A Rhetorical Analysis Essay Project
of 2015 Super Bowl Commercials
By Michael Clark
English 12 with Mr. Smith at CNHS
Doritos: Middle Seat
2015 Super Bowl Commercial
Mr. Smith's English 12 Essay Project
Rhetorical Analysis Essay
By Michael Clark
In this day and age, it is all too common for commercials to discard logic and rely on emotional tactics to draw in the viewer and make them want to purchase their product. Have you ever seen a Doritos commercial that didn't draw in your attention? Doritos is one of the best companies when it comes to making effective commercials and their goal is to attract as many viewers as possible. The Super Bowl, one of the biggest times for commercials, is where Doritos shows the power they have in controlling human emotions. Their Super Bowl commercial of a man on an airplane who is trying to influence who sits by him uses ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade the viewers to buy Doritos.
I am sure that everyone who has been on multiple airplanes would know the awkward feeling of being in a situation where you have to sit next a stranger. The beginning of the Doritos commercial displays a man who is sitting in his seat on an airplane with one open seat near him. He acts as if he was sick so no one would sit next to him. He then plays it off that he has problems that people wouldnt want to sit next to on an airplane until he finds someone that he would want to sit next to, and thats when he finds the good looking women who he wants to sit next to. He shows the doritos so she sits there and when she does he finds out she has a baby.
This scene illustrates logos, "persuading by the use of reason." It is logical thinking to not sit by someone who is sick because it is human nature to not want to become sick. Doritos accomplishes this logos in the scene and it helps set the stage for later scenes to come. I believe that the target audience is people who eat doritos and also people with a good sense of humor.
Pathos is displayed all throughout the Doritos commercial. Pathos means persuading by appealing to the readers emotions and by recognizing and targeting the range of audience, which would be almost everybody who's been on an airplane. The Doritos commercial demonstrated pathos by appealing the viewers emotions by using comical remarks and commonly known flight stereotypes. Pathos is also displayed in the Doritos commercial by having a beautiful woman in search for a seat by the man who appears to be sick. The man acts as if he was never sick and gestures at the girl not realizing that she has a baby. This scene appeals to men because it is every man’s hope to be on an airplane and have a beautiful girl sit by them for the entire flight. The advertisement is implying that Doritos will attract beautiful woman, and this would be attempting to appeal to a man's pathos. The commercial targets women's pathos by showing that the man is trying to get the women to sit by him but the baby made him want to change his mind.
Ethos refers to the trustworthy or credibility of the writer or speaker. Normal guys like doritos and beautiful women too. He is like us a normal guy. A guy we can trust. Not a celebrity or super star. Just a guy we all know.
This just goes to show that ethos, pathos, and logos get viewers interested in the product. They illustrate emotion and laughter to draw us in and become more interested in the product being sold. Commercials are a big part of selling for a company, considering most people watch TV especially the Super Bowl.