Herbert Benjamin Daniel Herbert Professor Stephen Koch COMM

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Benjamin Daniel Herbert
Professor Stephen Koch
COMM 311
8 March 2011
Maybe It's My Fault Commercial: Persuasive Message
The elaboration likelihood model (ELM) well depicts the persuasive angle that
the Nike commercial Maybe It's My Fault portrays. The route of persuasion that best
describes this commercial is the peripheral route. Nike uses Michael Jordan in their
become legendary campaign to get everyone’s attention and follow the commercial.
Persuasion is seen in TV commercials all the time, but Nike goes about persuading their
audience without even showing their product.
The peripheral route is an easy persuasion method to use to convince people with
because the product itself does not persuade people but how it is presented. Many ads
use the peripheral route because companies can use celebrities or tell everyone they
have limited supplies left. Having a celebrity in your ad can easily change someone’s
mind and buy the merchant’s product. This is because the consumers may say to
themselves that, "Michael Jordan uses this product then maybe I should."
The beginning of the commercial shows a statue of a basketball player, then
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Michael Jordan's voice comes and starts talking about how his game was not based on
flash—or natural talent,— but how hard he worked to become as great as he was.
Throughout the whole commercial they do not show Michael Jordan; instead they show
basketball stats, the high school, college and NBA team Jordan played for. In the end
they show him talking to what appears to be a bunch of high school basketball players.
Then the Air Jordan sign appears on the screen that says ‘Become Legendary’
underneath it.
During the commercial Michael Jordan gives a very inspirational speech:
"Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I led you to believe it was easy, when it wasn’t.
Maybe I made you think my highlights started at the free throw line, and not in the gym.
Maybe I made you think that every shot I took was a game winner. That my game was
built on flash and not fire. Maybe it’s my fault that you didn’t see that failure gave me
strength. That my pain was my motivation. Maybe I led you to believe that basketball
was a god-given gift and not something I worked for every single day of my life. Maybe I
destroyed the game. Or, maybe you are just making excuses."
Jordan has many commercials giving inspiring speeches and teaching people the
way he lives his life. This is one of the speeches that Nike tries to get viewers to follow
his way of life and become a better person. This makes the viewer want to buy Nike
products because they are trying to motivate and help people rather than sell them
something.
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The first aspect that stood out to me in this commercial is that Nike does not
promote itself at all in the commercial. The Nike swoosh is not even seen in the
commercial. In my opinion Nike did not show the Nike logo because Michael Jordan has
such a huge reputation that everyone knows he is sponsored by Nike. It’s almost that
Michael Jordan is the star in this commercial. The whole ad is focused around him and
what he has accomplished and how he accomplished it. This is enough for some
consumers, because people love Michael Jordan that they will buy Nike apparel just
because Jordan is in a commercial.
I feel that this commercial appeals to all types of audiences. Jordan has big
enough reputation that everyone has a good idea that he was a legendary basketball
player. In his speech he talks about the struggles he went through to be as great as he
was. In my opinion anyone viewing this commercial can think about what he has done
with his life and think about what they have to do to be great at what they love to do.
Someone may love to run and realize that they are extremely motivated after watching
this commercial. This creates an attachment to the commercial and to also to Nike. I feel
that's how Nike promotes itself in this commercial. The commercial does not show any
specific apparel it is trying to sell, but the hype of the commercial drags you in. It makes
you think about what you have become and how you can relate your personal challenges
to Michael Jordan.
If the consumer cannot relate to the commercial at all the music in the
background still brings you in. While viewing the commercial you can tell it is building
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up to something. The music makes the consumer think and it builds anticipation. Just
listening to the music in the commercial makes you wonder what become legendary
means or what it is. This causes the viewer to go out of their way and look up what it is.
Overall, the commercial is constructed differently from your average commercial. This
makes the viewer wonder why so inspirational and why no advertising any apparel.
The commercial appeals to emotion because they show the beaten up tattered
basketball court, which aims toward the poverty-stricken audience who need an extra
boost of confidence to realize that achieving their dreams is possible with the correct work
ethic. The commercial also, appeals to a large demographic of young kids—primarily those
in high school, where a vast amount of students participate in team sports. These people
are more likely to be watching TV and will be affected by the advertisement. The
advertisement appeals to parents who want the best for their children if a glimpse of
excellence is found in their son or daughter’s performances. Michael Jordan is an NBA
veteran; therefore they can relate to their children by sharing a similar idol and purchasing
the idol’s merchandise to continue achieving excellence.
Michael Jordan has always been a wholesome athlete and would prefer
inadvertently selling products and coupling the sales with the portrayal of his own
personal beliefs. This acts as a dual message-sender: it encourages the purchasing of Nike
products while simultaneously encouraging young athletes to be ambitious and genuine.
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Works Cited
"Elaboration Likelihood Model." Changing Minds and Persuasion -- How We Change What
Others Think, Believe, Feel and Do. Web. 08 Mar. 2011.
<http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/elaboration_likelihood.htm>.
"The Elaboration Likelihood Model." Fisher House. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.
<www.fisherhouse.com/courses/elaboration_likelihood.pdf>.
"The Peripheral Route of Elaboration Likelihood." Oak Home Page. Web. 08 Mar. 2011.
<http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~cc383997/likelihood.htm>.
Um, Nam-Hyun. "Revisit Elaboration Likelihood Model: How Advertising Appeals Work on
Attitudinal and Behavioral Brand Loyalty Centering Around Low vs. HighInvolvement Product." European Journal of Social Sciences. 1st ed. Vol. 7. 126-39.
Print.
"YouTube - MAYBE IT'S MY FAULT - Jordan Commercial - Become Legendary." YouTube Broadcast Yourself. Web. 08 Mar. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EyRUgp9Mk>.
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