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Tobacco Helpline and the New York State Smokers' Quitline have one goal: to attract smokers to call for assistance quitting tobacco. Both helplines are nonprofit organizations. Even though there is no fiscal incentive to attract viewers to call the helplines, the organizations still use rhetorical techniques in their commercials and for a good cause. One organization does a better job embedding a desire to quit tobacco in a smoker's consciousness. This desire in the consciousness of smokers stems from awareness of the consequences of smoking and is the most important accomplishment of any tobacco helpline. Because Maine does a better job accomplishing this in smokers, its advertisements are more effective in getting a smoker to make the call. Through a more logical choice of words, the use of a black and white color scheme, and an appeal to the remorseful emotions not only addressing damage to the body but also death from smoking, Maine's commercials are more effective than New York's commercials in instilling a strong desire to call the helpline and take the first step to quitting smoking. Logic - Text Common slogans in the commercials such as "Quit smoking now. Here's how," are effective textual techniques logically included in the commercials. 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 smoking, 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 the commercials have new and useful information regarding quitting smoking since "Here's how." is included in their slogans. Also, the message "Quit smoking now" is one that when repeated over and over again, since the commercial reappears daily on local news television stations, embeds quitting into a smoker's mind. If repeated enough, "Quit smoking now." has the potential to instill in the viewers, a desire to finally call the helpline and make an effort to quit smoking. The word "now" in "Quit smoking now" helps give quitting smoking the label of an urgent task. The slogan for a tobacco helpline "Quit smoking now. Here's how." is a subtle technique to direct a viewer's attention to the advertisement. New York's commercials also use logic in the textual portion of their commercials. They frequently use the slogan "Quit Smoking Today" which is basically saying the same thing as Maine's "Quit smoking now." However "Now" seems to imply a more realistic urgent attempt to quit than "Today" which seems like an unlikely task as quitting doesn't happen in one day. Quitting tobacco takes days and perhaps several attempts to accomplish. "Now" applies more to a developing attempt over a longer period as it doesn't explicitly state that a smoker will quit the day they see the commercial.. I see your distinction between "now" and "today" but when i think of it from a time perspective I think that now is actually shorter term than today. 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 information on getting rid of addiction. The only textual evidence of help is "For help call..." which is only a dull statement. Maine's "Here's how" is more effective because it seems to offer actual resources and
information on how to quit rather than just help to quit that is offered at the end of New York's commercial. Emotion - Color One technique the Maine Helpline uses has to do with the physical appearance of the commercials. Some of their earlier commercials were black and white to convey a concerning negative attitude toward the subject: the consequences of smoking cigarettes.1 Logically, black and white is associated with darker subjects such as tobacco addiction. Images in black and white can be contrasted with images in color in that compared to black and white, color tends to convey positive feelings. Black and white images appear darker than color images. There is a symbolism in dark and light; dark subjects tend to represent evil and light subjects tend to represent good. The Maine Helpline uses this symbolism to their advantage when they make their commercials black and white as it makes the commercial visually dark. Being dark, the commercial has the potential to convey the feeling that the subject in the commercial, addiction to tobacco, represents evil. The commercial, being black and white allows the viewer to associate a negative attitude towards the effects of smoking. Through the logical use of a black and white color scheme, the viewer's attention is directed towards the evil nature of tobacco addiction. Most commercials on television are in color. There are commercials out there that use the same technique of black and white to convey a negative tone but they are rare to come across (try "rare/hard to find"). By the use of black and white images, Maine's commercials stick out to the viewer. Visually they are different from other commercials and help direct special attention to the viewer especially if he or she is a smoker. With special attention being directed towards the
commercial's message, more awareness of the negative effects of smoking can be embedded into a smoker's conception of the consequences of his or her daily or occasional activity. New York's helpline neglects the use of a black and white color scheme. All of the commercials made by this organization are in color and they lack any form of visual symbolism to associate smoking with evil. Being in color, New York's commercials would be more effective if the subject was a smoker's success story. Viewers would associate a positive feeling with the trial of quitting. But since the commercials don't contain success stories, they lose the advantage of a having a color scheme over having a black and white color scheme. In this sense, Maine's commercials have more potential to associate smoking with evil in the eyes of the viewer. Tough to argue with this paragraph, good points. Emotions More important than the visual representation of the subject of the commercial is the content of the commercial. The content of Maine and New York's commercials use emotion as a rhetorical technique. Pathos, in this sense, helps give the viewer a reason to call the helpline. It's effective to use an appeal to emotion when persuading someone to call a tobacco addiction helpline because of how emotions are tied into two of the most relevant consequences associated with tobacco addiction: death or permanent damage to the smoker's body. Through telling personal stories, Maine and New York's commercials address the permanent damage to the smoker's body, but Maine's commercials focus also on another more pressing consequence of tobacco addiction: death. New York's commercials focus more on the effects of smoking as they relate just to the individual. In one commercial, a man tells his story of how cigarettes have ruined his dreams of becoming an umpire for the obvious reason he can't even yell out "strike."2 In both states'
collection of commercials, the classic hole-in-the-throat story is told where the man or woman talking has to use a voice-emulating device to speak. The consequences of smoking have a highly emotional appeal to the smoker alone. For a smoker, these personalized stories raise attention to the life changing consequence of tobacco addiction and is an effective way to embed an awareness in a smokers consciousness. But more pressing issues than life changing consequences of smoking are life ending consequences of smoking. For the sake of playing devil's advocate, I could argue that life changing consequences occur much more often than death, therefore, life changing consequences may be a better device. Strong emotional feelings arise from experiencing the death of a loved one, and Maine's commercials use this experience to place the highest value on calling the helpline. By having a teenager tell the story of their mother dying when they were very young and not being in their life for parietal (parental?) support, the commercial becomes a moving account of the effects of smoking.3 Any viewer who has lost someone close to them can sympathize with this account and considering the loss of a close family member is not a rare occurrence, the story has relevance to many viewers. With relevance comes the ability for the viewer to make a personal connection with the commercial. Emotions that they felt when they lost a person close to them may arise after hearing such a story. The account of the teenager helps connect preexisting emotions of death that the viewer may have to emotions of death caused by smoking. A smoker, having experienced the death of a loved one, becomes especially concerned with death caused by their own bad habits because they don't want loved ones to go through the same experience they did. This focuses less on death ending the smoker's own life and more on the emotional stress put on the loved ones of the smoker. Conclusion
Both The Maine Tobacco Helpline and the New York State Smokers' Quitline use rhetorical techniques to save lives. But Maine's campaign does a better job at embedding a will to quit and an awareness of consequences in smokers than New York's campaign. The desire to quit and the awareness of consequences are the most effective ways to get a smoker to quit smoking and since Maine does a better job conveying them to the viewer, Maine is more effective in getting a smoker to quit. Maine's black and white commercials associate evil feelings with smoking while New York's commercials lack any form of visual representation associating smoking with an evil nature. Maine's use of textual inserts at the end of their commercials offer a more realistic approach to quitting and more information on quitting than New York's use of text. And finally, Maine's use of personalized stories and how effects of smoking apply not only to the individual, but to loved ones, are more effective than New York's limited focus on how the consequences of smoking apply just to the smoker. The stories in Maine's commercials expose emotional outcomes of tobacco addiction that include death and permanent damage to the body (This phrase is repeated a lot, just be careful of being too repetitive and try to use different words). New York's commercials only focus on permanent damage to the body and don't put the emphasis on death associated with smoking that truly appeals to the emotions of those who have lost a loved one. Which commercial is more effective at persuading a smoker to take initiative to make the call? The one that encompasses both consequences--death and damage to the body--not just one. Even the most stubborn of smokers who don't plan on quitting are likely to call the Maine helpline after making emotional connections to these anecdotal commercials. The same can be argued for New York's helpline but since New York lacks personal stories to connect to, Maine's campaign seems more likely to succeed in
getting a smoker to call. The point of the commercials is to save lives and change lives. (Take this paragraph out and put it in the last supporting evidence section) Rhetorical strategies are vital to any form of persuasion and are vital to an advertisement for quitting cigarettes. Maine seems to use more of these strategies and with a stronger effect than the same strategies that New York does manage to use. Which state offers better information on quitting? That's a whole separate argument with an entirely different set of supporting evidence. But what's clear here is that Maine does a better job drawing smokers to the information they offer. And that is what is more important, that smokers take that first step to quitting. The information offered by the helplines have the ability not only to save the smoker's life, but save their loved ones from the loss of someone dear to them. Without a strong desire to call, it's unlikely a smoker will make the call to receive valuable instruction on how to quit. Comments -Be careful of being too repetitive with certain words or phrases -The section titles will probably not be included in the final draft and I think they split your essay too much, making it into sections or pieces rather than a cohesive body -The conclusion is a bit long and it just seems to repeat everything said in the essay so you may want to make that stronger -The comparison of the two is good and you show each one's strengths and weaknesses well (Upload Final to Blog) Tasks for Final Draft - Add more for black and white (change to , maine also is positive in their color commercials - Cite commercials for New York. and make sure no examples are left uncited.
- Include "But what's clear here is that Maine does a better job drawing smokers to the information they offer" in the introduction. - Improve Word Choice
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