Use of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in a Vicks NyQuil Advertisement

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Use of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in a Vicks NyQuil Advertisement

Advertisements often employ many different methods of persuading a potential consumer. The vast majority of persuasive methods can be classified into three modes. These modes are ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos makes an appeal of character or personality. Pathos makes an appeal to the emotions. And logos appeals to reason or logic. This fascinating system of classification, first invented by Aristotle, remains valid even today. Let's explore how this system can be applied to a modern magazine advertisement.

First, I looked for an interesting advertisement to write about. I found an advertisement in a Muscle and Fitness magazine. The advertisement is for Vicks NyQuil.
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The use of the ellipsis is also a nice touch, since it accentuated the use of the word medicine. Equating it to medicine, as opposed to a treatment or tonic, makes the product seem more important. On the other hand, if the ellipsis were taken away, then the meaning of the message may be misinterpreted. "The best sleep you ever got with a cold medicine." Without the ellipsis, a consumer may inadvertently think of cold medicines as being detrimental towards sleep. The use of the ellipsis makes the difference between good ethos and bad pathos.

NyQuil also helps protect its own ethos by not divulging too much information about the weakness of the product. Everyone knows that there is no cure for the common cold. Therefore, NyQuil cannot claim to actually cure a cold. But it would be an ill-advised business decision to emphasize the fact that the product cannot actually cure a cold. NyQuil makes the best of the situation, by letting the consumer know that even though you may have a cold, by taking NyQuil you will feel the best that you possibly can. NyQuil does its best to portray the best public image possible, and PR is very important when it comes to business.

As far as pathos, most people know what it feels like to be sick with a cold. Once night comes, they just want sleep, yet due to congestion and headaches, sleep doesn't come easy, and rarely feels restful. The phrasing
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