Using Ethos, Pathos and Logos in Advertisements
An advertisement is a form of public writing in which the author uses writing strategies as a way to catch the attention of a reader and to persuade that reader to purchase what he or she is promoting. In order to create an effective advertisement, the author relies on the product’s credibility, uses reasons to convince the reader to buy what he/she is promoting, and attempts to appeal to the reader based on emotion. A way in which this can be achieved is through using three components of writing known as ethos, pathos and logos. As an example to illustrate how these strategies can be used as an effective method of persuasion, I have chosen to analyze an advertisement produced by a travel agency. In the ad, the author’s attempt is to use logos and pathos as his primary means of persuasion but touches on all three components of writing as a method of luring the reader into choosing Texas as the primary choice for a vacation destination. The author’s intent is to rely on this location to represent the travel agency as a source for planning the vacation.
Using ethos is a way of appealing to the reader based on the credibility of the source in which the author is trying to promote. Credibility can be accomplished by using tactics to support reliability. First, the author attempts to establish credibility by relying on tradition and value. He accomplishes this in the advertisement by placing major emphasis on a man wearing a belt buckle. He states, "You look more closely. And see a grapefruit-sized rodeo championship belt buckle, dazzling in the sunlight. And you know at that moment, you must be in Texas" (McCALL p. 87). One may argue that the ad establishes the location as a place that has earned a great reputation where tourists repeatedly return year after year. Furthermore, the author attempts to establish credibility by displaying a symbol to represent quality. In the bottom right corner of the ad, the author uses a leather patch with the word "Texas" inscribed on it. The author makes an attempt to represent not only quality, but also pride. This is a way of convincing the audience that Texas is considered a highly respectable place. Once the author has formed the first step of persuasion through credibility, his next attempt is to convince the audience furthermore by appealing to the reasoning of the people who are reading it.
With an intended audience in mind, the author makes an attempt to appeal to that audience through reasoning. This can be accomplished through a category of writing called logos, which is presented within the text of the advertisement. The author gives many reasons why the reader should consider Texas their destination...