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Well known satire organization, The Onion Inc.

, in their mock press release of the

MagnaSoles, criticizes the unfounded credibility consumers are giving to any marketed
products. The Onion’s purpose is to show potential customers the stupidity behind marketing
techniques so that they recognize the unjustified acceptance and desire they’re dedicating to
trending products in the market. They adopt an ironic tone in order to make the readers aware
of their vulnerability in regards to the marketing schemes.

The Onion portrays the stupidity behind marketing techniques by using scholarly-
appearing diction to emphasize the groundless reliability consumers are disposing on
misleading advertisement. About half way through the press release, it is mentioned how
“Terranometry,” a new form of pseudoscience, is employed by the MagnaSoles in order to
avoid one’s foot frequency to be out of alignment with the Earth. In this case, the word
“Terranometry” creates an appearance of eruditeness, which is often used by the media as an
appeal to ethos. As a result, consumers are misled to believe the product they’re buying is
certified to be effective since its properties are based on nothing but science and developed
by none but the “nation’s top pseudoscientists” (38). Further along the press release, the same
strategy is used by the authors when they state, “MagnaSoles convert the wearer’s own
energy to match the Earth’s natural vibrational rate of 32,805 kilofrankels” (46-48). By using
the word “kilofrankels” they maintain the scholarly-appearing diction; indeed, this term is
meant to represent the reinforcement of ethos used by producers to create that unfounded
credibility from their consumers. In both cases, the word choice builds up the irony since
none of the terms has a real meaning, they are just meant to make the product look
scientifical or intellectual enough to be bought. The audience should recognize they’re being
deceived by the media through misleading advertisement, and will probably feel foolish to
believe in it, which further validates the critic The Onion’s been making on the unjustified
reliability gave to marketing.

The critic is taken further through the use of exclamatory and interrogative syntax to
accentuate the lack of reason behind the customers’ rapid approval of the fallacious
marketing techniques. Towards the end of the mock press release, The Onion quotes two
simulated MagnaSoles customers expressing their satisfaction with regard to their purchase.
The first one claims the shoe inserts were responsible for a “significant decrease in pain” (60)
and exclames to try and prove the MagnaSoles weren’t responsible for healing her foot. By
using an exclamatory sentence, the authors show how marketing companies try to appeal to
pathos and ethos by building relatable stories that might give hope to a potential customer or
increase their credibility. For the most part, the stories might be relatable, but exaggerated
and somewhat incredulous. This demonstrates the unfounded acknowledgement given to
products; therefore, clients realize they’re lacking reasons to believe everything their told
through advertisements. Similarly, the situation of another customer is introduced, this time
in the form of a rhetorical question. He expresses his contentment by saying, “Why should I
pay thousands of dollars to have my spine realigned with physical therapy when I can pay
$20 for insoles clearly endorsed by an intelligent-looking man in a white lab coat?” (65-68).
By using a question not intended to be answered, people have no other option but to accept
what they are being told; hence, the authors use this to showcase how clients are misguided to
believe anything that promotes a product. In this case the audience is not approached through
appearing intellectualism but through imposed relatability. Their response might be in
opposition to the marketing techniques being used to fool them, which would make them
more conscious about what they take in from advertisement and what they should and
shouldn’t believe.

Throughout their mock press release, The Onion successfully utilizes rhetorical
techniques to condemn the unfounded trustworthiness consumers designate to misleading
marketing techniques.