Grolsch Beer: Using the Artistic Approach
The advertisement for Grolsch beer, taken from the May 28, 1998 issue of Rolling Stone features Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-portrait. Grolsch beer uses three important components of argument (ethos, pathos, logos) to support their claim. However, logos is the most important because the audience must be able to logically interpret the ad. The advertisement connects with the audience by appealing to the reader’s logic of art history, while establishing a reputation of quality and credibility with the Grolsch name.
Relying heavily on logos, the makers of this advertisement depend on the readers knowledge of the history of art and specifically of Van Gogh. The main text of the advertisement states, " The same bold taste since the days when body piercing meant cutting off an ear." Obviously the latter portion of this statement suggests a link to Van Gogh cutting off his own ear. Van Gogh’s Self-portrait symbolizes his missing ear by only showing his left one. For the audience to fully understand this, they must have some prior knowledge of the Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh. Grolsch beer creates its logos by relying on the wit of the reader. For example, a pun is used with the word "bold" in describing the beer that may also be making a reference to the fact that Van Gogh was a very bold artist. In order for the audience to be captured by this ad, they must be able to recognize that it is a pun, and that it is the punch line that identifies Grolsch beer with the reader.
While much of the ad relies on the reader’s knowledge of art, the ad also relies heavily on logical claims. The first is the claim of fact: Grolsch beer has existed since 1615 and because this statement cannot be denied, the audience will accept it as being objectively verifiable. Secondly, the claim of value is expressed in the statement "Those who appreciate quality, enjoy it responsibly." A claim of value attempts to prove that some things are more or less desirable than others. Grolsch beer is attempting to prove that its beer is more desirable than other brands. It conveys the message that if you are willing to spend more on its beer, then the quality you receive is well worth the extra money. Finally, the claim of policy is found in the latter portion of this statement in the phrase "enjoy it responsibly." Claims of policy assert that specific policies should be instituted as solutions to problems. Drinking alcoholic beverages can create many...