Aristotle's Rhetoric In Allstate Ads Essay

1246 words - 5 pages

Every year, companies spend billions of dollars in advertising in hopes to persuade consumers to buy their product. Companies use Aristotle’s approaches of Rhetoric; which use ethos, logos, and pathos. According to “The Allstate Corporation,” The Allstate Corporation is the second largest property and casualty insurance company, by premiums, in the United States” (The Allstate Corporation). Writer Stuart Elliott, supposed that in the first quarter of last year, Allstate spent $85.9 billion in advertising (Elliott). Elliott also stated that beginning in July 2011, Allstate would retire the face of Dennis Haysbert for Dean Winters in their television advertisements (Elliott). Winters performs as the character of Mayhem, as a toddler, in the "Mayhem Toddler" commercial to persuade buyers to obtain insurance from Allstate. Allstate exercises ethos, logos, and pathos in the “Mayhem Toddler” commercial.
The advertisement opens with Dean Winters in a black business suit with a butterfly band-aid on his upper right cheek, just below his eye. Winters is in the back seat of an SUV. He is holding a purple and yellow sippy cup, which has two handles on either side of it. In his lap is a gallon size bag of Cheerios, which he is consuming with his left hand. On his left is a grey sun blocker; most mothers have to protect their children from the sun while they are in the car. On Winter’s left, a clothes hanger has a pink and green cloth ball tied to a purple string. Winters has crumbs covering not only him but also his car seat. Behind his car seat is a yellow blanket. As soon as the commercial opens, Winters is screaming "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" Three seconds into screaming, he looks directly at the viewer with a sly smirk on his face. He then screams “Mommy!” three more times. After, he leans back and takes a sip of, what looks like apple juice, from his sippy cup. After screaming “Mommy!” another time, he throws the sippy cup to the front of the car along with his bag of cereal. Nine seconds into the commercial, the words "Mayhem is everywhere." appears in bold white letters. Three seconds later, the screen becomes black. In the middle can be seen the Allstate logo. Underneath the Allstate logo, in white text is written, Auto|Home|Life|Retirement. Beneath in the same text, is its website address,, agent, 888-allstate. Dennis Haysbert, then says, “Dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from mayhem like Allstate.” The commercial is completed within sixteen seconds.
To start with, the Allstate commercial exploits the first of the three appeals of Aristotle, which is ethos. John Edlund stated in his article, “In our society sports heroes, popular actors and actresses, and rock stars are often seen as authorities on matters completely unrelated to their talents. This is an instance of the power of image” (Edlund). Similarly, Annie Olson expresses that “Ethos is all about your credibility, reliability, and authority as a...

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