Persuasion is human communication meant to influence people by changing their attitudes, values, behaviors, intentions, and beliefs. In a business environment, persuasion changes individual or group behavior towards some ideas, objects or event using oral, written or visuals to transmit information and emotions (Kenechukwu, Asemah, & Edegoh, 2013). The process involves the sender, the message and the final recipient. The main goal of persuasion is to modify one's character and attitude hence communication is paramount in the achievement of the goal. Also, the recipient has the freedom to accept the change or not. Persuading someone is a difficult action that consumes a lot of time; however, it is an essential skill in today's business. One has to clearly have a good reason to communicate and influence a person to believe and act as you wish. Identifying the communication purpose is necessary for effective persuasion (Demirdogen, 2010).
Most organizations value persuasion and the skills associated since it affects the organization in various ways. Persuasive skills influence various stakeholders like customers, business partners, donors, consumers, voters, judges, and bosses. The presentation of various appeals by organizations or individuals may either meet the objectives of achieving the desired goals of creating awareness and attracting attention towards the given item or be ineffective by lacking clarity or inability to capture the attention of the target group (Demirdogen, 2010). The paper analyses two sets of adverts towards determining the effective and ineffective appeals and why they are considered so, and in the end provide recommendations on how the ineffective appeal can be improved to the better.
An effective appeal
The cover girl commercial advert on female beauty products is an effective appeal as it attracts the attention and interest of the target groups who are women using make-ups, and supports its argument of the product is unavoidable (Tori, 2016). The appeal clearly addresses the audience of the product advertised, as it is easily notable that the product is a body lotion aimed at smoothing the skin and enhancing beauty as depicted by the speaker, Taylor Swift who is a well-known celebrity. In addition, the advert presents facts about the composition of the product whereby the conventional heavy synthetics adopted by most beauty products taken out and natural products such as cucumber added. In general, the appeal meets all the characteristics of good appeals that include a clear headline, focused message, which is soft skin and beauty, singular and clear illustration and perfect branding whereby it portrays a beautiful and well-groomed celebrity.
The target groups who are the users are able to point out the benefits of the product to them with the choice of color contributing to its perfection. The advert combines all the aspects of persuasive appeals that include the appeal to ethos that focuses on the credibility of the speaker who is a beautiful celebrity, arouses emotions of the need to have the product through appeal to pathos and lastly the appeal to logos by providing factual data about the product more so on the composition. The interpretation aspect of the advert is simplified as it capitalizes on the needs of the target group as a means of promoting attention and creating interest in the advertisement. By understanding the needs of the target group, the advert provides a solution to meeting the needs thereby promoting motivation among the uses to use the said product.
An ineffective appeal
The advert on the anti-meth campaign is an ineffective appeal. The title of the advert is complicated, as it requires interpretation, with the lack of clarity on the title opening up the audience for divergent interpretation of the appeal as each individual will interpret it differently thus diluting the focus of the appeal. An illiterate audience will not easily comprehend the idea presented. Although the image arouses emotions on the audience and brings out the adverse effects of Meth on one's body as compared to bugs, it lacks the ability to attract an individual towards getting to understand about the advertised information; in fact, it is easier for a person to turn away from the advert rather than being attracted to it. The dull color adopted in the advert makes it too dull to be noticed considering the need for such campaigns to raise awareness on a bigger audience making the advert poor. The core reasons why the appeal is bad is the lack of attractiveness and inability to grab the attention of the target audience. Although the devastated state of the person in the picture was to raise emotions and attract attention, the lack of supportive text or information contributes to its failure.
The appeal focuses majorly on the effects of Meth on the human body rather than the need and means of eliminating them as aimed by the campaign. By using a male to promote the campaign, the advert cannot reach a wider target area as men are insensitive to their skins like women. A woman presentation of how Meth's effect the skin would have captured the attention of most if not all females thus promoting the campaign to fight the infestation of Meth. Critical information is omitted by the appeal majorly the aspect of fighting the spread of the insects and the means of fighting them, which would be either a collective or an individual responsibility.
Since the focus of every persuasive appeal is to reach a wider target group and promote their perception on a given product or idea, it is important that ineffective adverts are corrected to meet the desired objectives. The advert in Fig. 2 above should be corrected to enhance motivation, ability, and opportunity on the interest groups. In enhancing motivation, it is important that the picture used is slightly bright enough to catch the eye thus creating interest by the target person to know the contents of the advert. Such changes will enhance curiosity about the advertisement. Also, the use of a woman in the picture to show the adverse effects of Meth on the human body will attract their attention easily as they are sensitive to their bodies compared to men. Secondly, changes should be made to enhance opportunity by simplifying the title to be easily understandable and processed by the audience, thereby reducing the processing time and promoting interest.
Lastly, the advert is improved by promoting ability where the audiences develop an interest in understanding the goal of the advertisement. Additional information about the campaign should be added on the appeal to provide additional information and promote understanding among the target groups. The attitudes of the consumer are promoted when their interest is enhanced towards the information based on their interpretation. Specific information in adverts promotes positive attitudes and interest thus leading to the achievement of the adverts objectives.
Demirdogen, U. D. (2010). The Roots of Research in (political) Persuasion: Ethos, Pathos, Logos and the Yale Studies of Persuasive Communications. International Journal of Social Inquiry , 189-201.
Kenechukwu, S. A., Asemah, E. S., & Edegoh, L. O. (2013). Behind advertising: The language of persuasion. International Journal of Asian Social Science , 951-959.
Penn State. (2014, October 1). Rhetoric Ad Examples. Retrieved from https://sites.psu.edu/thefreshmanlens/2014/10/01/rhetoric-ad-examples/
Tori, A. a. (2016, May 4). Covergirl Commercial. Retrieved from https://anneandtoriethospathoslogos.weebly.com/covergirl-commercial.html
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