Advertisers all around the world have used techniques in commercials that make you feel a certain way, in hopes to lean towards their product or campaign. For example, Sarah Mclachlan’s well-known Animal Cruelty advertisement has used tactics such as sad music and heartbreaking pictures and facts on animals in critical conditions. When one sees this kind of images, it most likely will appeal to their emotions and they will feel sad and want to help. Along with using famous people such as Sarah Mclachlan in the ad, advertisers are using a pathos, logos, and ethos approach behind their agenda. (Sproat, et. al). A short advertisement film titled “My Daddy is a Liar” has appealed to ethos, pathos, and logos by showing us that parents are willing to sacrifice their happiness for the sake of their child’s wellbeing. The ad shows a vivid story of a young girl who writes an essay about her dad. In the essay to her dad, she’s explaining that her dad is the best dad and how much he does for her. Towards the middle, it shifts into her finding out that her dad is actually not the happiest, but always tired and hardworking. Seeing how hard working the dad is in keeping his child alive and providing money is portraying how much the daughter means to him. If the parent were to pass away, the child would be left with nothing. The company’s main agenda here is that when one invests in their life insurance, their beloved child will be taken care of and all of their hard work will not go to waste. The audience is most likely any parents who love their child and want the best for their child. It is clear that the company in this commercial have used ethos, pathos, and logos by the imagery and music. The strategies of pathos and logos they use helps keep the audience engaged and invest in their product.
The author is using pathos and logos in their ad by the music and imagery. In the beginning of this video, the ad plays very upbeat happy music. The dad is reading the essay she had wrote and it’s discussing happy moments they have shared. When listening and seeing this music, it may appeal to the audience’s emotions in such a happy way. Happiness is a trait that is crucial to humans. When seeing something that makes someone happy, it keeps the audience engaged. Furthermore, along with the happy music, it shows the flashbacks of each memory that is being read. The authors use realistic imagery’s and examples of the flashbacks of their happy memories. When seeing this, it also appears to logos because of the way the dad is treating her child and the phenomena’s that are being played. For example, in one of the flashbacks, the dad is buying her dad ice-cream after school and helping her daughter on homework. These are real life situations that parents in particular can relate to such happy moments with their own kids. Parents can relate which keeps them to want to continue watching. Overall, the underlying message is for their audience of parents to think about their own kids and how the dad is her happiness. This is portraying how the advertisers have appealed to pathos and logos just by the happy music and imagery.
Furthermore, while the ad is playing such happy music, it suddenly takes a turn where the music and tone changes and it starts to become very more melancholy and emotional. In the video, it shows the daughter turn her essay to “but he lies”. In this video, the phrase “he lies” appears in every line. It then shows in the background the little girl’s sweet voice listing situations in which her dad is actually lying. For example, it stated that “my daddy lies about having money”, while showing quick snapshots of him smiling and buying his daughter lunch. The dad then goes off running after taking the daughter to school and changes his clothes in hopes to find a better job. It shows that the women had denied the dad a job and the dad then goes to his old job where he is working drastically and looks awfully tired and sick. During each phrase for “my daddy lies”, the music changes into a very sad violin and string. “Sadness is a key to enhancing other emotions: it causes fear, fear causes anger, which [causes ones audience] to be more engaged”. (Vos, L). By showing such sad music tone and seeing the hardworking dad provide for his child, it causes you to feel immense sadness and empathy. The imagery they are using is appealing to pathos as well. In a quick scene, the father is carrying a heavy bag on his back while sweating. The scene is played in slow motion with piano music. The way they have set up this imagery causes many sad and heartfelt emotions to occur. In the last scene, after the many sad flashbacks and stories of the hardworking father, the little girl writes, “he lies because of me”. It shows her little sad face staring at her dad in secret. In the background at this scene, the music builds up to a very loud emotional finish. This shows that this kind of imagery causes one to feel very sad for both the father and child. Because this is a life insurance commercial, seeing this gets their audience to logically think that if the child did not have her father for money, she would be left with nothing. It can evoke parents to think about their own child and how if something happens to them, their child will also be left with nothing. The ad does a great job in keeping the pathos and logos evident in their advertising by the music and imagery.
The ad also builds their credibility and portrays pathos and ethos towards the end. For example, in the end the advertisement reads “Every child deserves a future”. This shows it has portrayed a very heartfelt message that is reachable among many parents and families. This type of statement helps build their credibility because the statements show their intentions for creating this ad and investing in their life insurance. They are building trust with their audience because it is perceived as a great option. This shows us that although they did not have any famous people in this video, they still used their ethos at the end with the messages. In the last scene, the little girl turns back to her dad after the last of her letter which states, “I love my dad”. The dad is then in tears and her little face is also sunken down. The music in the background is a very soft piano that sounds very emotional. The daughter and father then embrace and the music builds up into an emotional piano and violin orchestra. After watching this, it causes the audience to feel very emotional and touched. The love the father has for his child is very visible and it is touching. For parents, it can cause them to relate with their kids and how much they mean to them. This is appealing to the audiences’ emotions and appealing to logos for the relatable content. This advertisement does a great job using pathos, ethos, and logos.
The intended audience for this is any parents who love their children. The advertisers use the parents because it is more sympathetic to someone who has a child. Although watching this can spark emotions and get any of their viewers engaged, to actually invest in their product is more towards parents. The use of pathos shows the love and hard work the father has for his child. It also shows that the child’s dad is everything to her. The advertisement will help parents realize how important they are to their child and that they are their only supply in happiness and life in general. This tells the parents that they should plan ahead for the future of their child and if something were to happen to them abruptly, they would be left with nothing. This shows us that the main audience for this ad is towards parents who love their child and want the best for their children.
The advertisement, “My Dad is a Liar” is a heartfelt commercial that clearly shows the uses of pathos, ethos, and logos in hopes for parents to invest in their life insurance for their children. It is clear by looking at the imagery of the dad’s love and care for his daughter, the music in the background, and the overall message that they mentioned at the end. A child is a parent’s prized possession. The creator of this life insurance ad shows that parents will do everything for their children. The dad’s hard work for his daughter is symbolic because it shows us how much the daughter means to him. He would want the best for his child and if he were to pass away, this poor little girl would be left with no money which is why it is important to think about the future and invest in their life insurance. Ethos, logos, and pathos are crucial tactics for advertisers when presenting their content. It is evident in almost every advertisement out there.
Sproat, E., Driscoll, D., & Brizee, A. (2012, April 27). Aristotle’s Rhetorical Situation. Purdue OWL: The Rhetorical Situation. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/625/03/
This source is stating what is ethos, pathos, and logos. It gives a brief definition of each. I will be using this to show the definition of pathos to prove what the creators of my ad that I will be analyzing rhetorically are doing. The authors and website have built up their credibility due to Purdue owl being a website for Purdue University. The authors have been teaching up to 30 years on “ethics and values of writing”.
Vos, L. (2015)“Inside Out: Why Sadness Is The Key to Happy Shareable Content”. Marketing Inside Group. https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/inside-sadness-key-happy-shareable-content/ Retrieved July 11th, 2018. – In this article, it is talking about the new movie inside out. It briefly discusses the key strategies in emotions in marketing. It states how sadness creates empathy, in a way to make their audience feel touched. I will be using this source as a way to show how the creator of my advertisement is using pathos and why and how it helps in creating their content. The author is credible because she is a well-known marketer who graduated from the University of Chicago with a PHD in marketing. She is also a writer and has been writing for HuffPost, Moz, and many other companies so she has knowledge in marketing.