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With the message to the right and the background image finally loaded, it instantaneously came together. The image was of a pair of legs. One was a healthy human leg, the other was a mechanical structure with bolts, and a dull, lifeless color. I made my way down the image and saw a human foot alongside a mechanical, plastic foot connected to a metal, crane-like leg. I sank back in my chair and thought about how terrible the possible consequences are for drunk driving. The dark, yet serious tone sets the mood for the ad to casually hint that BMW does make custom car parts for each vehicle, which could possibly prevent some types of accidents. Sooner or Later, drinking and driving will ultimately lead to severe accidents. The advertisement encourages people not to drink and drive and shows how serious it is by making use of many rhetorical appeals, such as an emotional appeal, logical appeal and ethical appeal. This essay will analyze BMW’s intended message and how effectively they use ethos, pathos and logos to convey the consequences of drinking and driving and to prevent people from driving under the influence.
This advertisement uses pathos in the form of the prosthetic leg to instantaneously catch the reader’s attention by appealing to the audience’s emotions. For starters, the first thing the audience sees is the image of two legs, since one is a healthy, vibrant leg and the other is a dull, lifeless prosthetic. To the Right of the image is a linguistic message which reads “don’t drink and drive.” The reader can surmise from the ad that the individual who is photographed was in some type of automobile accident that has caused them to lose a leg, which trigger emotions of fear, concern or dread from the viewer. A sentimental appeal is expressed by the use of a prosthetic limb abreast a human leg. This advertisement also uses emotional appeal by making the audience think about the dangers or potential consequences of driving under the influence. Some of the potential possibilities are that you are at risk of dying! That’s it, no more life on Earth for you. Or maybe you live, but lose a limb, such as a leg, like in the BMW ad. Now you will have a much harder time playing sports, running, or even walking again. For me, losing a leg or any other limb would be devastating. Because BMW utilizes rhetorical appeal, it evokes more emotions or empathy from the audience, then it originally would have if the prosthetic leg had not been included. BMW convinces people to not drink/drive by driving fear into people about the loss of irreplaceable body parts.
Additionally, the use of logos is apparent in the text, which is comparing human limbs to car parts. After the audience can discern the ad, they are now hooked. Next, they read the text to the left to find out what the message is. The linguistic message, simply writes, “Spare parts for humans are not as original as those for cars.” Even though it compares human limbs to car parts, it is using logical appeal by stating that unlike cars, the human body is irreplaceable. The advertisement is implying that replacing a car part would go unnoticed, but replacing a human limb would never be the same again, so people should take care of their bodies. All it takes is one decision, just one time to drink and drive and as a repercussion loses a limb or worst-case scenario, a life. The linguistic message in the advertisement also has a powerful appeal to pathos as well. Most individuals know, and agree that driving under the influence is dangerous and should be avoided. BMW strategically place this statement on the advertisement knowing that most people will agree with it. This creates a sense of unity or teamwork with the audience to fight against a common problem. BMW emphasizes the value of human limbs by contrasting a replacement of a human body part and a car part. By putting this ad out BMW is conveying that they are a company that cares about the people, by trying to prevent individuals from driving under the influence.
Finally, this advertisement has strong ethos, shown by the BMW logo at the bottom right hand corner. For this advertisement I was personally expecting Mothers against Drunk Driving, but I was completely thrown off to see BMW made this creative ad. BMW is a well-known manufacturer of sleek, luxury automobiles, which carries credibility. It is an influential and admired car brand that has been around for over a hundred years. They took a very real consequence of losing a limb, and having a mechanical prosthetic limb as a replacement, resembling a part of a car. BMW is using their credibility in a beneficial way by trying to prevent drunk driving. This ad is also shows that driving under the influence is a serious matter which obviously BMW takes seriously. With this type of ad campaign, BMW conveys to the general public that they care about the safety of the drivers too, not only the profits of their business, which in turn gives the company a good reputation.
Starting at a young age, we have all heard the argument “don’t drink and drive.” This advertisement creates a commonplace in that it is advocating for. The advertisement adds focus on making people feel concerned with the possible results of drinking and driving. BMW also makes use of the bolded words to make the audience understand that this is a serious matter and that if people continue to combine drinking and driving while, they could find themselves in a position where human limbs are lost and prosthetic attachments would be needed to maintain normal human function. It appeals to pathos, ethos, logos, and has strong implications to illustrate the message that human body parts are irreplaceable. Like BMW states, do not drink and drive at the cost of your limbs. Rhetorical appeals are everywhere – just look around.
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