|Rhetorical Analysis of a Corporate Website: Philip Morris, Ethos, and Ethics Page 2 of 4|
|Written by Melanie Wilson|
Methods of Persuasion: Ethos, Logos, Pathos
This site relies heavily on ethos, logos, and pathos when it comes to each of its audiences. Most of the website, however, revolves around ethos. According to Aristotle, this was the most important of the persuasive appeals. In Rhetoric he explained that “persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others.” In conjunction with Aristotle’s prescription, Philip Morris is interested in proving their good character in the eye of the American consumers. If they can demonstrate their character or good ethos, they can persuade each audience to see the website the way it was intended for them. Logos is important for the website because the government agencies that are mandating that the site be up in the first place are looking for the logical appeals that are going to inform the public about the hazards of smoking. The pathos of the site is essential when it comes to tugging at the heart strings of all audiences. All three appeals could work in a different way for each audience which I feel is an advantage for this website’s purpose. There is no logical way that they can be fully committed to one side of this argument; therefore multiple interpretations of the site are ideal for the company.
In order to appeal to smokers, for example, they include among their “Highlights” a case where San Francisco was trying to ban the sale of cigarettes in convenience stores. Philip Morris portrayed themselves as a company fighting for the right of Americans to choose whether or not they want to purchase a product. This serves as an appeal to ethos as well as pathos because the company is fighting for what is “right” for its consumers making them an ethical, authoritative figure in the eyes of citizens who want to exercise their right to smoke. Reading about that case will make smokers feel as if the government is trying to violate their rights which may inspire strong emotions of anger and frustration. Another aspect of the site that may appeal to smokers is the section detailing how the company is hard at work trying to find less addictive, less harmful substitutes to the current products under the “Reduced Harm” link listed under “Products.” The consumers are lulled into a false sense of security by being exposed to all three appeals at once on this page.
This power of rhetorical appeal is acknowledged in Sharon Crowley’s article “Ancient Rhetoric and Modern Students” when she explains “Ancient rhetoricians were aware that language is a powerful force for moving people to action. Gorgias went so far as to say that language could work on a person’s spirit as powerfully as drugs worked on the body… As he said, language can ‘stop fear and banish grief and create joy and nurture pity’ in Encomium to Helen” (13). Plato agreed with Gorgias on this point. As Robert Connors describes in “Greek Rhetoric and the Transition from Orality,” “For Plato, rhetorical discourse was extremely powerful, even magical” (100). Plato, however, feared this magic because he knew that in cases such as the one at hand, the rhetoric could have harmful results on those who are put under the spell. After being swept up in the rhetoric, a consumer may delay quitting, and instead wait for the healthier, safer alternative that is claimed to be on its way. It would not seem practical or logical for them to quit just yet. Another similar appeal to smokers within the site is the entire “Making” section which features pictures of the tobacco being farmed in beautiful expansive fields by happy, dedicated workers. The process appears so natural, green, and healthy.
The appeals to the general non-smoking public are fairly standard logical pleas to understand that cigarettes can cause many health problems. An example of logos on the “Quit Assist” page linked from the corporate site’s homepage is the step-by-step list to stay smoke-free under the “Quitting and Staying Quit” tab. The section features logical steps that would help one cease smoking for a healthier lifestyle. It is mentioned throughout the “Quit Assist” site that cigarettes are statistically proven to be harmful to one’s health and that everyone would be better off quitting. Ethos for the non-smoking audience is portrayed everywhere through all their disclaimers and “responsible” reporting. The appeals to pathos also make Philip Morris appear caring, and dedicated to the health and happiness of their consumers. On the “Quit Assist” page, one sees smiling, happy faces with featured success stories about various people who have quit smoking and whose lives are now improved for doing so. This is very effective in terms of pathos because the ex-smokers seem happy and healthy, not terminally ill. This makes non-smokers realize that the Philip Morris site is really committed to portraying and encouraging a lifestyle without smoking. Using the same example, the same message could make smokers realize that at any given time, those smiling faces could be their own. To the benefit of the company, this could make consumers believe there is no real hurry to quit because the smokers in the pictures turned out okay after they had been smoking for many years. Although the smiling faces suggested it was possible to quit and have a successful, functional life, the actual writing suggested that “for most people, quitting is not the biggest challenge; it’s staying quit.” The site repeatedly warns of the difficulties that would come along with a relapse. This plays on people’s fear of failing. Overall, the discreet appeals which may dissuade the smoking audience from trying to quit outweighed the more obvious non-smoking-themed appeals within the website.
Поскольку команчи отступили за пределы нейтральной полосы, "Электронная книга ritmix не включается"войскам оставалось только вернуться "Скачать на компьютер темы сталкер"в свои лагеря и ждать дальнейших распоряжений командования.
В русских газетах, наверное, "Проигрыватели скачать для виндовс 7"написали бы, что Австрия гонит на войну свои колониальные войска, "Fl studio на русском скачать"которых у нее нет, и что Австрией уже пущены в ход чернокожие резервы.
Покрытая росой трава была для старого "Хоттабыч скачать песню"следопыта чистым листом, а следы серого мустанга шрифтом, таким же четким, как "Статистика книги скачать бесплатно"строки напечатанной книги.
Он боялся не того, что ему придется понести какое-то наказание.