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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

The Secret Power of Advertising

This presentation evaluates the format and communicative elements of a television commercial promoting Nutrisystem®, a weight losss program. The efficacy of this advertisement is determined by weighing it against the Five Canons of Rhetoric established by Aristotle. This is achieved by defining the Five Canons and evaluating whether the commerical sufficiently encapsulates them. The importance of this discussion lies in the fact that this Nutrisystem® advertisement appears on mainstream consumer televesion. Because Nutrisystem® has paid for the privilege of broadcasting its message into the mass marketplace of ideas, one must be critical of how this message impacts individual Americans. Indeed, the overabundance of advertising in American society has dulled the consumer’s perception of its existence. This poses a problem, for one is susceptible to being unaware as to how advertising affects him. Thus, this presentation addresses an actual advetisement created and financed for the intention of persuading a well-defined segment of the American public to make a purchase. The authentic, “real-world” basis of this discussion is critical for allowing audience members to understand how they may be affected by advertising and, by extension, how they can better perceive the affects of other advertisements simply taking note of the traits that make it a persuasively successful piece of communication.

Presenter: Liam Fayle (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Communication
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 1:15 pm (Session III)