Television, radio and newspaper ads these days are over the top in their advertising. They’re either too serious, too silly, too sexual, or don’t make any sense; however, there is a method to the advertiser’s madness. They make their advertisements in a way that will get consumers (us) to buy, use and remember their product or service. Ethos, pathos and logos are what they use to make their advertisements unique and different and appeal to ethics (ethos), emotion (pathos) and logic (logos). The advertisement by Sarah McLachlan on BCSPCA commercial for animals appeals to all three. (if you don’t know what this is it’s the “In the Arms of an Angel” commercial with all the sad cats and dogs as shown below)
The commercial starts with a black screen with white words saying, “every hour an animal is beaten or abused” with a slow sad piano playing in the background; this is then followed by a black and brown dog looking up at the camera with dark pitiful eyes and then a white kitten trembling with big blue sad eyes that scream, “save me”. It continues on to show dogs who have been abused who all have sad looks and droopy eyes that immediately make you want to reach through the screen and love them. Sarah McLachlan proceeds to pop on screen petting a happy, healthy, loving looking golden retriever as she informs you about the millions of animals who are abused and neglected every day. It goes on to show more cats and dogs who are sad and who were neglected and abused; one dog is missing an ear, one has a red cast on their front leg and on cat is missing an eye.
The sole purpose of these commercials is to inform you about the animals and to recieve your help. At the end of tbe commercial she goes on to say that for a $18 dollars a month you can help find these animals a happy healthy home, which makes you wonder was that what they were after from the beginning. Why didn’t they go with a more upbeat and positive route for the commercial instead of making it slow and depressing? This all ties back in with the usage of ethos, pathos and logos. Thoughtout the commercial all three of these writing techniques are used and displayed in different ways to appeal to the people watching the commercial so they at the end they’ll want to send their money to help the animals, which is the initial purpose of the commercial.
The slow sad piano in the background followed by Sarah McLachlan herself singing “In the Arms of an Angel” plays while sad cats and dogs are displayed on the screen to make you feel sad and sorry for the animals; this is called pathos. They want you to feel for the animals and feel sorry for them so that in order to help, you’ll want to send in your money. They also give you some statistics about abused and beaten animals which makes you think that they kniw what their talking about. Their a well known animal group so you automatically assume that their credibility is there which appeals to ethos and logos at the same time. The logic is that they know when an animal is either beaten or abused, and because they take in animals and help them fund homes is where their credibility comes into play.
This commercial is meant to appeal to an animal loving audience and it’s meant to make you sit back and realize what animals actually go through if they are not placed in warm loving homes with owners who will do right by them. For those who are pet owners and see this commercial it will make them appreciate their pet even more and know to treat them right. It also makes those who may have abuse animals in the past realize that beating their animals is not something to do.
The first time I saw this commercial I immediately started crying. I’ve always been an animal lover, especially when it comes to cats and dogs, so to see the images of thIselin animals scared and abused broke my heart. I remember asking my dad to donate money to help the poor animals find homes where they’ll be loved; I even asked him numerous times if we could go and adopt some of the animals, so it’s safe to say their usage of rhetorical devices worked on me.