It seems that the site I wanted you to read about these appeals is down–or at least, that part of the site. However, I still want to do this exercise, since these 3 appeals are EVERYWHERE (and not just in advertising– in everyday conversations). So, I’m just going to write a little explanation of each one.
For each appeal, please provide 2 examples, the context of each example, and an analysis of each example, in the comments on this post. Due by Wednesday 3/11 at 4:30 pm.
Romance appeal is one way to use pathos. When we appeal to the idea of romance, we’re utilizing the fact that most people desire some kind of romantic love. Think of commercials that feature couples staring lovingly at each other while using the product (like most jewelry commercials), or that feature someone asking another person out and having them say yes. Romance appeal also applies to any argument that carries the assumption that you ought to desire a romantic relationship, or subscribe to particular standards of what a “good/ideal” romantic relationship is.
There are many ways to be masculine, many ways to be feminine, and many ways to be androgynous. Rhetoric that uses gender appeals both plays on people’s desires to embody a particular variation of their gender and creates arguments about what “correct” behaviors for that gender are.
For example, an Axe Deodorant commercial might show a man doing physical labor things, might include a voiceover with a deep voice, etc. A Dove soap commercial might show a woman taking a luxurious bubble bath and shaving her legs.
Both of these examples say, “[Doing physical labor/spending a lot of time on personal grooming and shaving body hair] is the right way to be a [man/woman], and this product will help you do that.” Children might learn messages about what toys are appropriate for boys and what toys are for girls by who they see playing with what toys in commercials.
Gender appeal doesn’t have to always be about negative stereotypes, though. What about commercials that show women getting awards, or men being loving dads? These are saying “women can achieve big,” and “a good man spends time taking care of his kids.” You can ask yourself, does the gender of the person seem to matter to the power of the message, or is it incidental?
Outside of advertising, any gendered message like “Boys don’t cry” or “X isn’t ladylike” is using the gender appeal. It’s using your identity as someone with that gender to persuade you to do/not do a certain thing.
This one is probably the easiest. Is the message designed to be erotic, to arouse the audience? Or to say, “you will be sexually desirable if you do X”? Then it’s sex appeal. Hardees commercials often use sex appeal.