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A Great Example of a Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical analyses can be very difficult to write. Here is one I did on the picture below that you can refer to when writing your own. Good luck.

NHS Smokers Advertisement

            Advertisements use a variety of techniques to convince viewers of the argument they are presenting. This anti-smoking advertisement by National Health Service of England is no exception to this statement. An advertisement is designed to sell goods or publicize an event. Advertisements can appeal to audiences through images or text. This particular advertisement has pathos and ethical argument imbedded into its visual appeal. Logos is also used throughout the text based argument of the advertisement. With this advertisement it is also important to consider the point of view since the advertisement was created by a government program that deals with health care and is funded by the citizens of England.

            A pathos argument is possibly one of the most influential arguments that can be used when attempting to persuade someone or convince someone of an argument. This is the reason this National Health Service of England advertisement has a very strong appeal to pathos. By using a very questionable image the advertisement evokes a very strong sense of shock. The image shows a person, who is understood to be a smoker, with a hook that is protruding from her mouth, much like a fish that has been caught. The creator of this advertisement, the National Health Service of England, is attempting to shock the viewers of the advertisement into realizing just how addictive smoking can be. Not only does the article appeal to pathos through imagery but also through the text that is below the image. The viewers are drawn to the text after they observe the shocking image and want to learn exactly what it is about. The text also invokes shock, much like the image, by using a very alarming statistic. By stating that the average smoker needs over five thousand cigarettes a year the creator intends to surprise the reader on just how addictive smoking can be. The word choice used by the National Health Association of England is also something that should be noticed. The ad does not read “the average smoker smokes five thousand cigarettes in a year” instead it states “the average smoker needs”. By doing this the NHS wants to highlight the fact that once someone starts smoking it is something he or she actually needs and not just wants.

            The ethical argument in this advertisement is mostly imbedded in the image that the ad is centered around. As stated in the previous paragraph, the image is of a woman who is presumed to be a smoker, being pulled by a fishing line and hook that is painfully pulling at her mouth. The National Health Service of England is telling the viewers that this is what the companies that produce and sell cigarettes are doing to their customers. This is where the ethical part of the argument is raised. By displaying this picture along with the text that states smokers need the cigarettes the NHS is trying to show the viewer just how unethical it is for these companies to create cigarette addictions. The National Health Service wants viewers to be taken aback and to see just how serious a smoking addiction is. The ad is also largely intended to appeal to smokers. If you were to ask a smoker if they thought they were addicted to cigarettes more likely than not they are going to say it is not that serious of an addiction which is exactly what the NHS ad is trying to prevent. The government agency wants the smokers themselves to realize just how badly they are “hooked” to the cigarettes they are smoking. The National Health Service of England wants everyone who views this advertisement to be astonished and almost in disbelief to see just how unethical these cigarette producing companies are.

            Point of view is also a rhetorical strategy that must be analyzed when an advertisement is produced by a government agency. The National Health Service of England is a publicly funded health care system in England. Being publicly funded means the citizens of England pay their taxes to the English government which then hands a percentage over to the NHS for healthcare; this is why it is necessary to analyze the point of view of this advertisement. At first glance it looks as if the NHS ad is being produced for the sole purpose of showing just how devastating a smoking addiction can be but this may not be the only reason the ad is being produced. The more people that become sick under the care of the National Health Service of England the more tax money the government must provide to the health care agency. Since smoking has a high rate of leading to lung cancer and other illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the more smokers there are the more money the NHS can expect to spend caring for these patients. This is the most likely reason as to why the advertisement is being produced. The more people that the National Health Service of England can prevent or stop from smoking the more they will be able to spend on other patients or even keep the money for profit. In almost every civilized, well-governed country throughout the world the majority of its money is earned through taxes as is the case with England. In an attempt to spend the least amount of tax revenue possible on patients with self inflicted and preventable illnesses the National Health Service of England produced this advertisement.

  Since a majority of people will avoid reading advertisements it is necessary to have an eye catching image such as this one to draw people in. Then the creator of the ad can further reveal its argument and hopefully persuade the viewers to agree with the argument. This NHS ad attempts to persuade viewers of its argument through strong appeals to pathos and ethos but the true meaning of the advertisement can only be seen when one takes a step back and looks at it through the point of view of the creator, National Health Service of England.

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