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Studying The Language
Of Advertising
By Ryan Smith
Some Quick info
 “Obesity among all young people has more than quadrupled over the past
four decades — from just 5 percent among 6-to-19-year-olds in the 1960s to
19.6 percent in 2008.”
 “A white boy born in the year 2000 has a 26.7 percent risk of being
diagnosed with diabetes in his lifetime — quite high — but a black girl born
the same year has nearly double that risk.”
 “African-American youth, for example, see 80 to 90 percent more ads for
sugary drinks than white children do”
 Fast Food companies spend roughly 2 billion per year on youth advertising,
and market directly to African American and Latino youth.
 600-625 potential exposures (whether noticed or not); 272 are from TV,
radio, magazines and newspapers.
Source: http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/5/junk-food-targetmarketingblacklatinoyouth.html
Rhetorical Devices used in advertising.
Ad hominem (meaning "against the person")—attacks the person and not the issue
Appeal to emotions—manipulates people's emotions in order to get their attention away from an important
Bandwagon—creates the impression that everybody is doing it and so should you
False dilemma—limits the possible choices to avoid consideration of another choice
Appeal to the people—uses the views of the majority as a persuasive device
Scare tactic—creates fear in people as evidence to support a claim
False cause—wrongly assumes a cause and effect relationship
Hasty generalization (or jumping to conclusions)—draws a conclusion about a population based on a small
10.Traditional wisdom—uses the logic that the way things used to be is better than they are now, ignoring any
problems of the past
Red herring—presents an irrelevant topic to divert attention away from the original issue
 http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2013/05/01/watch-the-mountain-dewcommercial-that-has-pissed-everybody-off
Why Should We Learn This?
 Advertisements target you (yes YOU) directly! Because of this, it is important
for you to be able to recognize when advertisements are trying to
persuade you into buying something.
 These rhetorical techniques extend into political advertisements as well! This
generation is the biggest in human history, and it is very likely that the way
that you vote will determine the outcome of many national elections. It is
important that you be able to recognize when political advertisements are
trying to mislead you so that you can become an educated and informed
voter, one of America’s most important civic duties.