The Deal with EPL
Posted on February 13, 2015
Anyone that goes about a normal day knows we are bombarded with advertisements, campaigns, and many other forms of publicity to make us feel or act a certain way. In an attempt to help gain a greater understanding of these methods let us examine some of the various forms persuasion that ad companies, authors, and even musicians use to persuade us. For this analysis we are going to look at the techniques used in an online article and a music video. The topic we are going to be focusing on is the after effects of deployment on soldiers. The article written on lifeafterwar.org highlights the anger some soldiers experience after they return home from deployment. This article was written as an aid to soldiers that are seeking the author is trying to help not only the soldiers but the readers as well to gain an understanding of why the soldier is so angry. The music video we will be looking at is “Wrong Side of Heaven”, by Five Finger Death Punch a heavy metal band based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. While primarily focused on their own pleasures the band does reach out and help the community, namely playing for US soldiers that were stationed in Iraq. This video was made for the fans of the band to view highlights of the lives of soldiers after they return home, the living conditions and the psychological effects are some of the main features of the video.
Here is the video:
Here is the article:
Let’s begin by looking at the credibility or ethos of these two examples. Ethos at its most basic form is the credibility of the author or the author’s status persuading the reader to feel a certain way. This is almost a no brainer, the music video is made of ethos. The fact that it is a music video lends to the believability of the message, the video is also by a band that has sold over 2.6 million albums in the United States. Using this status the band is trying to convey their message and make it stick. This is kind of the same principle of using a very influential song in an animal rights commercial see Animal Humane Society. The article on the other hand is written by a not very well known author on a website that seems to be a single person blog. This however does not detract from their ethos. The offer of help is what the author is trying to extend, help to not only the soldiers that are suffering but to those that suffer along with them like the families and friends. The offer of help is a trait that many find to be the most trustworthy as lending a hand is a selfless act. This is why the article is successfully able to convey its message, it is not trying to monetize itself or convince people of a certain point is simply ‘helping.’
A second approach that is used is that of pathos or the emotional appeal. This appeal can be understood as the use of emotion to make the reader feel or react in a certain way. Within the music video there are portrayals of soldiers fighting in war and their lives after they return home, many of these scenarios are very powerful and make the reader feel very sad, which is the ultimate goal of the video. The reason for this to entice the reader to donate to the many services that benefit soldiers. The article on the other hand is somewhat lacking in its use of pathos. This is primarily due to the article being more of a helpful resource rather than an actual argument or advertisement. The article is not completely devoid of emotion however, the descriptions of soldiers’ lives and what they suffer from does make the reader feel sorry for them but this is not the intention of the article because there is no service the author are trying to get people to donate to.
The appeal to logic and reason is that of Logos. The use of facts and relying on the reader’s knowledge helps to make the argument more valid. The article has little to no use of any sort of logic but does not detract from the overall message. Not relying on knowledge to make the point valid helps to keep the message focused, if a reader is overwhelmed with statistics and numbers than the message becomes obstructed. In contrast to the article the music video uses statistics wherever it can to help make its point. Interspersed between the action and recollection scenes are many statistics about the lives of soldiers and in one case the lack of. The use of these makes the message seem much more serious in order to make the reader understand the scale of the issues presented. This also leads back to pathos because when presented with numbers and statistics some readers become overwhelmed with emotion.
The use of these techniques is used in almost every advertisement out there. The ad companies do their best to make their massage stick with us. The life of a soldier is not easy and making us understand this is the overall goal of these two messages. The article relies on the use of a single strategy over others making its message focused and clear. The lack of the other appeals does detract from the message but not enough for the message to be any less sincere. The music video sends its message by relying on all three appeals but the strongest is that of pathos because pathos tends to make the most lasting impression. The overall goal of the video is to convince the viewer to donate to the many foundations that support soldiers. Subjecting the viewer to all three appeals is an affective persuasion technique.