him. They might recollect memories of their summer holidays or think about their dreams. Some might want to try water skiing; others are positive just about an outing to the seaside. That is how pathos triggers the positive emotions of the audience.

What is more, the young man holds a large bottle of Ski Cola in his hand. There are not many additional details to see. The bottle in the palm of that happy young man catches the eye. We tend to connect his joy and happiness with that object.

The target audience for that cola is young and rich, which perfectly corresponds to the logo. At the same time, those who are older can think of their youth with nostalgia. They might also buy that drink for their kids, grandchildren, or themselves. The image is an effective rhetorical appeal.

Secondly, the logo is obviously a bit old-school. Moreover, we have that “Ski History” title. This proves that the product has stood the test of time. The company has a long and bright history and is proud of it. This is an appeal to the facts and credibility of something old and proven. It looks like a good-quality mix of ethos and logos.

The aim of this website post is to influence the target audience in a variety of ways.It is achieved with the help of three key rhetoric techniques. This is just one of the rhetorical analysis elements on the company web page.

The refrain phrase is “Why settle for the ordinary?”. Several posts and pages on the website include that message. It is an exquisite way to address precisely the target audience: well-off and ambitious young people. They tend to be fed up with day-to-day things and are happy to embrace something new and exciting. They are not just ordinary consumers, and Double Cola’s marketing professionals know it. The website invites customers to “taste the freedom” (pathos). There is also an appeal to facts: “A Soda so Perfect, there is a Company Named for it “(logos).

“High-quality beverages that embrace the individuality of our consumers bring success to our company and the distributors with whom we partner.” – this is a quote of the company’s mission page. The entire text is a great explanation and proof of the company’s credibility and good reputation. It is a pure appeal to ethos.

The use of ethos, pathos, and logos is everywhere on the website: from capitalized titles to subtle details.

Conclusion

The Double Cola Company has a well-defined target audience. It also features a well-developed strategy to interact with it through the website. Presenting its products as premium and extraordinary, the company finds its niche in the market. Young and wealthy people visit the company’s website and are impressed enough to buy the product.

This rhetorical analysis example has proven that creating a company’s image implies using ethos, pathos, and logos. These rhetorical elements are rather evident on the web page we analyzed. Thanks to the techniques, the website looks entertaining, exciting, and dynamic, even without any video or music content.

Rhetorical Essay FAQ

❓ What is a rhetorical analysis essay?

That is a thorough and structured description of some peculiar rhetorical elements of a text. Such an essay focuses on the functions of those elements, their connections, and the role in the context. Just like any essay, this paper should be logical and cohesive. There are countless examples of rhetorical analysis essays available online and in books.

❓ What is the purpose of a rhetorical analysis essay?

The use of rhetorical elements that have been known for centuries is still popular in the modern world. A rhetorical analysis essay has the purpose of exemplifying and proving it. Such paper summarizes the aim of the text and includes examples of rhetorical elements, their functions, etc. Such analysis can help readers understand rhetoric techniques better, use them appropriately, and make better choices.

❓ How to write a rhetorical analysis essay?

It is always a good idea to create an essay outline first. Choose a minimum of 3-4 key elements you would analyze in the body part of your paper. Exemplify those points (you may cite the text) and show their functions. Then, add an appropriate introduction and a corresponding conclusion. There are countless rhetorical analysis essay samples as a source of inspiration.

❓ How to start a rhetorical analysis essay?

If you need to write a rhetorical analysis, begin with an outline. It will help you proceed step by step without losing your train of thought. It also helps to perfect the structure. Think about peculiar rhetorical elements of the text you analyze. Then, try to describe them in detail, and also give a high-level overview of the techniques.

❓ What is a good topic for a rhetorical analysis essay?

Any text might have some rhetoric elements in it, but they are exceptionally popular in persuasive speeches, debates, and advertisements. Moreover, rhetorical analysis essays are often a part of business or college projects. Thus, it is better to choose a text that has intentionally included rhetoric techniques. There is a huge variety of topics to choose from, so choose something that interests you.

References

  1. The Art of Rhetoric: Mesa Community College
  2. Using rhetorical appeals to credibility, logic, and emotions to increase your persuasiveness: NCBI
  3. Aristotle’s Rhetoric: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  4. Rhetoric: GMU Writing Center
  5. Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion: Purdue OWL
  6. Analyzing Persuasive Techniques in Historical Media Messages: Child Labor (Library of Congress)