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Chenguang Dai
Writing 2
WP1 (Final Draft)
Matt Wilson
Mar 9th 2016
Rhetoric Changes the World
In todays world, too many sundry products make customers confused, too much
lure make buyers puzzled, and also too many choices have been increasing the
competitions to the level which is much fiercer than ever before. One of many ways
companies have been using for decade to raise their public awareness and increase their
sale is through media. Laura Bolin Carroll states in her essay Backpack vs. Briefcases:
Steps toward Rhetorical Analysis that each day we see media that asks us to do, think,
buy and act in all sorts of ways (Carroll Pg.45). Indeed, rhetoric makes media
convincing, media spreads ideas, and ideas change world. People thinks they know what
they are doing, why they buy things, but they are only forced to make the choice. In this
article I will show you how billboard advertisement messes up with buyers mind hence
tells people what to buy.
Before any rhetorical analysis, the argument should be considered as the heart of
the matter. According to Laura, The rhetorical situation is just the beginning of your
analysis, though. What you really want to understand is the argument (Carroll Pg.52).
Furthermore, Mike Bunn provides us with two questions which helps us to figure out the
argument: what is the authors purpose for this piece of writing, and who is the intended
audience (Bunn Pg.79)? To billboard advertisement, the name itself actually reveals a
lot. It is a larger outdoor advertisement structure typically found in high-traffic areas such


as alongside busy roads (Wikipedia). This statement indicates that the audience of the
billboard advertisements are usually crowd in anthill or drivers on the highway. These
two groups consists of random people who absorb the information passively. And the
purpose is clear: to fill potential customers with information.
All the successful billboard advertisement consist of only two parts: Word and
images. Although sounds simple and normal, beneath the surface lots of rhetoric are
being used since its the way we use language and images to persuade (Carroll Pg.46).
Firstly, immense picture of celebrities are usually used as background. Take one
of many famous billboard advertisements released by Nike in 2006 during the World Cup
in Germany as an example, the background picture of the advertisement shows Wayne
Rooney with England nation flag painted on his body. It is a great choice not only for
Wayne Rooney is one of the most popular football players who shown up in the 2006
World Cup, but also because Wayne Rooney was overtaking Beckham as the golden boy
of English football, and the news was in all the papers and TV program back to that time.
In other words it takes advantage from the level of topicality. Although every adults know
that theres no way to become Rooney, many wear what Rooney wears to be like him.
Sticking to this logic, Nike Co. successfully make those who like football to be their
potential customers not mentioned those who have the enthusiasm about Rooney.
On the other hand, words are also effective in communicating with potential
customers for billboard advertisements. In our example, the slogan is precise but
powerful, the famous slogan JUST DO IT together with world-renowned Nikes logo
remind people of Nike instantly. But why is this slogan so famous? And what makes this
slogan win universal praise? How come most of the readers would find the move


successful (Bunn Pg.81)? It is rhetoric that makes it so persuasive. By using ethos which
is one of three artistic appeals that a rhector could draw on to make a case (Carroll
Pg.52), the slogan encourages countless of people every single seconds. To be more
detailed, one major problem of our generation according to many is that we think and
speak too much but put little effort. Take exercise as an example, although almost
everyone in todays society know the importance of working out, few succeed in
persisting doing so. Via the slogan Just Do It, Nike reinterprets the proverb action
speak louder than words in their own words and evoke the morale within us; also, they
surely firm readers determination of purchasing.
All in all, with the layout and slogan of this billboard advertisement being simple,
concise but definitely attractive, and its context, although in the format of picture, using a
lots of rhetorical methods, this design surely attracts peoples attention visually and
mentally. By using the billboard as a preface of its business, Nike proved themselves to
be the tycoon within its business unexceptionably.
In conclusion, different genres requires different rhetoric. Different rhetoric
defines different genres. All kinds of genres alter peoples mind. And rhetoric changes the


Work cited
Bunn, Mike. How to Read Like a Writer Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing.
Vol.2. Parlor, 2010. 46. Print.
Carroll, Laura Bolin. Backpacks to Briefcases Writing Space: Reading on Writing.
Vol. 1. Parlor, 2010. 46. Print.
Dirk, Kerry. Navigating Genres Writing Space: Reading on Writing.
Vol. 1. Parlor, 2010. 46. Print.
Nike Co. Online-brochure of KOBE XI. Web.
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.
"10 of Our Favourite Billboards from around the World - Digital Printing Blog."
Digital Printing Blog. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.