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Rhetorical Analysis Final Draft

Rhetorical Analysis Final Draft

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Published by Jamie Crawford

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Published by: Jamie Crawford on Dec 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Jameson CrawfordAngel MatosWR 13300-0623 October 2012Breaking Down Anti-Smoking Awareness AdvertisementsWhen an anti-smoking advertisement is played on a television station, people oftentimescontinue watching television without even thinking about its message. But for smokers, eachtime these commercials are played, a pressing command to seek help quitting smoking can beembedded in their consciousness. Commercials made by The Maine Tobacco Helpline and theNew York State Smokers' Quitline have one goal: to attract smokers to call for assistancequitting tobacco. Both helplines are nonprofit organizations. Even though there is no fiscalincentive to attract viewers to call the helplines, the organizations still use rhetorical techniquesin their commercials and for a good cause. One organization does a better job embedding adesire to quit smoking in a smoker's consciousness. This desire stems from awareness of theconsequences of smoking and is the
important accomplishment of any tobacco helpline.Because Maine does a better job accomplishing this in smokers, its advertisements are moreeffective in getting a smoker to make the call. Through a more logical choice of words, the useof a black and white color scheme, and an appeal to the remorseful emotions not only addressingdamage to the body but also death from smoking, Maine's commercials are more effective thanNew York's commercials in instilling a strong desire to call the helpline.Common slogans in the advertisements such as "Quit smoking now. Here's how," areeffective textual techniques logically included in the commercials ("You Know Why You Wantto Quit"). When a viewer sees "Here's how," the commercial seems more like an attractive
resource than an advertisement for a bogus organization. The helpline offers help to quit,something many people have tried and failed at, but the commercial, by saying "Here's how,"offers hope for tobacco addicts. This hope comes from the fact viewers probably assume thecommercials have new and useful information regarding quitting smoking. Also, the message"Quit smoking now" is one that when repeated over and over again, since the commercialreappears daily on local news television stations, embeds quitting into a smoker's mind. If repeated enough, the slogan has the potential to instill a desire to finally call the helpline andmake an effort to quit tobacco. The word "now" helps give quitting the label of an urgent task.The slogan is a subtle technique to direct a viewer's attention to the advertisement.New York's commercials also use logic in the textual portion at the end of theiradvertisement. They frequently use the slogan "Quit Smoking Today" which is basically sayingthe same thing as Maine's "Quit smoking now" (HvnsFlnAngel). However "Now" seems toimply a more realistic kind of urgent attempt to quit than "Today" which seems like an unlikelytask as quitting doesn't happen in one day. Quitting Tobacco "Today" appears extremelydifficult to a smoker as it takes days and perhaps several attempts to accomplish. The "Now"may appear to be sooner than "Today," but it doesn't explicitly state that a smoker will quit theday they see the commercial; it implies quitting in a short indefinite period of time. This shortperiod of time applies more to a developing attempt over perhaps even a few weeks which seemslike a more realistic approach than quitting in one day.New York's commercials lack the "Here's how" that's present in Maine's commercials.Without this important phrase, it's hard to believe New York's helpline has discrete informationon getting rid of addiction. The only textual evidence of help is "For help call..."(HvnsFlnAngel). This is a dull statement with a very blatant presence. Maine's "Here's how" is
more effective because it seems to offer actual resources and information on
to quit ratherthan just
to quit that is offered at the end of New York's advertisement.One technique the Maine Helpline uses has to do with the physical appearance of thecommercials. Some of their commercials have a black and white color scheme to convey aconcerning negative attitude toward the subject: the consequences of smoking cigarettes(TobaccoFreeMaine). Logically, black and white images appear darker than color images andare associated with darker subjects such as tobacco addiction. Images in black and white can becontrasted with images in color in that compared to black and white, color tends to conveypositive feelings.There is a symbolism in dark and light; dark subjects tend to represent evil and lightsubjects tend to represent good. The Maine Helpline uses this symbolism to their advantagewhen they make their commercials black and white as it appears visually dark. Being dark, thecommercial has the potential to convey the feeling that the subject, addiction to tobacco,represents evil. The advertisement allows the viewer to associate a negative attitude towards theeffects of smoking. At the end of one advertisement, a fearful child is shown in color hugging astuffed animal (TobaccoFreeMaine). He represents good so that he can be contrasted with thedarkness of the smoke that surrounds him. Through the logical use of a black and white colorscheme, the viewer's attention is directed towards the evil nature of tobacco addiction.Most commercials on television are in color. There are those out there that usethe same technique of black and white to convey a negative tone but they are rare. By the use of black and white images, Maine's commercials stick out to the viewer. Visually they are differentfrom other commercials and help direct special attention to the viewer especially if he or she is asmoker. With special attention being directed towards the commercial's message, more

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