Using Ethos in Advertisment

Updated April 21, 2022

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Using Ethos in Advertisment essay

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Advertisement is a common way used by several companies and organizations all over the world in order to make their products well known and easier to be sold. Every year, thousands of advertisements are published throughout the TVs, Internet, radios, newspapers, billboards, etc. Although there are not many successful and unforgettable products these days, there are some specific companies that were able to achieve their aim and to take over the advertisement throne. One of these remarkable companies is Pepsi. Through the years, Pepsi has always wanted to gain more market share, so it started to extend its market by producing many different products to suit every group of consumers such as water, energy drinks, sports drinks, and even tea. Since the foundation of Pepsi, their way of conveying their messages was through advertisement. Staying on the leading edge of advertisement is a hallmark of Pepsi-Cola company. In fact, the company is recognized worldwide as a leader in advertising, marketing, and sales.

Over the last few years, Pepsi released a lot of ads and commercials; some of these ads were good and their message was delivered the way Pepsi company wanted, but some other ads ignited a great controversy and faced a huge backlash from different groups of people. There are two commercials in particular that will be addressed in this analysis; a 2017 short film commercial for Pepsi called “Live for Now”, which is also known as “Live for Now Moments Anthem” by PepsiCo, and a 1974 commercial called “Feelin’ Free”. Both advertisements contain logos, pathos, ethos, and kairos aspects that appeal to certain consumers, and by using these rhetorical strategies, both videos were able to convey their messages effectively.

“Live for Now” is a 2017 short film commercial for Pepsi featuring the American fashion model Kendall Jenner. The ad begins with a person’s hand opening a Pepsi can and then a shot of a man playing the cello on a rooftop. The music soundtrack, ‘Lions’ by Skip Marley, then begins, and the view switches to a protest with mostly young people walking and displaying V signs as a gesture for peace. The view then switches to a woman in a hijab, who appears to be a professional photographer. Then the view switches to Kendall Jenner, being photographed in a photo shoot, but also showing a growing awareness of the protesters passing nearby. The cellist notices the protest as well, then drinks Pepsi while viewing passing protestors from a balcony. Then the camera shows two young women drink Pepsi. The view then switches to the marchers, looking cheerful. The photographer looks fascinated, grabs her camera, and heads outside toward the protesters. After that, the cellist passes by Kendall and gestures with his head for her to join. Jenner responds by taking off her blond wig to show her dark brown hair, wiping off her dark lipstick, and heading toward the protest. The camera then shows several police officers standing rigidly watching the protest, then two young protesters, then two men and a woman; several of these characters were displaying V signs. Jenner then passes swiftly through the crowd and advances toward the police officers and hands one of them a Pepsi can as the photographer snaps multiple photographs of the interaction. The officer drinks from the can, and then everyone cheers and hugs each other. The commercial ends displaying some phrases, such as ‘Live Bolder’, ‘Live Louder’, and ‘Live for Now’.

In this commercial, Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding. They achieved that through the use of rhetorical techniques. A big part of this commercial used the emotional appeals to convince the audience of Pepsi’s message and what Pepsi is all about; there was a lot of pathos appeals in this commercial. During the whole commercial, the main message was to spread unity and peace. Pepsi showed this by showing people from different cultures, races, and genders. Pepsi used the protest as an emotional appeal to their audience. The protest in the commercial is very similar to the ones that were happening back in 2017 due to the fight between the government and the governed. People in today’s society are fighting for women’s rights, immigration reforms, gun violence, the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) and police brutality. The commercial sparked a similarity to the BLM movement when policemen were shown trying to stop the protest. Another successful use of emotional appeal in the commercial is the background music. The song was trying to persuade the audience to do something. The lyrics of the song include: “yeah, if ya took all my rights away.” This line suggests that there are people whose rights are being taken away. Another verse was “we are the movement, this generation, you better know who we are who we are.” In this line, the singer is saying that this generation needs to make changes and step up. Also, the cellist, a man who appears to be of Asian origins begins the ad playing the cello on top of the building. This act represents a sense of isolation. Later on, the cello becomes a symbol of happiness and unity as it enables him to join a group of musicians within the protest. Additionally, the cellist was shown all sweaty from playing the cello because he is passionate, and that is what Pepsi Co is all about; passion. Finally, representing the themes of peace, unity, and love, the protest and the Pepsi can seem to create a joyous atmosphere that spreads positivity to everyone.

The effectiveness of this commercial took a downfall because Pepsi’s ethos did not balance Kendall’s ethos. The Kardashian-Jenner family is known to be very controversial. They are famous for nothing because their profession is not one that commonly brings people fame. Kendall was shown modeling at a photo shoot. This shows how out of touch she is with the rest of the “normal” people. Her life seemed very privileged which does not establish credibility to be the face of a peace protest.

This video did not depend on logos in a great manner; there was no facts, figures, or reason presented. But, from the concept of the video and how it is showing people protesting, a fact that people are currently battling issues, such as women’s rights, gun violence, etc. can be understood.

The second commercial that will be discussed is Pepsi’s Feelin Free commercial back in 1974. The 70s had a very strong sense of style and attitude. Everything, such as talking, walking, listening, clothing, had a strong vibe that the youth loved, appreciated and adopted. Pepsi marketing was in line with this new period of change. The “Feelin’ Free” campaign made the Pepsi target customers feel that it was speaking to them, a commercial that was their kind of language.

This commercial shows a group of people who are washing cars for charity. It shows the people enjoying their time together and being themselves without being fake or anything. While they are having fun, they start drinking Pepsi.

In this ad, ethos is also the main rhetorical strategy used. It can be observed that Pepsi used the group of people who were having fun as an emotional appeal. The commercial shows that no matter how happy you are, your joy will not be completed unless you drink Pepsi. Also, music can make or break an ad by setting tone and mood. The music that backs this commercial adds a happy energy that would not have been achieved by bright colors and quick shot transitions alone. The music here makes the user feel excited and starts to imagine what his or her life could be with this product.

Ethos cannot be recognized in this commercial because all the people who participated in this commercial are normal people who are not well known. Therefore, the credibility was not well established. Logos were not used a lot too in this ad.

In general, both ads have some similarities as well as differences. The similarities were the video’s message, the targeted audience, and the purpose of the video. Both videos had the same message which is spreading love, unity, and peace between people no matter what the differences between them are. The targeted audience in ad 1 and 2 was the young people. Lastly, the main purpose of the two videos is to make Pepsi more popular and to keep it in the leading edge of advertisement. On the other hand, there are some differences between the two videos. The main difference is that the “Live by Now” commercial delivered its message by connecting the ad to the reality and the issues that our community is facing, on the contrary, “Feelin’ Free” commercial conveyed its message simply, without causing any controversy.

To conclude, most of the adverts by Pepsi are normally done to excite the audience to purchase their products in order to stay at the top of the marketing business. Through the years, Pepsi’s ways of convincing and exciting people about buying their products have changed, but the goal is still the same; to take over the advertisement and marketing throne.

Using Ethos in Advertisment essay

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Using Ethos in Advertisment. (2022, Apr 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/using-ethos-in-advertisement/


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