Describe your chosen rhetorical situation.
McDonald’s has advertised their new Quarter Pounder Deluxe. The advertisement is a poster, displaying the burger in bright color with a headline reading, “The New Quarter Pounder Deluxe. We Love Making Things Better.” Below the burger it reads, “Make it Better” on what looks like a push button. The advertisement, of course, features the new product, the hamburger than now includes lettuce and tomato. That is what constitutes it as a Deluxe version of the quarter pounder.
Describe the elements of the rhetorical situation.
The author is the McDonald’s corporation. Their logo sits in the bottom right had corner of the ad. Even though the advertisement includes not mention of McDonald’s explicitly, it does contain the logo and their slogan, “I’m Lovin’ It.” The ad appears on billboards, online, and around town on smaller posters or buses. It also appears in McDonald’s itself. These settings suggest a number of audiences. First, the poster reaches everyone in public. So anyone riding a bus, looking at the side of a bus, passing McDonald’s or peering at the billboard will see the advertisement. Second, the advertisement targets current customers. These signs appear in the restaurant itself rather than simply in public places. Thus, this assumes that the person looking at the advertisement, in the store, already goes to McDonald’s. Based on these locations, I think that the advertisement appeals to the general populace, regardless of whether they eat at McDonald’s or not, and also targets the current customer who is already eating at the restaurant.
Describe the rhetorical devices used in the ad to persuade or influence the audience.
In the first place, the ad uses ethos. McDonald’s is the ethos of the ad, as it is the person that stands or sponsors the message. The logo and the motto on the poster suggest the tradition of the restaurant. Furthermore, the quarter pounder with cheese is a classic fast food staple, one that has been around for a long time. Each of these elements plays on the ethos of McDonald’s. They of course specialize in hamburgers and fast food meals. The golden arches, the saying, and the picture of a classic burger now upgraded all speak to the consistency of McDonald’s. It creates a rapport with the audience through loyalty and consistency. However, for those who do not like McDonald’s, maybe due to its health problems or corporate decisions, the advertisement does not carry a positive ethos.
The pathos of the poster targets the appetite of the viewer. When we see the ad, we want the delicious looking hamburger because it looks delicious. It is not an unhealthy or poorly made meal, rather, it stands perfectly arranged and looking quite edible. This pulls on the emotional desires of the audience, as they then want fast food. The logos includes the messages already stated. Most importantly, the “Deluxe” title lends the burger something of sophistication. It is new and improved, says the ad. The telos or goal of the ad is sales. McDonald’s wants more customers in its store buying its products. It does not aim to nurture a love for any hamburger or fast food meal, but McDonald’s hamburgers.
Personal response. Are you personally influenced or persuaded by the ad? Why or why not?
I am intrigued by the ad. The burger does look good, and I battle with my knowledge that the food is unhealthy. So in one sense, it does persuade me. It persuades me to rethink my avoidance of McDonald’s. On the other hand, I did not and probably will not actually go and