Rhetorical Analysis of an Advertisement

Basic Requirements:

6-7 pages long, double line spaced
MLA Format, to include header, heading, formatting, and Works Cited page
Times New Roman, size 12 font

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Write an essay that explores the visual and textual elements of a vintage ad of your choice (from the 1940s-1970s). Address how the rhetorical appeals, fallacies, colors and marketing strategies work together to persuade a target audience to buy the product or service advertised. Support your argument with evidence from Hirschberg, Lutz, or any of the analysis tools provided below or approved by me.

Things to consider:

You have more room to write, but you’ll also be including an image of the ad. Look for a vintage ad that speaks loudly to you. Rather than choosing a product that you like, pick one that blatantly appeals to ethos, pathos, and/or logos or uses fallacies to persuade. Vintage ads had different rules and a lot less consumer protection, so there should be a lot more to talk about when you discuss how the ad works to persuade.
Your audience and own rhetorical style: Appeal to an audience of students in a marketing class. They may have done similar assignments, but they have not seen your ad and they are not familiar with the classic definitions of rhetorical appeals. Develop ethos with this audience by selecting relevant evidence, including some from outside sources, very carefully. Don’t overdo it! They want your insight, not someone else’s.
Be aware of your audience’s needs. These students expect precise academic language (no contractions or second-person), a clear thesis and argument, and logical interpretation and analysis. They know some things about marketing and advertising, but they want to learn about rhetoric from you.

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