The media frequently employs the use of pathos in its advertising, thus gaining an emotional appeal amongst viewers. In this advertisement, which can be found in magazines, online, and even on billboards, domestic violence and violence against women is the theme, utilizing pathos as its main appeal.
Every 1 in 6 women are victims of abuse, according to this ad. Though this advertisement does not verify this claim, the viewer does not necessarily need statistic data to validate this provided fact. All the viewer has to do is look at the woman, who is stretched out the length of the ad, and see her face, which is half bruised and beaten, while the other half is clean and perfectly made up. The woman has an expressionless face, and one must wonder if it is because she feels nothing anymore, or if she is trying to remain stoic.
Pathos is an effective tool in this ad, as it persuades the viewer through emotions. As this advertisement has pathos, we are able to identify with the woman, and thus be drawn into the picture. The emotional response may vary amongst viewers, but most likely, people will feel pity, or perhaps guilt, sadness, and anxiety. Thus, the advertisement affects many people on various levels, whether it is a young girl looking at it, or a broken woman, a father, or a husband.
The question on the advertisement, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” has multiple meanings, as one is drawn to the bruised face of the woman. The dress is gold and white, and alludes to the social media debate about the colors of ‘the dress’ that confounded so many women. However, the question also points to how difficult it is to know who are the victims of the abuse, as so many women are silent in their suffering. Thus, pathos is utilized in many ways in this advertisement, as it evokes an array of emotions from viewers.