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Rhetorical Analysis on Ads in Magazines Essay

Magazines are gaining in popularity nowadays as a tool not only to provide information, but also to advertise ads on products that are available on the market. Since magazines gain readers with different kinds of interest, what are the rhetorical strategies used by advertisers to market similar products to different target audiences of similar culture? Capturing the target audiences’ attention requires understanding about the audiences which open new avenues for many strategies to be used by advertisers to advertise an ad in order to make sure that the ad can actually capture the target audience. To describe or analyze the strategies used by advertisers, a variety of analytical tools, such as determining who the target audience is, describing the details in the ad, studying the Aristotelian appeals used by the advertisers, and also the angle of vision involved in the ad are needed to examine these strategies. Describing the details on an ad could be a good starting point to begin the analysis.

Kraft ad for its Macaroni & Cheese in Oct 2009 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine shows a girl standing on her right feet, with a smile carved on her face and an umbrella in her left hand. Beyond her are two boxes of macaroni and cheese of the same size, one of Store Brand and another one of Kraft, sitting right next to each other with the Kraft’s splashing a massive amount of cheese out of the box. What appears right above the bottom line, with all letters capitalized, is “KRAFT HAS MORE CHEESE THAN THOSE OTHER GUYS. SO GO FOR THE CHEESIEST” and with a bigger font right above it, is “THE MAC WITH MORE CHEESE”. Emphasis is on the color of the Kraft macaroni, the splashes of cheese, the girl’s boots, and the umbrella, as they stunningly boast the same magnificent orange color, unlike the one that is being used on the macaroni of the Store Brand. Sunchips came up with an ad in May 2010 issue of Women’s Health magazine on page 109.

The focus in the ad is on a lady with a black hair and brown skin smiling as she is about to make her bite on a chip that she is holding. Right above her head is a sentence saying “THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO HELP THE PLANET. HARVEST CHEDDAR IS ONE”. Few steps beyond the lady, happily playing with the fresh water of in the river, are two kids. There is even rock face by the river’s edge with 4 people on it watching the kids. Nothing can beat the feel of having river water flows through our fingers and touches our body as we immerse ourselves in the water. It is amazing of how the water never stops flowing, not even a single second. SUNCHIPS claims that such beauty of nature can be sustain with the use of its plant-made bags that is compostable. Happiness is possible as we can enjoy every single bite of the chips and at the same time, taking care of the nature. Such joy can be seen on the face of the lady that is about to make her bite.

Determining who the target audience is should be the next step after describing the details in the ad. Kraft appeared in the Good Housekeeping magazine, targeting middle class and a wide range of age of married women that care about the health of the their family, interested in learning home cooking for the family and care about environment. An article on “Cook like a Chef” provided some interesting food for the family and how to make it. This article is targeting married women in the middle class who would like to learn how to cook some interesting meal that is affordable for the family. Dixie Ultra came up with an ad showing a picture of a family happily having breakfast by using their paper plates. This ad targets on those who care about the environment. Fresh Step came up with an ad for its product, which is a healthy food for cats. This ad is clearly targeting those who care about the health for the family by promoting a healthy product for pets in the family.

It is clear that based on the evidences found in the magazine, the advertiser for the ad for Kraft is basically targeting a wife and a mother that puts family above all else. The ad for Sunchips appeared in Women’s Health magazine, which targets middle-aged up to old women with middle-class income that care about staying in a healthy lifestyle as a consumer. “Run Less / Lose More”, an article in the magazine provided the information on how do women, ranges from middle-age up to old, lose fat in order to obtain a healthy and nice looking body. Another article that showed the reason for this type of target audience is “Lose your Fear of Lifting”, which gave some encouragement to women to get a perfect bodyline. The magazine came up with an ad, “Metabolic Max Program” by Jenny Craig that showed the target audience is those in pursuit of healthy lifestyle and at the same time concern about how much they will have to spend on such program.

Another ad showed a lineup of affordable branded cosmetics products for the women. This ad is targeting middle class women that care about their beauty appearances. Different from the ad for Kraft, the advertiser for Sunchips’ ad targets any women, whether married or not, that put physical appearance and health as the top priorities in their life. Now that the details in the ads and the target audience have been figured out, making way for rhetorical analysis for both ads is needed to show how the strategies used by the advertisers to connect the details in the ads with the target audience and how do they give impacts to the audience. In order to attract the targeted audience, Kraft uses a strategy called pathos, one of the Aristotelian appeals, on its ad. The use of orange color in high contrast tends to attract the targeted audience as it can show the amount and quality of cheese that is being used to make the product.

Cheese is well known for its delicious taste and good for the health, so this detail will surely attract the target audience, as they would want to choose a delicious and healthy food for the family. A picture of a girl standing on one leg with joy also brings the same strategy. The emotion that is being expressed by the girl tends to catch the targeted audience’s attention because they would definitely want to see their children having the same emotion. These two strategies tend to be related to pathos because they are attracting the audience’s emotions and values. The same strategy, pathos, is being used by Sunchips in order to steal the targeted audience’s attention.

Pathos can be seen through the use of a picture of a lady that is about to make her bite on the chips. Such pleasant smile showed by the lady can attract the audience by creating a desire of having the same smile among the audience. Besides pathos, logos is also being used in the ad too. The message in the ad, about what are the bags of the chips made off, gives a clear reason to the targeted audience. For the consumers that care about their health, they will definitely give attention to this message because it helps them maintain a clean environment. Living in a clean environment is another way of having a healthy lifestyle. In this ad, the strategy of delivering emotions to the targeted consumers shows pathos. Logos can be seen by the reasons showed in the ad for the targeted consumers.

Another strategy for the rhetorical analysis is the angle of vision, which is the use of important details to be focused on and the omitting of other details that may distract the audiences’ attention, is being involved in the ad too. For Kraft ad, the advertisers focuses on the massive amount of cheese spilling out from the box that contains Kraft’s macaroni and cheese product. The reason why the advertisers did this is because that they wanted to show how large is the amount of cheese present in the product. The advertisers include a text that suggests the macaroni product of Kraft has more cheese and a picture of a girl that is happily standing on one leg, for the audiences to focus on. The angle of vision presents in these details attracts the target audience by showing the quantity of the cheese and how appetizing the Kraft’s macaroni and cheese is. These would probably be the things that the target audience would want to focus on when it comes to choosing food that their kids will enjoy.

However, there is a scientific detail that the advertisers try to omit from the audiences which is the ingredients used to make the product. Since the target audience wants healthy food for their families, this detail is being omitted because without doing so, the ingredients will show how unhealthy the food is. The advertisers for Sunchips ad focus on the image of a lady that is smiling while holding a chip on her hand and the use of the beautiful scene of a riverbank beyond the lady. Such beautiful smile of the lady and how wonderful is the environment shown in the ad are as if that the secrets lie behind the chips. This would attract the target audience as they would want to see such beauty in themselves. The same detail as in the Kraft ad, which is the nutritional information, is being omitted from the audiences because of not healthy.

This is done because the advertisers know that the targeted audiences care about health in their life. The rhetorical strategies used by advertisers to advertise an ad are simply not just strategies. They are a step-by-step method to deliver the message in the ad to the target audiences; from determining whom the target audiences for the ad are, to how to give an impact to those audiences by using Aristotelian appeals and angle of vision in the ad to so that the target audiences could get a clear picture on what is being delivered by the ad. Analyzing the strategies used to deliver what the advertisers wanted to through the ad could actually open up new avenues on how to communicate with the audiences through an ad by just connecting the details available in the ad. In fact, it is not only helpful to gain audiences for an ad, but also to gain readers for our writing work.

Works Cited
Sunchips. Advertisement. Women’s Health May 2010: 109. Print. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Advertisement. Good Housekeeping Oct. 2009: 108. Print.

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