Length of Paper:  2 pages, double-spaced, MLA format (see my example) 

Your rhetorical analysis essay should be double-spaced using the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. Your works-cited page should look just like that example with the exception that you will cite the website of the ads and the sites that you visit to explore the attitudes about environmental concerns (read on). The heading for your paper should also follow the model that I have given you.

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Refined Draft Instructions:

You will submit your draft and peer review of the rhetorical analysis using the same process you used for the reviews essay submissions (draft and peer review).

DUE DATE of Draft: See Course Calendar. One of the other students will review your draft and submit it to the peer review submission site.

DUE DATE of Peer Review: See Course Calendar. Only review another student’s draft if you submit a draft of your own. See the peer review check list at the end of this assignment. Merge your responses to the questions at the end of your partner’s draft so you may submit both in the Canvas (turnitin.com) folder (it allows only one submission).

Instructions (The writing assignment follows below)

Your rhetorical analysis asks that you analyze the effectiveness of two different ads (in this case the ads are both public announcements). Follow the overview and questions below. You will find there the essentials of the assignment.


Advertising messages appear on TV, on the radio, through the mail, on the Internet, on the windows of our car, and more. Although many of these ads fail to attract our attention, the more brilliant advertisers can influence what we buy, how we eat, how we exercise, what clothes we wear, and what we value. Their influence can be traced by analysts who measure the effectiveness of such ads. Studies show that humans make purchases or change behavior in response to persuasive ads. Mindful of this advantage, advertisers carefully calculate the way they create ads and how to best reach the target audience.

To become better at defending ourselves against such control of our lives, we need to be equally attentive to the way ads are designed and how persuasive they are. This rhetorical analysis assignment is intended to determine the persuasive techniques of two ads. Neither is designed to make you buy a product, but each intends to raise your awareness of a problem. Of course, once you identify the elements that make such an ad effective, you will be equipped to analyze other kinds of ads.

For your analysis you will need to consider the following:

Target Audience:

Who is the audience?

How does the ad fit the particular needs, wants, desires of the audience?

How does the ad answer questions the audience might have?How does the ad meet requirements of good (effective) communication?

What elements go into the ad that stimulate the targeted audience?

Does the title of the ad grab your attention?

What details make you watch the ad? or stop watching it?

At what point do you become interested?

Does the ad involve the audience’s mind and emotions or just allow them to be an impartial observer?

How does the ad present reason?

How does the ad evoke emotion?

Who does the ad use as the performer(s)? Does the use or lack of use of a credible person make the ad more convincing? Why?

Does the ad focus any desire, need, want, or fear?

Are these desires, needs, wants, or fears related to the message in the ad?

Usually commercials use humor or sex to sell products. Why are both eliminated from these ads? Would the ads have been more successful if either was used? Why or why not?

Does the ad offer information or appeal mainly to emotion? To what degree?

Details of Visuals and Sound:

What details does the ad use to catch your attention?

What colors does the ad use–when and where?

List the details in order of appearance in the ad.

What music, if any, is used and what emotions does the music evoke? Does the lack of music affect your emotional response?

What are the key words (either spoken or written) of the ad? How persuasive are the words and their message?

Is the ad visually cluttered or simple? What is the effect of this spatial detail on your interest in the ad? Does the ad hold your attention throughout? If not, at what point do you stop listening or become bored.

Does the ad have the appropriate amount of detail to communicate the message? Or is there too much or too little?


Is the key message easy to find and understand? What is it?

Does the ad encourage the audience to act? How?

Is there any mystery that captures your attention?

Does the ad address the mental needs and limitations of the viewer?

Does the ad make you care to the point that you will remember the facts or ideas?

Does the ad direct you to take action? What action specifically?

“The “look” of the ad contributes to the image of the product. Ads for products appealing to wealthy customers (Cadillac, Audi) feature design elements that are consistent with that image, such as a ‘refined’ look or layout, cultured voiceovers, conservative typeface, well-dressed actors, rich sets, etc.” (http://www.marketingpsychology.com/analyzeadprobpge.htm). What do you make of the ads in question?

INTEGRITY, LOGIC AND BELIEFAn ad can fail completely if it doesn’t seem believable, logical, and honest. Ads that seem trustworthy project a feeling of confidence in the message or in the company producing the ad or message. “A good example is the way in which Tylenol addressed the issue of the safety of its bottles. The company was honest with the public about the problem, offered logical methods to identify tampering (broken plastic seals and wrapping), and made a believable argument that the new process guaranteed safety.A product, which makes outlandish claims (“cures ailments from your head to your toes”), or presents arguments that are not logical (“the Yugo performs better than the BMW”) will create distrust. The buyer’s loss of trust in a product is a knife in its heart. (“Try the AbBomber — exercise just 10 minutes a day and lose 20 pounds in 20 days!”)” (http://www.marketingpsychology.com/analyzeadprobpge.htm)


A rhetorical analysis is not as difficult as it sounds. Your assignment is to compare and contrast two ads tow different countries, for the Dirt Devil and LG (Dyson). You will analyze the effectiveness of each. Ultimately, your paper will decide which of the ads is more effective for its audience. What is the message? What can the consumer expect from the Dirt Devil and LG, given what the ad represents? If you do not like the Dirt Devil and LG ads, you can choose other options from the list below.

 In the end, I would like for you to support your opinion with specific, sensory detail taken from each ad using the questions below to guide you. Remember, your opinion is based on your analysis of each ad. Compare them point-by-point to reach your opinion about which is more effective and then use those points to convince your reader that your opinion is valid. Look at the chapter in your text for examples of organizational outlines–the one on the left is the better of the two. CHOOSE ONE OF THE SEVEN OPTIONS for your comparison/contrast paper:

Option 1. Compare and contrast two commercials for the Dirt Devil from different countries:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGb8pMIeY6w (Links to an external site.)

German version

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/lg-vacuum-cleaner-great-sucking-bikini-model-fat-137425 (Links to an external site.)

Australian version

Option 2. Compare and contrast two Super Bowl 2016 car commercials for Honda and Toyota:

https://youtu.be/JH8buTzFpnA (Links to an external site.)

Honda Ridgeline

Honda Super Bowl Commercial 2016 Honda Ridgeline Ad – A New Truck to Love. The Honda Ridgeline is back. Prepare to fall in love with its innovative features, like the available truck-bed audio system. And it comes with a class-exclusive dual-action tailgate and in-bed trunk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFkVsiDYI3c (Links to an external site.)

Published on Feb 7, 2016

Toyota Super Bowl Commercial 2016 Toyota Prius. The All-New 2016 Toyota Prius The Longest Chase. Introducing the all-new 2016 Toyota Prius. Designed and engineered with an edge. And when four bumbling buddies choose the all-new Prius as their getaway car, they discover that it’s much more than just a comfortable ride wired with innovative safety technology — its power and performance are enough to turn any drive into an event worth sharing with the entire world. 

Option 3. Compare and contrast two E*TRADE commercials:

https://youtu.be/g20mzPYnj4M (Links to an external site.)

E*TRADE Commercial –Opportunity is Everywhere-Director.

Published on Feb 1, 2016

Kevin Spacey seizes production of the latest E*TRADE commercial and takes the opportunity to bring in Robert Duvall.

https://youtu.be/kg02XigbECQ (Links to an external site.)

E*TRADE Commercial 2016 Opportunity is Everywhere – Accents.

 Published on Jan 23, 2016

Kevin Spacey seizes production of the latest E*TRADE commercial and takes the opportunity to go off script.

Option 4. Compare and contrast a Raytheon and a Lockheed Martin Commercial

“Making the World a Safer Place” by Raytheon

https://youtu.be/8B-k34faFAE (Links to an external site.)

Here’s an add from Lockheed Martin (a competing company) – “Engineering a Better Tomorrow”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOxCl1P5r4k (Links to an external site.)

 Option 5. Compare and contrast two commercials on medicine – goboldly.com

“Fight cancer”

https://goboldly.com/cells-one (Links to an external site.)

“Do not Go Gently into that Good Night” by  Welsh poet Dylan Thomas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzLQfUngldk (Links to an external site.)

Option 6. Compare two advertisements on the environment

“Littering PSA: Environmental Science”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L6VUgI3c0g (Links to an external site.)

“Keep American Beautiful”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7OHG7tHrNM (Links to an external site.)

Option 7. Compare a Chrysler and a Lincoln commercial

“Chrysler-Eminem Super Bowl Commercial”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8BDaMGrD8Y (Links to an external site.)

“’Bull’ Matthew McConaughey and the MKC: Official Commercial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGGDKV88Fg (Links to an external site.)

Please send me an email if you want to compare two commercials of your own choice.

You have examples of analyses in the assigned chapter. There is an analysis of a public service announcement.

ORGANIZING THE RHETORICAL ANALYSIS as a comparison/contrast paper.

For a very simple outline of a comparison/contrast paper, visit the following site:

Here is a site that will show you how to organize a comparison/contrast essay;

https://www.sbcc.edu/clrc/files/wl/downloads/WritingaCompareContrastEssay.pdf (Links to an external site.)


ESSAY DRAFT CHECKLIST (Please respond in detail (in a word document) to each of the following questions:

  1. Does the introduction grab your attention by specifying the two ads for comparison and a satisfactory discussion of the subject?
  2. What is the thesis statement? Is it clear?
  3. In the body of the essay, does the writer give a satisfactory definition of the environmental question based on facts that are supported with parenthetical citations?
  4. Organization: Does the writer offer appropriate information that responds to the outline/pattern shown in the Internet example of a comparison/contrast essay? (see the instructions above, if you need them).
  5. Is the lengthy evidence drawn from the two ads accurate?
  6. Conclusion: Does the writer convince you with evidence that his or her opinion of the effectiveness of the ad is valid?
  7. Sentence Structure: Are the sentences clear, using transitions that unify the essay?
  8. Grammar and Punctuation: Are there numerous errors? If so, indicate where revision is needed.
  9. Documentation: Has the writer included a Works Cited page (the last page of the essay) to document the source of the lecture and the essay from the text? Does the paper follow MLA style?
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