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The analyzed text is a commercial video made by the Dove Company entitled “Dove Choose Beautiful: Women All over the World Make a Choice.” The purpose of the analysis presented below is to determine whether the rhetorical methods employed by Dove in the commercial are effective.
The video advertisement produced by the Dove Company is successful because it uses efficient persuasion strategies to convince all women that they are beautiful, to inspire them, and to make them believe in themselves. This video is worth discussing, as it is an excellent example of an inspiring commercial, aimed at making consumers feel good about themselves, which should eventually convince them to buy the product. Thus, the Dove Company attempts to secure people’s trust and establish brand loyalty.
Logos or the reasoning layer of a text comprises rhetorical methods of reasoning aimed at demonstrating and proving certain points. Rhetorical instruments used in Dove video commercials include cause and effect, better and worse, examples, and pleasant anecdotes about women who participated in the video. The commercial is based on presenting how women of various nationalities and ages react when faced with a choice: am I beautiful, or am I average? By providing lively examples of their reaction, the makers of the video appeal to our sense of reality.
We are meant to think that we are just like them and to ponder on whether we would choose the entrance labeled ‘beautiful’. The provided examples of many different reactions are to emphasize how the women feel having come in through a particular entrance. Some of them say they regretted having chosen the ‘average’ gate, some of them claimed that next time they would choose the ‘beautiful’ gate since they changed their mind, and others were simply pleased.
Thus, these examples also illustrate the cause and effect: by walking through the ‘beautiful’ door, the women felt good about themselves. One girl even used the word “triumphant”, which has a rather strong connotation. Having entered through the ‘average’ door, some of the women regretted it instantly, which caused them to make up their minds to walk in through the ‘beautiful’ door next time. Moreover, the woman that walked in with a child felt that this choice causes her to wonder whether she actually perceives herself as average, or is it caused by society’s unreasonable beauty standards.
The rhetorical method outlined above leads to another strategy – better or worse. Women are faced with a necessity to make a choice, to admit how they really feel about themselves and how they perceive themselves. The commercial demonstrates that it is far better to choose the ‘beautiful’ entrance and feel as if you are the most beautiful person in the world, rather than give into unnecessary modesty and humility. Thus, Dove tells women that they are all beautiful and it is much better to acknowledge it and feel it, as it inspires you and brings you joy.
Ethos or credibility instruments of persuasion are employed to underline the author’s authority in order to prove a point. Supporting credibility arguments in this commercial includes examples of personal experience and identification with the readers. Personal experience is the most important credibility layer of this text, as the commercial is based on making a point through the prism of personal experiences of many different women. In the commercial, we see women of various ages, races, and nationalities facing a choice.
They share their thoughts, feelings, and conclusions they have drawn. These personal interviews add value to the idea of the commercial and ensure the viewer feels joy and sincerity emanating from the faces of women that Dove managed to convince they are truly beautiful. By presenting these short interviews, we are being told that every woman is beautiful in her own way. “It was my choice” is the opening phrase of the video, “It was a bit confronting” admits one of the women. Women sharing their feelings is a powerful credibility indicator, as it instantly makes us relate to them and wonders about ourselves. “What would you choose?” (“Dove Choose Beautiful”) is the closing phrase of the video.
Thus, identification with the viewers is the second rhetorical instrument of major significance, meant to persuade the viewers to wonder what they would do in a similar situation. The women in the commercial are very different and yet they all share the same feeling of hesitation, some of them even regret, or embarrassment. The viewers can relate to every one of these feelings, which makes the points conveyed by Dove even more convincing.
Pathos or the emotional layer of a text comprises rhetorical instruments aimed at appealing to an emotional side of each reader/viewer. Dove video commercial employs several methods of such an appeal: a promise of enjoyment and support of our families and friends. The women that we see in the commercial seem to be deeply moved by the experience of walking through the labeled entrances.
They experience a wide range of feelings and the idea conveyed by the video comes down to the following: believe in yourself, see how beautiful you are, and enjoy life. The commercial is essentially a promise of enjoyment, as it inspires women to feel beautiful, confident, and happy. “Beautiful is a great word. So why not see what’s on the other side of that?” (“Dove Choose Beautiful”) This rhetorical question at the end of the commercial inspires women to be daring enough to acknowledge their beauty.
A mother appears in the commercial and convinces her daughter to choose the ‘beautiful’ gate. Similarly, one girl convinces the other that she should definitely choose ‘beautiful’. These scenes appeal to our emotional side as well, as they show us that we are all beautiful to our loving families and dear friends. It should be noted that the pathos persuasion techniques are usually the most efficient way to capture the readers/viewers’ attention and to pique their interest, as they appeal to our irrational side.
By evoking our emotions, feelings, and innermost thoughts the makers of the commercial reach out to us on a subconscious level. Women are encouraged to see that they are beautiful and, more importantly, that they deserve to feel beautiful and loved. Even though some women would not describe themselves as beautiful, they believe that by choosing the ‘beautiful’ entrance they will feel happy.
“Dove Choose Beautiful: Women All over the World Make a Choice” is a video commercial meant to inspire and encourage women around the world to see their beauty. The text employs various methods of rhetorical persuasion, including reasoning, credibility, and emotional instruments. By employing these rhetorical strategies, the makers of the commercial establish contact with the viewers on an emotional level, prove their credibility, and bring forth valid reasons why their advice will benefit every woman who takes it. Thus, Dove secures its customers’ loyalty and trust, as well as finds new customers.
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“Dove Choose Beautiful: Women All over the World Make a Choice.” YouTube, uploaded by Dove US.