Ads And Their Devious Tactics Essay

2738 words - 11 pages

Every year Americans are bombarded with thousands of ads for products that companies want consumers to buy, whether it is from the internet, television, radio, or print Americans see advertisements wherever they go. Thus, advertising companies have been using different advertising tactics to lure people into buying their products since, according to American Consumerism and the Global Environment, America became a consumer-based economy and society (“American Consumer Society”). Many of the tactics used by advertisers are considered deceiving and unfair. They use different techniques to attract our attention and get consumers to purchase their product. According to a handout provided by William Myers, there are two types of techniques used in ads: rhetorical and graphic (n.p.). Rhetorical techniques used in ads are the way that the advertisers can manipulate words to attract and convince consumers to buy their product. The rhetorical techniques that are used in ads are known as weasel words which, according to William Lutz, “Advertisers use weasel words to appear to be making a claim for a product when in fact they are making no claim at all” (309). Lutz is an English professor for Rutgers University who specializes in doublespeak and more specifically weasel words (304). While the rhetoric advertisers employ may make it seem like they want the consumer to get the best product, according to Stuart Hirschberg, “the underlying intent of all advertising is to persuade specific audiences” (227). Hirschberg is also an English professor at Rutgers University (“Profile: Stuart Hirschberg”). Graphic techniques used in ads are the ways the advertisers present the product to you and the image you see in the ad. In print ads, advertisers rely heavily on both rhetorical and graphic techniques. In the Zest Body Wash print ad, the advertisers use several different rhetorical and graphic techniques to attract attention to their ad. The graphic and rhetorical techniques utilized by the Zest Body Wash advertisers are what cause the company to attract attention to their product and increase their sales. An explication of the Zest Body Wash print ad proves that the advertisers employed different rhetorical and graphic techniques to unfairly market their product.
The first rhetorical technique the Zest Body Wash advertisers use to unfairly market their product is the weasel word “new” in the ad. Dictionary.com defines new as, “of recent origin, production, purchase, etc.; having but lately come or been brought into being” (“New”). Advertisers, however, see the word “new” as meaning a recent change or modification to an already existing product. This according to Lutz is known as, “a material functional change” (313). A material functional change is something that is, “up to the manufacturer to prove that the product has undergone such a change . . . the change does not have to be an improvement in the product” (313). This means that an advertiser can change the...

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