“Before we even shot the ad, just talking about the ad, everyone here was emotional about it because everyone was very quickly able to relate to it,” Cesario said.
Instead of touting its safety standards with facts and figures like Subaru, Acura went the emotional route.
A few ways to wield the power of pathos:
- Use emotionally charged language and tone to engage your audience and encourage them to feel, not just see or hear, your message.
- Provide vivid descriptions and images that convey the message in a way that makes it easy for the viewer to understand and apply to their own life.
Chevrolet: Ethos (Ethics or Character)
Persuading by referring to the credibility or character of the author. We tend to believe people whom we trust, respect and admire.
“As a celebrated comedienne, I can say that this car and its cool features will improve your life.”
If it’s not enough to tout a vehicle’s top features or pull at the heartstrings, then why not enlist the help of a Saturday Night Live legend? That’s what Chevrolet did when it partnered with Yahoo for the Going There series. In the comedy videos, which boast Ellen DeGeneres as an executive producer, SNL alum Ana Gasteyer picks up fellow celebs in a Chevy Traverse to muse about parenting. It’s a nine-part ad aiming to make the mommy ride cool, and it’s hilarious!
Between kicks and giggles in the first episode, Gasteyer uses one of the SUV’s apps to get groceries delivered for The Office’s Jenna Fischer, a busy wife and mom who could barely steal away to film this video. The audience can sympathize with the ladies’ plights, and vice versa. The parenting struggle is real. They make it easy for other parents to relate to and trust them, despite the fact that they happen to be TV stars.
Celebrity endorsements like these tell people, “Hey, we really are just like you. You can trust us. This product worked for me, so it will work for you.”
A few ways to wield the power of ethos:
- Get credible endorsements from celebrities whom your target audience can relate to.
- Use client or customer testimonials to show how others use and appreciate various aspects or features of your product or brand.
- Use an authoritative tone of voice that reinforces the message in a way that is relatable to your audience, their lifestyle, values and needs.
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Aristotle’s appeals can be identified in almost all arguments and advertisements.
Brands should use these persuasive powers strategically to appeal to the audience’s logic, emotions and belief in them. The next time your brand or company wants to reach a particular segment, think about how you can subtly mix logos, pathos and ethos to provide content you can connect with on a deeper level.