Use of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos for Rhetorical Appeal in Advertising

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Rhetorical appeal is intended to persuade individuals to think a certain way, conduct themselves in a certain manner, or the purchase particular products. Unlike speech in which an individual relies on their persona and content of speech to get their point across to an audience or consumer, advertisements use images to enhance the impact and appeal of logos, ethos, and pathos. One of the most influential advertisements that is frequently shown on television that use these three appeals is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) commercials that urge viewers to help the organizations by adopting an animal in need, by donating money, by volunteering their time, or a combination thereof. In order to convey their message, these television advertisements use ethos to establish credibility. One of the ways in which credibility can be established is through the use of a celebrity (Johnson, 2011). "Ethos is the appeal of a speaker's/actor's character or authority, such as the use of local celebrities or the business owner/employees in a company's advertising" (Johnson, 2011). Musician Sarah McLaughlin helps to promote the ASPCA's mission (ASPCA Commercial, 2008). Sarah McLaughlin is seen as a credible celebrity. Her image as a credible source is further enhanced through the introduction of a canine companion, a golden retriever. In addition to having McLaughlin as a spokesperson for the ASPCA, the organization itself is a credible source. Established

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