A Rhetorical Analysis Essay Project
of 2015 Super Bowl Commercials

By Ben Gutierrez
English 12 with Mr. Smith at CNHS

Dodge: Wisdom
2015 Super Bowl Commercial

Mr. Smith's English 12 Essay Project

Rhetorical Analysis Essay
By Ben Gutierrez

The Dodge: Wisdom commercial depicts several 100+ year old people talking about how to live life, coinciding with Dodge’s 100 year anniversary. I currently own a Dodge so I can somewhat relate to this commercial. My Dart isn’t particularly as exciting as the Challenger seen, but it is still a fun car and I have had no complaints about it. They have a series of commercials for the Dart, depicting a comedian owning a Dart and his neighbor wanting to touch it. The comedian goes through extreme lengths so that he won’t be able to touch it. The Wisdom commercial is a change of pace from the trend of funny commercials that Dodge has recently put out.

The commercial is essentially many people that are at least 100 years old with short quotes about life and how to live it correctly. The basic claim of the commercial is that if Dodge has lasted over 100 years now, it is a very reliable brand and has stood the test of time for a reason; if you own a Dodge you are living life “correctly” according to the wise people that speak in the commercial.

The commercial established strong ethos by implying that the elderly people as wise and unbiased. There doesn’t seem to be any biases evident because the people speaking never mention the name “Dodge” directly, until the end when a guy is driving a Dodge Challenger and text comes on the screen saying “Dodge, here’s to the next 100 years”. Lots of people will take advice from those with life experience, and almost anyone will take advice from someone with as much life experience as the people in the commercial. The target audience can really be anyone because most people will take advice from those with that much life experience.

The argument presented in this commercial uses a lot of ethos to get its point across. The company that is projected is one that is reliable, and one that has stood the test of time. It seems as though they want you to think “well they haven’t made it 100 years by making bad cars”. People tend to put trust into things that have lasted long periods of time, which is why they put a lot of 100 year old people to talk about life lessons in their commercial before introducing what the commercial was for. This strategy definitely commands respect and attention because it isn’t your typical car commercial, and it isn’t something you usually see from any commercial. It was a very unique strategy and is very successful.

This commercial didn’t use much logos, if at all. The most impressive thing about this commercial, however, was the fact that it is Dodge’s 100 year anniversary, which is also a logical reason to buy a Dodge. The commercial follows that text up by, “here’s to the next 100 years”, implying that Dodge’s are long lasting, durable, and reliable, just like their company. The implied message throughout is that wise people buy dodges. People who have owned a lot of cars throughout their lifetime have settled on Dodge as the best cars to drive.

There are a few emotions that are evoked by this commercial, and pathos is certainly evident in the argument. When you first see someone that is over 100 years old, you get the feeling of awe, because it isn’t every day you see someone that is that old and that has lived that long especially on television. This is very effective because it grabs the viewer’s attention and gets them to listen to the commercial just by the imagery. The dialogue in the commercial keeps the viewer in awe, leading eventually to humor as some of the things that they say in the commercial is definitely funny even though it isn’t the objective of the commercial. Another area that appeals to viewers emotionally is when you see the burnout by the Dodge Challenger at the end of the commercial. Most guys (the majority of the viewers in the Super Bowl) like burnouts, fast cars, horsepower, etc. which also helps sell the car to that portion of the audience. The music is another thing that evokes emotion. A feeling of reverence comes over you as they play the music that progressively gets louder as you listen to the awesome things that the men and women in the commercial had to say.

This commercial was very effective in my opinion, but one of the main problems with the argument was the lack of actual cars, I think if they showed each of the people who spoke in a different car the argument could’ve been slightly more effective. The way they used old people to give advice in the commercial was a very unique and creative strategy and one that was very successful. If you have a tendency to listen to your elders, this commercial probably made you more of a Dodge person.

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