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Visual Rhetoric Essay

635 words - 3 pages

Highs and Lows of Nike Advertisement

This paper is designed to compare two images based on their style, audience and purpose. Both images are similar, but only one is useful in my opinion. The purpose is to practice critical thinking, while comparatively analyzing these two images for their effectiveness on their target audience. This piece will also draw the message and appeal to the audience from the images that were chosen. The results should depict a useful image for a select audience, and an image that doesn’t do quite do what the other can.

It is safe to assume that vast majorities of people have owned an item with a white “swoosh” on it, right? That swoosh is a universal and I’m confident to say a vast majority of the world recognizes what brand it boasts: Nike. The athletic manufacturing giant that is Nike is a universally recognized ...view middle of the document...

The first is a new add featuring Super Bowl champion Richard Sherman. One of my favorite campaigns out right now, this new Nike Flyknit ad is powerful. Notice Richard Sherman’s stress in his workout; what he’s wearing. The ad is a blatantly hinting that his power is radiating from everything clothing his body. Nike shoes, compression shorts, shorts, bracelet. His emotion depicts dedication, determination; the image silently screams “Just Do It.” Do you notice a lack of words? The image has everything it needs to grab your attention, including a few “swooshes” just incase you weren’t sure what you were looking at.
The next image is rather edgy for Nike. Tiger Woods lines up a putt; again, determination is a huge visual in the ad. World-class golfer Tiger is a household name, both for his on and off the course antics. What separates this add from the other is the message. A clear joke and mockery of Tiger’s sex scandal with his wife, the ad is demeaning and aimed to prod at a sore subject. Although still effective, and even a part of me still laughs at the joke, its not Nikes best idea in terms of fan base and sales. The joke is in poor taste, and seems to draw a sour taste along with its portrayal of Tiger as nearly God-like.
With such similar ads, both similar yet vastly different, its almost unbelievable that the same company released these images. Both ads share nearly the same target audience, athletes (one football, one golf.) They differ however in terms of pathos and ethos. The pathos of the first ad is a strong and intense emotion; you can feel the stress of Sherman as he accelerates up the stadium benches. Whereas the seriousness and demeanor of the Tiger ad is thrown into a comical sense with the bold white letters racing across the picture. The ethos is nearly the same, you lose some respect for a quote on this ad. The Richard Sherman ad is powerful enough without words, nothing negative about it. Simple, raw emotion drives this ad successfully and purposefully.

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