Cai Rong Li
For this rhetorical analysis assignment, I choose to write about the automotive company, Tesla. Tesla is an automotive company that only sells electric vehicles and related products such as solar panels & solar roofs. Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, often post on Twitter to communicate with the public. One of his posts about Tesla stated “Tesla does not advertise or pay for endorsements. Instead, we use that money to make the product great”. This may just be a short Twitter post but Elon Musk is able to use ethos, logos, and kairos present Tesla as a great company. Elon Musk used ethos by stating facts about his company. We don’t see Tesla commercials on videos or advisements on the street because Tesla spends nothing on their advisement. However, we still heard of Tesla at some point due to its huge influence in the current automotive market. In addition, Elon Musk used logos to further persuade Tesla’s potential customers to purchase Tesla vehicles. Since Tesla doesn’t spend any money on advertisements, people will begin to wonder how Tesla become so famous and sold out most quantity of electric vehicles every year. Musk’s use of logos will directly lead the audience, potential customers, to think that Tesla vehicles are top quality and it is worth it to purchase one of their models. Furthermore, the use of kairos helps Elon Musk reach his message to the audience. For example, he made Tesla follow a direct-to-consumer model, which sells their vehicles at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Ever since the pandemic, car dealerships sell vehicles way above the MSRP so they can gain more profit from the customers. Therefore, the rhetorical strategy, kairos, that Elon Musk used matches the messages that he is trying to audiences. After people see that Tesla is a trustworthy company, they will eventually make their decision to purchase Tesla vehicles which eventually leads to Tesla being the automotive company that sold out the most electric vehicles every year.
For this assignment, we are asked to identify and analyze rhetorical strategies that we had seen before. For this assignment, my audience will be my professor and my classmate. The reason for writing this assignment is to break down the advertisements to see and understand their components and analyze what makes them persuasive and therefore make my audience understand the strategies more. Hence, in this assignment, I used a lot of simple terms and define the components of rhetorical strategies.
One of the rhetoric that I have seen is an advertisement about bubble tea. Let’s explain what bubble tea is in case somebody doesn’t know, bubble tea can be considered a drink mixed with milk, sugar, and tea is a famous drink in China. And the ad about bubble tea is on the Chinese version of TikTok called “douyin”, as known, TikTok is a short video app, so this ad must have a very attractive headline or slogan and content that makes people have the patience to watch the ad and will remember it. So this sponsored video is basically a drama that talks about the autumn season coming, a girl is walking on the road, rubbing her hands because she was freezing, and suddenly her boyfriend comes out from her back, holding her hand, and gives her as warm bubble tea to warm her hand, the video at this time is about to end, at the last scene, a slogan comes out. Saying “ the first cup of bubble tea in the fall”. And after 12 hrs, this ad went on fire and it became very trending on TikTok, during that time period, basically, in every three videos, one video is about bubble tea. But to be honest, I actually couldn’t get the point of it because I realized it was an advertisement from those bubble tea facilities. They are combining bubble tea with the love of a couple, just the diamond strategy. The exigence of this case is your girlfriend is freezing. The audience then will be those couples because the girls want the boys to buy them bubble tea to show how much he loves them. The constraint is just the limiting of time since it was posted on TikTok, and the reason why they posted it here is also to facilitate the audience since usually, young people will care about this stuff and TikTok was mostly for young people that are using.
There are ads around the internet or even tv that are there to promote their products or cause. An example of this would be the promos of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital that are shown off. They would usually consist of having kids in a hospital, either being hooked up by things to check them, doctors around checking them or explaining their conditions like having cancer. A promo that was on YouTube revealed in YouTube it showed 3 kids telling their conditions. With then a narrator explaining what they do in St Jude’s Hospital and revealing the reactions of the parents like how one saw their child playing but then afterwards loses all of her hair. The strategy that would be used here is pathos. Pathos is a rhetorical strategy that uses people’s emotions in order to convince them to side with their argument. This can be seen a lot of the time in the promo with it showing doctors checking up on the kids who all don’t have hair. The kids then explain their conditions like one of them having cancer and another having leukemia. This would affect anybody with how no one would want to see a child go through with a fatal disease. Then on top of that they have the parents there as they talk about their reactions to it like the one mentioned before. This can be heartbreaking to anyone especially other parents as they hate to see their own children sick. It’s quite interesting using this strategy because it is probably the most effective way to gain support from other people by donations. That’s because it would have children shown off there which to many are seen as people that shouldn’t be in pain. However, the promo reveals them having fatal diseases with their parents in shock. This then appeals to them, gaining St Jude the donations they would need in order to support the children in their hospitals plus allows the parents not having to pay a lot of money due to it being costly to go to the hospital.
One rhetorical situation that I found interesting was the infamous MLK speech at the Lincoln memorial; thus chose to talk about it. The speech, lasting just short of seven minutes, was delivered by Martin Luther King. Jr, 1963, was credited as one of the main foundations for the civil rights moment as it bought attention and change following the speech and his unfortunate demise. His pothos is his expression of how people of color were treated and chined down by society, his ethos of being known for peaceful protests, the infamous bus boycotts, and his logos where he expresses his ideas about equality for all playing a role in his speech. In terms of appealing to people, he wanted the world to hear it; more especially he wanted government officials and local people to hear the speech. Since government officials have the power to change (those that are in Congress) and local people are the subject group he wanted to bring this change. MLK was very fixed in his ways of nonviolence, hence why I think this was one of the ways he expressed himself: through his voice as an American.
Out of all the points he made during his speech and the topics he skipped through, I found his approach and point of view as a speaker interesting: his opinions on what he had to say. I noticed where he had chosen to give the speech: under the Lincoln memorial. Aside from the obvious symbolism, he stood next to not only people of color but people of no color. It drove home the point he was trying to make to the world. Following that, I noticed he used a lot of American legislative quotes, talking about how he wanted everyone to be born equal in this nation and the emancipation proclamation. He brought up the notion of the emancipation proclamation and what power it held back then, but such powers were not working: people of color were still not equal.
He uses his own emotions: his dreams, where he wishes to see people of every color and race playing together in the park, or how he wishes to see his children be judged by the context of their character, not race or skin color. It adds personality and personalization to his context and what he is preaching. It sets a common goal that makes him more acceptable to the local and common people.
Finally, he talks about the issues faced during those oppressive times, where people of color were treated harshly. He describes how they are left alone on an island, saying they are separated from society and still under acts of discrimination.
Jia Yi Karen Li
Tuesday, October 25th, 2022
Taylor Swift’s The Best Day (Taylor’s Version) is a 4 minute and 5 second song that was released alongside the rest of the rerecording of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) on April 9th, 2021, written and recorded originally in 2008. the rerecording was produced by Taylor Swift and Christopher Rowe, charted on Hot Country Song charts, and won Best Family Feature at the 2021 CMT Music Awards. The lyric video was uploaded on YouTube on the same day. The lyric video consists of old home videos of Swift and her family, parents and brother, when they were younger. The rhetorical strategy that The Best Day uses is pathos, the use of emotions in an argument or debate. The video of old home videos evokes a nostalgic feeling in the views and when paired with the lyrics of the song, a heartwarming feeling can be found. The home videos and lyrics can cause the listener or watcher to relive their own childhood and how their mother or family helped them get through tough times like Swift. While this song can relate to anyone with a close relationship with their family, Swift wrote this song for her family, especially her mother, Andrea Swift. This is explicitly shown throughout the song and its lyrics, as it references aspects of her childhood where her mother was there for her and specifically calls out her father and brother for being amazing people in her life. The purpose of the song was to thank her family for encouraging Swift’s music career. Because this was a song, Swift was able to use each verse to incorporate a story from her childhood that showed how her mother helped her. The stories and videos also show that Swift used ethos, the credibility that the speaker brings to the subject they are talking about, because she uses her own personal anecdotes to prove why and how her mother has helped her. Swift uses Kairos when she chronologically tells these stories in order to ‘walk’ the listener through parts of her life. She chose to use the same language she would have used as a child to emphasize how even as a young child, she could tell her mother was there for her. The rhetorical strategy used is interesting because the song could have been very straightforward to her mother, but Swift chose to use more vague and sweet tones for more people to connect with the song.
Oct. 24, 2022