Functional Approaches To Iron Man

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1. In relation to the functional approaches to persuasion, this advertisement utilizes symbolic functions of attitude. The slogan “The sneaker makes the man,” which implies masculinity and style, and the connection to Iron Man, a character who represents many men’s dreams of style, money, and sex appeal, are both symbols that work to represent the shoe and the positive consequences the buyer would see after a purchase. They help to persuade the buyer of the “manliness” of the product, and the status that would come with owning it. This appeal to “manliness” also connects the advertisement to the ego-defensive functions of attitude, and appeals to these men’s need to defend their masculine self-image.
Though shoes are multi-functional objects, the advertisers have chosen to appeal to high self-monitors through this symbolic imagery. Though the specific monitoring of the audience is unknown, Nike shoes often appeal to those who are high self-monitors, as buyers are willing to pay a high price to obtain the brand recognition and high status that accompanies the purchase of the Nike brand. The advertisers should choose to print this advertisement in media that focuses on a man’s self image, such as a men’s fashion magazine.
The advertisement also connects to balance theory by using the “celebrity” endorsement of Iron Man. This form of persuasion works with buyers who have a positive liking relationship with Iron Man, and perceive that the character, or the company behind the character, has a positive liking relationship with the shoe. To keep their attitudes in balance, the buyer will then also have a positive liking relationship toward the shoe.
Though it is an advertising context, the persuader has chosen not to offer any counter-arguments or refutations, and has kept the message one-sided. This could be because the Nike brand does not feel as if it needs to enhance its credibility with a two-sided argument, as Nike is already a credible source on self-image management through its long standing success of managing a brand that represents style, wealth, and high status.
2. This advertisement is best suited to buyers who hold attitudes with instrumental functions because it attempts to persuade using
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