Effective integration of ethos, pathos, and logos function together to sway the opinion of the audience. In sports advertising, ethos relies on well-established and famous athletes to lure potential customers to purchase certain products. For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo, a starring Real Madrid, and Portugal soccer player is used to advertise Nike’s products while Adidas uses Lionel Messi, a Barcelona football star to markets its products. Ethos in sports advertising relies on the character of superstars in various categories such as soccer, basketball, and rugby to build the credibility of a certain brand or even at times a product (Higgins, Colin, and Robyn Walker). The design of this rhetoric approach to marketing aims at convincing the potential buyers that if they wear similar products to what eminent athletes wear, then their chances of accomplishing a target goal is relatively high. For instance, a commercial using Cristiano Ronaldo to nurture the credibility of Nike’s shoes builds a perception among the audience that Nike apparel is the best for soccer players if one of the best footballers in the world is using it.
Contrary to ethos, pathos in sports advertising relies on emotions as a channel of convincing the potential customers to purchase a product. Metaphors find great use in the design of pathos particularly in creating a feeling of intrigue and confidence in a brand, creating urgency, or sometimes reinforcing a value (Higgins, Colin, and Robyn Walker). For instance, the advertisement by Adidas titled Emma Tardiff utilizes straw man fallacy to promote a soccer shoe associated with Iron Man-like strength. The objective of the advert is to appeal to an audience who desires to excel in football to the level of the professionals used in marketing. As such, the advert manages to create customer confidence in Nike’s product through the appeal of emotion related to pride.
In the figure above, Nike used pathos to create an advert that was titled “take it to the next level”. According to Urde, this advert was the most watched ad since it managed to appeal to the emotions of the audience through the use of words that promotes a sense of agency and an image of Cristiano Ronaldo appeals to happiness (p. 40).
In sports adverts, use of logos as a rhetoric of convincing potential buyers relies on figures, facts, and data with a goal of painting a concrete picture among the customers. Logos utilizes pathos to communicate to the audience regarding the number of people, just like them who have managed to purchase a service of a product. In addition, it depends on ethos to introduce like-minded personalities and characters through the appeal of emotions.
In figure 3, Nike made an advert to lure women to purchase its products. In this advert, Nike is attempting to persuade women by providing reasons why they should participate in sporting activities. Serena Williams is a perfect example of a woman used by Nike through the application of logos to market its product. Among the reasons provided by the advert include reducing the chances of getting breast cancer and depression.
In conclusion, provided that ethos, pathos, and logos use a correct form of rhetoric, there are effective models of advertising sports-related products. The working mechanism of pathos is based on appealing to emotions, which change the perception of a consumer regarding a particular brand or product. Logos uses logic based on actual figures and data to lure the audience to ascribe to a certain brand. Contrary, ethos use the authority of a character especially celebrities to entice the audience. An effective marketing or advertising strategy is based on the proper integration of these three rhetoric devices since their working mechanism is related.
- Clever Prototypes, LLC. “Rhetorical Appeals Storyboard By Salrruiz.” A storyboard that, 2017, http://www.storyboardthat.com/storyboards/salrruiz/rhetorical-appeals.
- Francisco, Rolando et al. “Nike Shoe Ad.” Rolandofrancisco101. 2017, http://rolandofrancisco101.blogspot.co.ke/2012/10/nike-shoe-ad.html.
- Higgins, Colin, and Robyn Walker. “Ethos, logos, pathos: Strategies of persuasion in social/environmental reports.” Accounting Forum. Vol. 36. No. 3. Elsevier, 2012.
- Tran, Ben. “Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of Doing Business Abroad: Geert Hofstede’s Five Dimensions of National Culture on Transcultural Marketing.” International Business: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications. IGI Global, 2016. 1601-1626.
- Urde, Mats. “The brand core and its management over time.” Journal of product & brand management 25.1 (2016): 26-42.